July 2021

Summer is half over, but still full of friends and fun.

Fourth of July barbeque: little girls played in the backyard, moody tweens read or used devices in their rooms, our-age folks talked in the kitchen, and old folks discussed medication and canes (!) in the living room. But whatever--we grilled chickens and had a great time.

In the evening, Robert and I and the girls walked over to the home of a colleague of mine who was having a party, with a band playing Grateful Dead covers and other things in that vein. We sat on his porch and listened to music and reveled in the weirdness of being at an actual party.

We've spent some afternoons at my parents' pool.

One evening, Helen, Rohan, and Kavi invited themselves (or were invited--it's unclear) up to our neighbor's porch for cookies and milk. Another evening, Jeremy's dads suggested a margarita and popsicle gathering for the neighbors on their stoop.

Samantha did a week of sailing at the pond and loved it, and even walked herself home, sometimes stopping at JP Lick's on the way.

She also did a week of woodworking/sewing/art at the Eliot School, and loved that, and made a great friend.

Despite a string of Wednesdays with thunderstorms, Samantha is loving track. Helen stands on the side and tries to follow along.

We've done lots of biking, of course.

Our party streak continued--Helen was invited to an actual birthday party, with cupcakes and singing and presents and lots of kids running around wild. She was thrilled, because she got to play in a new-to-her playground and see kids from her kindergarten class.

We went to a Red Sox game (vs. the Phillies).

The girls keep making things--Samantha makes objects out of polymer clay, bakes them, then photographs them and removes the background and turns them into digital stickers; she is still upcycling doll dresses out of old baby socks and other random bits of cloth; and she's on a duct-tape wallet kick. Helen made a gorgeous T train and a T pass; a "no cars" protest sign; and the beginning of a story about a castle and dragon.

Samantha's chess teacher, who had met with them weekly on Zoom throughout the pandemic, found an in-person option, and she's been going to weekly evening chess meet-ups for a few weeks now.

Helen's been continuing with violin lessons and is now up to "Long Long Ago."

The girls and I went to a Boston Children's Chorus singalong event in Chinatown one Saturday.

On different nights, we went to Samantha's favorite noodle place (Wen's, at Downtown Crossing, which survived the pandemic); Robert's favorite shave ice place (Double Chin in Chinatown); a Cambridge shao lung bao place; and JP Licks.

Marcus went backpacking and canoeing with the Boy Scouts in northern Maine for eight days, navigating across Lake Churchill and adjoining lakes. One kid dropped half their toilet paper supply into the water on their first day, so they all ended up using leaves; Marcus got a leech on his foot once while launching the canoe and had to peel it off; and Marcus wasn't a fan of the food (though he did discover that Tabasco sauce "can make bad food better"), but he still came home smiling and had a great time.

When Marcus came home from backpacking, the girls frosted a cake for him and Helen made a sign.

Helen did a week of circus school with Glorina, and had a ball learning new skills.

One Friday night, we took Samantha's friend downtown with us, got dinner in Chinatown (including a ramen burger), picnicked on the Common, and watched the free Shakespeare (this year it was The Tempest). Helen fell asleep on the friend on the subway home, and then the friend stayed over--Samantha was in heaven.

With Sarah, Sean, Evie, Jess, and Shanti, we went to the light show at the zoo again. The lights were different from last year, and it was a lovely evening.

Marcus started doing the in-person engineering classes at the JP library again, run by Northeastern students.

And just some general summer fun, as we head into August.


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Created: 8/2/21. Last Modified: 8/2/21.