Bound for anywhere

boysOn Fridays, we are bound for anywhere. Today, flock after flock of brown pelicans paced us as we headed first for lunch with my dad. Steady down the coast, we discussed directional cardinality, and left and right. (That is, Lucas pointed out that his left shoe is always his left shoe, and Jacob noted that left is always left, but left can also be north or south or east or west.) We talked about why the compass in the car wasn’t broken, even though it said for a while that we were driving west when Santa Cruz is south of us, and we wondered about how compasses work. (Magnetism and the poles, or something? Oh, right. I had mostly forgotten.)

Continue reading

How the light gets in

breakfast hikeStepping single file through the early morning mountain air, holding the little ones’ hands, pulling ourselves over rocks, lifting them over roots. Sheer granite, ancient trees, and fifty feet below us the river coursing. Still we found ourselves wondering out loud if this hike had been the best idea, what with the toddlers and the steep cliffs and the sun barely risen. Continue reading

Days like this

fitzgeraldKyle was away much of this week for work, unusual and a bit unsettling. None of our routines were quite clicking, waffles were burnt and water bottles lost,  and every night after bedtime the sink was full of dishes even though I was the one who had made dinner. Continue reading

Trail markers (part two)

grandma-isabelle-sam-grandpabernieFrom what everyone tells me, my Grandpa Bernie’s slides have always been in their square white boxes. The boxes are nondescript, the kind you probably picture when you think of slide boxes, if you think of slide boxes at all. They are the ones that stack easily into garage corners and attics, that protect their contents from dust while becoming thick with it themselves. If these boxes are notable, it is only for their sheer number: my grandpa had thousands upon thousands upon thousands of slides. Some of them show old old images of relatives, from the days when he himself would have been just a boy. Some show my dad and my aunts and my uncle as kids. Some show surgeries he performed, or an ongoing stream of family trips, family houses, family dogs.

bernie 1943

My favorite ones show a glimpse of my grandparents’ love story.  Continue reading

Trail markers

j and l runI tell myself that I will remember them, running along the sidewalk to the pool, all sun-bleached hair and palpable joy. I will remember their sand-covered toes, the warm sweaty weight of their heads on my shoulder, the exact way that Lucas says “I not too little,” and how Jacob sounds out “square” as “scary.” I tell myself that I will remember, I will remember just how this summer is. I take pictures, to be my trail markers.

boys at pool

Of course, I know enough by now to tell you that memory doesn’t work that way. Continue reading

Down from the mountains

kids on the riverThe south fork of the Tuolumne River curves through our camp. At the center there is a deep green swimming hole, ringed with granite boulders, indulgent on the hot, dusty afternoons. At night, from our tent-cabin, we can hear Continue reading