Remember the birdhouse? The one K built for his sister’s birthday and painted the brightest sky blue imaginable? Yesterday, the sky was just that blue, and we enjoyed every minute of it.
First came work, as we believe that work comes before play, but somehow when you are outdoors under a brilliant blue sky, the line between work and play gets rather blurry and you find yourself enjoying the work you are doing, and running eagerly to help others too. Many hands make light work, after all. And many hands tends to mean more interesting conversations, too.
We started off by hanging the laundry. B is too short to reach, so she used a little stool. She also took an insane amount of delight in informing me that the blue beach towel wasn’t going to fall off the line and land in the garden, nope, nope, nope! It wasn’t going to fall off, not even in the strongest wind. It was safe! It was secure! It was going to hang there and dry in the bright sun under that gorgeous blue sky.
The seventeen clothespins she used to secure it to the line might have had something to do with it. (Yes, there were seventeen. She counted.)
Next, we watered the garden by hand with only one small argument over who got to use which colour of watering can. I’m still not sure which part they prefer: the watering of the little seedlings that will soon be lunches and dinners and snacks fresh off the vine, or filling the watering cans from the big brown rainbarrel between the houses and then stomping around in the mucky mud that inevitably forms at its base.
The backyard thus tended, the kids played with sidewalk chalk and hoola hoops and rode their bikes up and down the street while this Mama pulled dandelions from the front yard and pondered the wisdom of saving some of the dandelion leaves for salad for dinner. I’ve been reading a few rather thought-provoking books lately (Radical Homemakers, Urban Homestead, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma) as I prep the garden for veggies and keep tripping over references to eating dandelion leaf salads and making dandelion flower pancakes, but somehow I just can’t quite bring myself to pick them for food, so for now, into the compost they go.
Later in the afternoon, tired out from all our work and play, the boots came off…
…bare toes dug deep into the grass…
…and kids found their way into the hammock with a brightly coloured blanket underneath for comfort, a pillow to rest your head on, and a book (or two, or three) for entertaining the mind.
After dinner, with the sun slowly sinking in the sky and the air turning cool, this Mama took a turn in the hammock while the kids lounged on the blanket, now spread over the ground, and read five chapters of Girl with the Silver Eyes out loud while K and B stared at the clouds and watched the bees and dreamed of silver eyes and super powers of their own.
As for the birdhouse, it found a home in the hackberry tree and within minutes, the chickadees were investigating it, intrigued, perhaps, by the blue that matched the sky yet sat in a tree. House shopping, perhaps, for more stylish diggs than they are currently in. Bluer diggs, for a certainty. Somewhere special to call home tweet home.
The forecast is calling for thunderstorms for tomorrow, but we’re okay with that. Today, we had blue sky. Today, we gloried in this place we call home.