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Gaining Altitude

AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN

Sometimes a better perspective involves increasing one’s elevation.


We landed in Denver in mid-afternoon, embarking upon only our third trip sans offspring, picking up a rental car and heading into the mountains. We’d picked Colorado because neither of us had ever been and because two of our favorite bands were playing a concert together at Red Rocks. We’d left without making any solid plans beyond hotel accommodations. It was my first time on an airplane in a year and a half.*

Whomever settled the city of Denver surely must have done so because it’s the last stretch of reasonable flat land before everything gives way to brown, stony mountains. Let’s stop here, I imagine they said. Seems good enough.

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Planting Flowers


If ever there were a sign that my life is brimming over with things to do, it would be that it was only this weekend that I got to the business of setting out flowers around my house.

Somewhere along the way our landscape became an escape for me–a hobby that always began with pleasure, especially on cooler, spring days. Nothing better than meandering around a garden section, eyeing the myriad varietals, choosing hearty specimens from a sea of containers, picturing in my mind what went in the front yard and what went on the deck, remembering the bursts of sun that each spot received, imagining the needs of every location.

Our current house, which we bought the fall before Thomas was born, has plenty of shade. We’ve opened up the canopy just a little in the time we’ve been here, but my rule of thumb is that shade plants go in the back, flowers go in the front. Everything needs a good dose of water a few times a week.

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In Medias Res


This week is an odd duck of sorts–I’m between the end of the spring semester and the beginning of the first summer term in my graduate program–and it’s a little bit like having a vacation. My stress level’s returned to normal. I can contemplate watching TV after the kids go to bed.

It’s also the week-after U8 soccer ended its spring season. We played the last game in a steady (and at times heavy) rain, beating our opponents 5-0. Julia came away with a pair of goals (!!) and Thomas contributed well offensively. I helped coach the team with Kirk Lawton, and once more I finished reminded of how much joy there is in watching groups of young people coalesce and grow together.

We are entering the age range of youth sports, however, in which the comments from the parents’ side of the field occasionally veers into queasy territory.

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