Sunday, May 25, 2008

indian blanket morning under a big sky

Whenever a three day weekend approaches, I want to take advantage and go someplace special. What comes to mind is heading toward the hills, hiking outdoors, spring fed rivers and skipping stones, having my fill of big skies and natural landscapes.

My kids, however, are at an age where they make weekend plans of their own: sleepovers and birthday parties. Which spells no weekend getaway for taxicab mom and dad.

Feeling a little restless this morning, I called a neighbor friend and lined up a walk. We took our usual path, a cut through on grassy fields behind our houses. It was a gorgeous day, with a clear blue sky, sunny and hot, but with steady cool breezes. It's almost the end of May and we have been experiencing temps that feel more like summer, so I was surprised by the wildflowers blooming in full peak: Indian blankets everywhere, a few bluebonnets, lantana and coneflowers the color of fire, yellow prickly pear cactus and blue sage.

Usually we do a once around the hill but today we wrapped around twice, just to take in the full beauty again. We ended the walk by sitting for awhile on my back patio, drinking water, and finishing our conversation.

A little later, a different neighbor friend and I took the kids to a swimming pool. We lazed in the sun, kick boarded some laps, took a ride down a tube slide, and finished in a hot tub.

Dinner was some yummy home cooking: green beans and new potatoes fresh from a neighbor's garden, corn on the cob, sliced cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes. No complaints from my kids (a first?), the vegetarian wannabees.

With an hour's worth of daylight left, we enticed my oldest away from his new video game system and took all the kids, plus one, roller blading on top of a nearby parking garage. My husband Sam and I sat in camp chairs, looking at a downtown skyline, holding our breath, hoping the kids wouldn't skid themselves into the emergency room. They didn't (whew) despite their speedy games of tag and chase.

We ended the evening with ice cream sundaes for the kids and feeling energetic (with date lapsed buttermilk in the fridge), fresh baked lemon scones for Sam and me.

All this for the easy backdoor bargain price of free. No packing the car. No ice chests to stock. No highway robbery gas prices. No squabbling kids asking, "Are we there yet?"

I still would rather get away and explore new territory, but today was a reminder that a stay at home weekend can be pretty great, too.

Typing this post, I was reminded of a song, Child of the Big Sky, by little known singer songwriter, Kim Miller, a native Texan. The album (of the same name) is one of my favorites on quiet mornings. Have a listen, here.

So how is everyone else spending their Memorial Day weekend?


Alison said...

I appreciate this post very much - I was a child of the big sky, but not Texas.

Outback Qld, Australia. Pale yellow grass, a few dots -trees -up to the horizon and a big big sky. 360 degrees of blue for months on end. Born there mate.

just raving on about it to someone this thanks so much for this song. What a voice eh?

laurie said...

oh wow, lemon scones and new potatoes!

i did a little gardening. doug grilled turkey burgers. the dogs slept and tried to recover from the North Shore.

shrink on the couch said...

alison, glad you can relate. I grew up a child of the smallish sky, a part of the country with much taller trees than here. A couple years in a row friends from NYC visited and kept commenting, "Wow! The sky is so big!" I really miss the tall trees but I've grown to focus on the blue.

Speaking of Aussie Outback, are you a fan of Kasey Chambers? I saw her here a few years ago. Love her music.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

We are not having summerlike temperatures. Chilly, gray skies, threatening showers--not your usual San Diego Memorial Day.

I am going to walk at the lake with a friend later--then perhaps some homemade autumn fare--stew?

JCK said...

This sounded like a dreamy, picture perfect, stay at home long weekend!

Alison said...

Yes I like Casey Chambers, I bought her first cd. The song Am I Not Pretty Enough? was used by the animal welfare group RSPCA for an ad. My son loved that, hence the purchase. She has a newbie out, but I've not heard any of it.

Anonymous said...

Well we had a good weekend despite the appalling weather. Sunday it rained all day without stopping once and it has been too cold to go to the beach or anything like that.

But we have had a similar (if chillier) weekend to you. Funnily enough my sons and some mates spent an hour or so on Saturday roller blading. They set up a massive course involving steps and cones and massive jumps - great to watch although my heart was in my mouth a lot of the time.

It's good to have a holiday at home sometimes.

Radical Reminders said...

those scones look delicious :)
i spent a very patriotic weekend in DC visiting a friend :)

Anonymous said...

Good Job! :)