Thursday, July 14, 2011

Capturing Fleeting Moments

Last weekend I had to sit through hours of softball in the heat. My daughter was on the Pony League All-Star team, I have to admit, to my chagrin. I rarely look forward to events that cause me to miss a weekend on the houseboat. And as this weekend was forecast to be the hottest and most humid of the summer, I was really dreading a softball tournament. But after a little facebook complaining, an old friend reminded me that my girls wouldn't be in the house forever and I should make the most of the time I have with them. So I adjusted my attitude and the tournament really was pretty fun.

This week, Wednesday was my day off from my summer job of teaching graduate classes at Central Michigan University. Normally when I have a day off I spend it getting a little caught up on laundry and housework. But I've been thinking a lot about how little time I have left with my girls. Genevieve will be starting high school this fall. When I think about how fast the first 14 years of her life have gone by, I know these next 4 years are just going to be a flash in the pan. So I decided yesterday we just needed a girls-day-out.

We got a late start and spent quite a bit of time trying to decide what to do. We decided on a trip to Ionia. It has a quaint downtown and Lili and I had spent some time discovering its charms during Spring break when Genevieve was doing a job shadow at the court house there.

Some road construction caused us to go off the beaten path. We LOVE Tunnel Roads--you know, those narrow roads so crowded by trees that the trees make an shadowy emerald tunnel to drive through. We drove down plenty of them and marveled in the beauty of Michigan fields in full foliage: corn that is now about chest high, wheat fields that make you want to sing "amber waves of grain", and potatoes with tiny white blossoms bobbing on the breeze. We even saw some workers in a field of onions, their large-brimmed sun hats made us feel like we could be driving through Vietnam rice paddies!

As we were weaving our way through the dirt roads, we looked at the names. We passed one called Bogart Road, and I said, "Humphrey Road," and continued driving. About two minutes later, Genevieve started laughing and saying, "Humphrey Bogart Road, that's priceless!" It always cracks me up when the girls get my jokes but only after they have time to crystallize in their brains! We also discovered, on our drive through the countryside, the quaint villages of Lyons and Muir and discovered they were full of Victorian era homes.

Once we arrived in Ionia, our first stop was Eldon's Cafe. We ate outside under a colorful umbrella and enjoyed chatting with the townspeople who walked by. Eldon's Cafe has a fantastic hot dog menu: 20 different ways to order a dog! And they are yummy! I recommend the Deputy Dog: a hot dog smothered in pulled pork, BBQ sauce, mustard, pickles, and onions.
As we sat out on the sidewalk waiting for lunch, Genevieve said, "If I am ever in prison, I'll sharpen my toothbrush into a shank." Where does she come up with this stuff?

After lunch it was on to the Favorite Finds Consignment shop. This shop has great prices--even better than Goodwill, which is another store we love to frequent. We ended up with some new school clothes for the girls and they had fun trying on other funky clothes.
I hate to think that I'll have to buy her a dress like this for real soon!
Lili is cute in just about anything, but crazy high heels are her favorite!
Genevieve couldn't resist trying on some "gangsta" pants.
We did a little more window shopping around town. I couldn't resist, in spite of their rolling eyes, taking a picture of the girls in this side alley. It reminded me so much of the foliage filled alleys and streets of Aruba--minus the heat and humidity today!
It was such a fun day with my girls. At the end of this week, I will be done with CMU for the summer. Although Genevieve will have volleyball practice twice a week, that gives us plenty of days to discover other out-of-the-way places and most importantly to make some great memories with the fleeting moments of childhood they have left.

1 comment:

  1. I love your posts about CMU...ahhhh, memories! I met my husband there and son, Chad, went there also. LOVE that place. If there was ever a way for us to do a teacher workshop there, we would love to do it:)