Being a homemaker, I’m either always on vacation, or hardly ever, depending on how you look at it. David seemed to think it was the latter, especially last summer when I pushed to use a good portion of his time “off” working around the house. We wanted this summer to be different. This was going to be our Summer of Fun.
Of course, we’re weirdos, so our idea of fun isn’t for everyone. For one, I decided to join La Banda Rossa, which is our local 107-year-old Italian-American marching & concert band. They play a pretty big lineup of gigs over the summer & fall season, and I thought it would be a good way to play my flute more, make new friends, and ensure that we had one last big huzzah of festivals and parades before I got pregnant, since we were planning to start trying “for real” in the fall.
So we started the summer with a revival of David’s clarinet practice (he started learning in December, after a lifetime of not knowing how to read any music or play any instrument! And he’s doing pretty darned good), and with my rehearsals with La Banda Rossa. My first gig with them was the Memorial Day parades, which I did 2 out of the 3 they do on that marathon day. So far, I’ve played in parades, processions, and concerts, almost all on very hot and sometimes humid days! I think I like the music of processions the most, and the thrill of parading down the middle of a street is pretty cool too. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE our uniforms:
We also did a lot of hiking and biking and exploring. We visited Great Swamp Conservancy in Canastota, which has lots of trails we haven’t even been on yet, and so many swallows! We found new trails we didn’t know about at a couple of nearby town parks, and went to a couple day-trip state parks. We went to an event up at Shawangunk Nature Preserve (run by the minister & his wife who married us) called “Firefly Magic”, where we saw an astounding number of fireflies blinking around us as we hiked around in the dark.
On David’s birthday, we had a wonderful weekend out of town. We went to Martin van Buren’s old house in Kinderhook, NY, at David’s birthday request. I was just happy he was well enough to travel, after last year’s weird birthday flu, during which he spent his whole special day puking. We camped at a nearby state park, had Indian takeout we seredipitously found at a gas station, and hiked to a waterfall across the state line. David set foot in Massachusetts for the first time.
In a lot of ways, it was also a “mixed bag” summer. I keep feeling like we’re on the precipice of such big things, of great joy (our first child, hopefully in the next year or so) and great sadness. Nana and Papa are getting older, and Papa especially is in declining health. They are needing more and more help. Papa can no longer drive, so I have to either run errands for or with Nana several times a week. He’s oxygen-dependent now, and still has a hard time using the portable tanks. He has edema in both legs, with water blisters bursting, and he has a really hard time walking. I’ve had to take him to the doctor twice this summer, and both times required renting a wheelchair, and holding my breath, and praying for the strength to be there for them now that they need me, as strong as they were when I was little and my mother and I needed them.
At the end of July, we went for our now-annual trip to Oregon to visit David’s family who lives there (mom & dad, one brother, nephews, and several aunts & uncles). It was a great time. We had a marathon hangout session with my mother-in-law’s two brothers and their wives, who are wonderful new aunts. One gave me her mother’s deviled egg dish! She said she knew I would appreciate it, being that I was so close to my grandparents, and I do. Another gave me a vegan chocolate cake recipe, handwritten from memory after we had a conversation about it and discovered we both made it (but my recipe makes a weirdly small cake). David & I went berry picking, and I love Oregon berry picking. There are SO MANY BERRIES. I can finally understand how people can get 9 cups or whatever for jam, after so many hours spent on the Erie Canal barely getting a pint. (True to form, we picked berries at the entrance of our fascist-run fancypants “mobile home community”, and a week later, AT THE PEAK OF BERRY SEASON, they cut the bushes down!! WHO DOES THAT?!?!?!?! ARRRRGGH!!!!!!!!)
On the last day of our vacation, wondering whether I should take an Ativan on the plane back or not, I took a pregnancy test and….it was positive!
I was pretty happily pregnant for about 2 ½ weeks there, but in the middle of August, I started having a miscarriage.
But that is a topic for another post, waiting in the wings.