Saturday, July 6, 2013

Steps, Stephen Hopkins, and Da!

This week at my parents' cabin . . .

. . . my not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  Anna getting carsick on the drive up the mountain.  Fortunately she was fine after we reached the cabin and got her cleaned up.

. . . climbing the steps up to the road near my parents' boat dock.  There are over 50 of them, and they would be killer even if I wasn't pregnant.

. . . my favorite moments included . . .

. . . hanging with all my siblings.  It's not often that we all manage to gather in the same place.

. . . the big kids trying out a waterski training raft (kind of like this one) which my dad recently bought.  Joy worked up the nerve to stand up on it, but insisted that Papa drive very, very slowly.  Daniel remained seated the whole time, but let Papa drive as fast as he wanted (which was still a rather leisurely pace).

. . . chatting with neighbors old and new at a neighborhood potluck around the corner from the cabin.

. . . hearing Anna's emphatic replies each time Papa asked her where a family member was.  He would ask, "Where is so-and-so?" then she would point to the person and say their name (about half of her words at this point are her versions of family names, which I suppose reflects her priorities).  Even if she didn't know a person's name, she would still point and say something like, "Da!"

. . . sitting outside looking for bats in the twilit sky while Papa reminisced about years past.

. . . gathering with my family on the afternoon of the Fourth for an activity Dad organized.  We took turns reading a paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, then each of us gave a short bio of one of the signers we had selected to research.  I chose Stephen Hopkins, former governor and Chief Justice on the Supreme Court of Rhode Island.  He was one of the oldest members of the Continental Congress, and his signature is easily identifiable on the Declaration because his failing health made his hands shake.  The story goes that as he signed he steadied his right hand with his left, declaring, "My hand trembles, but my heart does not."

. . . the kids and I harvesting little raspberries from a bush I gave Papa for Father's Day a few years ago.  They were tasty, but the volunteer blackberry bush down the slope will probably be more productive.  

. . . my dad and sibs having a spirited water fight.

. . . eating my mom's homemade ice cream while we all played a card game called Sink or Swim.

And another thing . . .

. . . in case you're confused, my kids call my dad Papa.  Also, I notice that I mention my dad a lot in this entry, but rarely my mom.  Her role in things may not have been as high-profile, but her planning, cooking, and love is the glue that holds everything together.

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