Hibernation is a word generally associated with bears in the winter. Since I moved to Texas a few years ago, I hibernate in the summer. When it reaches the high nineties or even 100+, life switches into a different gear. If I do have tasks which require being outside, they happen in the morning. Walking the dog, watering my outside flowers, going to the grocery store or doing other errands all take place in the early hours or after sundown. We enjoy our pool, but being in the hot sun is not enjoyable. This year, the kids can splash around on their own, so I stay under the umbrella with a cold drink. On a humid day with no breeze, that isn't even tolerable. So if I want to swim, I wait until the sun has set and turn on the pool lights. When we do have a relatively mild day (90 or lower), I pull weeds, hose off the patio, maintain my raised garden or deadhead flowers in the planters.
So what's a person to do indoors during the Texas heat? I read voraciously, clean out closets, reorganize toys in the kids room and make piles of clothing for the thrift shop. Today, I reassembled a complicated toy racetrack which I put together for Noah and he eventually took apart. Andy and I watch lots of movies on Netflix, Amazon and a streaming service called Acorn, which features shows filmed in England, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland and Ireland. (We've learned to put the captions on to better understand the dialect.) Soon, I'll be starting another freelance writing project for Nemours Children's Health System, my former employer, which should be enjoyable.
Of course, we still have responsibility for Noah in the morning, feeding him breakfast and getting him ready for school. Then we have him and sometimes Lena after day camp, as well as Booker on occasion. School opens on August 12 and things will shift again with drop-off and pick-up for Noah as he begins kindergarten in what he calls "the big school."
I'm not complaining, mind you (well, maybe a little), but I do look forward to cooler temperatures in late September. Native Texans always ask me how I like the weather here and I always answer that I'm still adjusting.
It's been a great week, filled with family meals at home and in restaurants, kids splashing in the pool and just hanging out with Pete during his visit from Richmond. Andy and I put him on a plane last night for the trip back to Virginia, always wishing he lived closer (Pete has informed us that he's never moving to Texas, LOL). The house got suddenly quieter last night, without the constant in and out of grandchildren and their parents.
This morning, we rose in time to go to the Farmer's Market in Rockwall, a town just across Lake Hubbard, before the day got into the high 90s. Many small tents are ringed around what once had been the courthouse, with vendors hawking everything from Texas honey and tamales to pickles, jams and macarons. What we are there for, though, is the fruits and vegetables. Each farm stand is bursting with local produce: purple and white eggplants, shiny poblano peppers, green beans, corn and gorgeous tomatoes. Nearly spherical watermelons are lined up under the stands, with pyramids of cantaloupes nearby. Fragrant strawberries, plums and Texas peaches perfume the air.
It's fun to people-watch, too. Already busy at 8 o'clock, young parents were pushing strollers or corralling toddlers trying to get away from them. Many folks bring their dogs along for a walk. In fact, on some days, the local animal shelter brings a few dogs there to encourage adoption. Later in the morning, there will be free entertainment, but we haven't had breakfast, so we load our purchases into the car and head back across the lake to the local diner, which is decorated in red, black and white with Coca-Cola memorabilia on the walls and a 50's soundtrack.
Tonight, we'll enjoy some of our purchases for dinner and look forward to another week of getting grandchildren to and from camp and in and out of our pool.
Our family kicked off Independence Day celebrations by attending the parade at The Primrose School. The Fourth of July parade is an annual event. Each class makes two trips around the parking lot to the cheers of parents and grandparents. This time, it was a little bittersweet because it was Noah's last Primrose parade. In just five short weeks, he will begin kindergarten at nearby Keeley Elementary School.
Noah has loved every minute at Primrose. Each day, he rushes to his classroom, stows his backpack on a hook, washes his hands, signs in on the whiteboard and tears over to give me a hug and a kiss. He's always greeted with hugs from his classmates before they charge into building things with blocks, playing with little cars or constructing an enclosure for plastic animals. Then it's circle time with his teacher, Miss Moss. She doesn't put up with any shenanigans in the classroom and is very serious about helping these little ones learn their numbers, letters and sight words as a preparation for kindergarten. I know he will miss her.
But back to the parade. All the kids were decked out in red, white and blue. Each class had special hats to wear, Uncle Sam beards, stars and strips, Statue of Liberty headbands, and for Noah's class, red, white and blue paper loops to wear on their heads. The babies came first, some in a quad stroller, others standing up in a rolling crib. Groups in ascending order of age marched around the parking lot to patriotic music, waving little flags and chanting USA, USA! Because Lena was at Primrose Explorer Camp this week, she was allowed to walk with Noah, to his great delight.
Noah, and before him, Lena, were fortunate to attend such a wonderful school and get a solid preparation for kindergarten. The owners, Donny (Mr. Donny to the kids) and Marilyn, know every child, every parent, and all the siblings. It is a labor of love for them and it shows.
Happy Independence Day!
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.