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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

It's Tuesday

That may not be news to you, but I am having difficulty keeping track of the days here. Again.

This week Sarabelle and Gracie are in Kayak Kamp. Yes, I openly disdain all intentional misspellings, refusing to grocery shop at the blatantly illiterate Kash and Karry, and only tolerating Publix because the bag boys will haul your groceries out to the parking lot and load your car for free, but what can you do? We narrowed our search for perfect summertime activities down quite a bit since the end of May when the summer seemed endless. Sarabelle wanted to get back into tennis, and Gracie wanted to get back into gymnastics and even had her sisters willing to participate, which scored high points with me because, you know, I am all about the one-size-fits-all and one-single-block-of-my-time kind of extracurricular activities. Elle has no preference, whatever sounds good to her. Except swimming. They have all become a little tired of swimming. Golf looked good, especially since there are something like twenty-five courses within ten minutes of any one of our various locations, and, when in Rome, right? But the break is nearly over. Elle begins school August 8. Ridiculous. I still have so much to do. Anyway, we thought kayaking might be a fun way to get them more intimately involved with our local waters and it wasn't a big time commitment. Five days. And it was close to the island where we should be spending more time. Initially they scoffed at the idea, but they are loving it. Yesterday they took a leisurely trip around Coral Creek. Today was a grueling two-hour paddle and mastering righting the kayak. Tomorrow is a fishing trip, followed by a longer trip Thursday, and a still longer excursion Friday to a small, private island for a barbeque.

So what occupies Elle and I in the meantime? The short answer is, we drive around a lot. Monday after banking and checking the post office box, we rented a kayak and snuck up on the campers, shadowing the class for a bit before embarking on a little independent exploration. Then we sat in the car and I read half of Eloise: The Ultimate Edition to her while it downpoured. Today I planned to take her to the county park with the library next door for a double header. The weather didn't cooperate so the park was out and the kids' reading room had been closed for renovations. Plan B: Head over the small, private toll bridge to Boca Grande to visit the Johann Fust library, again, small and private, which has a lovely children's section. I even had ten bucks on me to renew our membership there. Summer hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Instead we ended up driving to the marina and running the boat out to the island to wait for the girls to finish.

Kayaking kicks ass. Theirs. Yesterday and today, S and G came home and took naps. Something they haven't done in, oh, about nine and six years respectively. Elle and I, though, are like one-cylinder diesels. Chug, chug, chug. Walking, biking, swimming, and now kayaking... We're not fast, but we can run forever.

Now last week was a different story when we went on a field trip to a bayside historical site and some other homeschool siblings tagged along. Those kids were built for airconditioning and extended television watching. They were hot, they were tired, they were bored. They wanted to sit and rest and wondered aloud how much longer before we were done. Sarabelle and Gracie, annoyed by the whining, set out to prove their own stamina skipping and jogging down the paths, running circles around me, loudly discussing how much fun they were having and wondering if we could return to some of the exhibits or go around a second time, and marveling at how great the weather was. I think we successfully deterred the other kids from ever coming along on one of our outings again.

I'm looking forward to our library visit tomorrow. The plain but elegant pink exterior conceals one of my favorite spaces: the covered reading porch overlooking the beautiful courtyard garden. Other highlights are the donated display of shells collected locally by the local DuPonts, a page from the Book of the Dead, and a page from one of the Gutenberg bibles. Plus, now it's wireless. And there's usually no one there but the one book checker-outer. The place takes its name from the money man behind Gutenberg. Johann Fust financed Gutenberg's printing venture and when the printer defaulted on his loans, Fust cheerfully repossessed all his equipment and set up his own printing business. That's Boca Grande for you.

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