Anika is at that age when she sees letters and numbers everywhere - it's like the magical world of Sesame Street or something, come alive. So she was very pleased to discover that on sunny mornings, she has a gigantic "H" that visits her while she is eating breakfast. It has become something she and I (often the first ones up) look forward to in the morning..."Mama...h-h-h-h (making the sound of "H")"...I can't expect this to really translate via a photograph, but that doesn't mean I won't try! Here is our kitchen window, looking out onto the street and the schoolyard on the other side...
And here you can kind of see the H. It's a shadow - see it?
An H is a good way to begin the day. You'll have to take my word for it.
Other things from the week...we went to visit our friends who live in the middle of the Zaleski forest, in a house they built, with a Real Live Outhouse (my girls have told me on numerous occasions that they would love to have an outhouse. This one is decked out with a large window, through which one may gaze upon the surrounding woods, and many pictures of Mother Mary and various ages of Jesus. It is quite something).
We met the Linscott ladies plus sweet baby boy out there and had a really nice day, enjoying the very warm spring sunshine and the company of three mamas and many children (ranging in age from 1 year to 17 years! wow...). Here the girls are heading off to Sault Ste Marie in a wooden boat...
Saturday saw our family running off in different directions for the day - we zoomed through the market, which felt like sacrilege. It has suddenly bloomed into Summer Market, with People! Produce! Musicians! No longer the little winter market, we now have to hold onto our children and make a Plan. Feeling a bit grumpy about that, but I'm sure I can embrace it when we have time to spend there. We dropped Dan off to lead a shadow puppet workshop at The Dairy Barn - an extension of the Indonesian puppetry exhibit that his mentor curated. We could not attend because Eliza had the opportunity to perform on the piano for the very first time! Her piano teacher, with whom I continue to be so impressed, has run a monthly music club called Front and Center for a few years now, and it is an expectation that her studio will participate as much as possible. The first half hour is a guest performance by a local or visiting musician. The second half is run as an Open Mic, with her students volunteering to go up on stage and perform pieces they are working on in lessons. This month her studio is focusing on composition, and the guests were two OU Masters students who played the viola and the piano. The pianist is a composition student and answered lots of questions from the kids about when he started, how he does it, what he hopes to do with it...And then he stuck around to hear the kids play their own pieces. It was so neat for them! I think her teacher was taken aback by the number of kids who wanted to play - they easily played for 40 minutes or more. Eliza was one of the first to go, performing two pieces she wrote, called "Spring Time" and "Beginners". I wasn't sure how she would do - she has never performed anything by herself, and she was up on the stage alone, and was poised, confident, though a little shy. She did GREAT!! I was so so happy for her! As was Anika, who leapt up from her seat and ran down the aisle with her arms open wide for a hug as Eliza came down the steps after her bow. Very sweet.
The rest of the weekend was busy for Dan - he ran auditions for Oliver, which he will direct this summer with the Ohio Valley Summer Theater, and is trying to get his work done for the week, in addition to finishing writing a paper for an upcoming conference...It is one of those times when I feel useless and unable to help him with all he has to do. He has clean socks and a fresh cup of coffee in the morning. It doesn't feel like much. So, what do I do but take him on a date, at this time of all times...well, it seemed like a very fine idea a few months ago when I bought us tickets to see Bruce Cockburn! We went with new friends from coop, and had a grown-up dinner out at a beautiful restaurant called Salaam (our neighbor belly-dances there, but apparently not on Sunday evenings...), and then drove to Nelsonville to the Stuart's Opera House, which was a perfect place to see him. It felt so good to be out and filled with good food and soul-nourishing music...and now of course Dan is upstairs trying to keep his eyes open as he writes and reads and writes and reads and so, good night.