amie at walden pond, September 2007 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

We were all set for a relaxed weekend, when at 10 in the morning our place was suddenly bombarded by a deafening noise: our upstairs neighbor was having her floors sanded – without warning to us. Well… It was still going on when time Amie’s naptime came around, so we had to flee, and after trying to get her to nap in the stroller – that’s not going to happen anymore! – we got in the car and drove to Walden Pond.

We spent two wonderful hours there. Amie loved it, picking up stones and sand and throwing them into the water, and before I knew it, getting in up to her ankles, shoes and socks and sleeves and all! 

I stripped us of socks and shoes, rolled up the trouser legs, and we made sand clouds by wiggling our toes, stomping our feet. Threw rocks of course, and stuck twigs into the loose sand. Admired little stone houses built by previous visitors to the small beach. We admired the sunshine on the waves, got dizzy looking at them – Amie kept saying: “I’m going! I’m going now!” – and once or twice nearly fell in.  And made waves.

The weather was  glorious and the water warm from an entire summer. There were maybe thirty other visitors – a stark contrast to our last visit over a year ago, when we had to fight to find some towel space on the beach.

I picked up Amie and carried her on my hip almost halfway around the pond, telling her about Thoreau – we didn’t make it to the site of his cabin.  She may have understood something of it. It doesn’t matter. She came home and told her Baba: “I went to Walrus Pond!”

amie at walden pond, September 2007 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

Yes, she is wearing her PJs. Baggy, flowery ones.

I felt pretty bad about the car drive. The question of whether a nap was worth it became useless as soon as it was clear that Amie wouldn’t even go to sleep in the car (she didn’t: she was a wild child by the time we got home!). Next time we’re taking more people along, and/or we’re getting there by alternative means.

… six kinds of basil! Six!

They’re in clay pots perched on the ledge that surrounds our basement entrance.

Sounds gloomy? No: they’re in the sun! They’re soaking up the sun and soon we will harvest some of that energy for ourselves.

I plan to get more herbs (last year we successfully grew basil, cilantro, rosemary, thyme and dill). They each have to fit in a smallish container, preferably two or three plants a pot. All together they have to fit on the ledge, which is the only space that we can (sort of) claim for growing our own plants, and the only place where the sun directly shines.

I’d like to get a cherry tomato plant as well… any other suggestions?

I also got out the “bug jar”, the clear glass jar we use for catching bugs in our house. I caught a large spider yesterday morning and Amie and I watched it crawl around for a while. Then I released it by shaking it out of the jar into the grass. Amie later said: “Mama threw the spider away”.