Thursday, August 26, 2010

Every couple years for about as long as I can remember, my family has gone over to Winchester Bay for a big family reunion with bunches of relatives that I can hardly keep straight, since I don't see them all that often. People gather for breakfast, and each branch of the family takes a turn whipping up pancakes or waffles in a little hotel kitchen. And, most importantly, on Saturday we're all ferried over by boat to an island beach where we cook dinner over a giant bonfire.

When I was about ten, we ate corn chowder cooked over that bonfire, and it was one of the tastiest things I've ever eaten in my life. This year, we ate fresh berry cobbler... And, oh my goodness, berries are meant to be cooked that way.

This year was the first time I feel like I really attended the Brownell reunion as an adult. The last reunion was four years ago... and it was a close call. I'd graduated from college. I was married. Daniel and I were living in an apartment in Seattle with two dogs. By all rights, you'd have thought we were adults. However, the generations mostly kept to themselves -- splitting the "kids" off in their own circle.

This time, perhaps precipitated by the introduction of a new generation (three-year-old Elaine and six-month-old Tobias), that didn't happen as much, and I feel like I got to know a lot of my older relatives a lot better. It was a fantastic weekend.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You can do amazing things with tape. I know this because my three-year-old leaves books on the floor, and my (very quick) Sheltie likes the taste of them. Together, they've conspired three times in the last week to break my heart by leaving a tattered, chewed up children's book lying, brokenly on the floor for me to find. Each time, I have dutifully gathered up the pieces and painstakingly taped them back together with thick layers of scotch tape or packing tape (depending on which material better suits the particular book).

Each book has survived. And come out looking much better than I expected.

Nevertheless, every time I tape one of those sacred, holy, beloved objects back together, my sadness that they will one day -- soon even -- be utterly replaced by e-books dissipates.

Maybe e-books won't be so bad.