Saturday, December 11, 2010

a friend and a winter seascape.

I feel like I took a great big fresh breath full of the very best of winter today. My body was worked and all of my senses were made happy by beautiful things. I started the day at 6:30 for a 4-mile xc ski on the City Forest trail. I needed to get an early start because Sam was off for an all-day swim meet and I knew that was my only shot.

My upper body isn't used to being so well included in my workouts, and I can feel my muscles from head to toe in a profound way. Jackson was a great ski partner. He stayed on the trail either right behind me or right ahead of me the whole way.  The pine trees were all heavily covered in snow and I was the only one out there, making fresh tracks.

Late morning, the kids and I took a drive out to the coast to see my friend Erica.  Erica was a student in my class 10 years ago, and we had a special bond and always kept in touch.  Now she is married, 6 months pregnant, and lives in this gorgeous log home that she and her husband Jack built. 

Erica is just one of those people that I feel very lucky to know.  I'm so excited for her to become a mother.
After a beautiful lunch of squash soup, salad, and awesome gluten free bread that Erica made (more on this later... I think I'm going gluten free), and Skyler and Reed acting too crazy in their house, we suited up for the almost-one-mile hike through their wooded property. 

At the end of the trail there are lobster traps, a boat, a swing, and...

 the ocean.  In her backyard.  
 It turned into a very mild day and we just hung out on the beach watching everyone play.  We could have sat down there much longer but the kids waded into the water in their boots (I warned them!) and got their socks really wet.  And the dogs, well...

Um, guys?  Do you really think this is a good idea?

Jackson swam in the ocean. In Maine In December.  So did his friend "Happy" whom Skyler kept calling "Smiley face."  Close enough.

What is Jackson thinking right here?  "It's freaking cold in there!
Smiley Face!  Get out of that water!"

There are only a handful of former students that I am this close with long after they've been out of school.  It's an amazing thing to behold:  I met Erica when she was 15 and got to watch her turn into a woman, teacher, wife, and now a mom.  She's really not that much younger than me, so it feels kind of like she's a younger sister that I don't get to see often enough.  Skyler took our photo.
 Skyler and Reed both got sled rides all the way down and back.  Easy for them, more workout for us.  The day was full of all good and simple things, and we were all tired and satisfied when we piled back into the car. 

I stopped on Erica's road and took this shot on our way out.  The coast looks so pretty dressed up in snow.

I was sure everyone would sleep on the way home, but it was just our arctic ocean swimmer who fell soundly asleep and everyone else just got silly.

The kids wanted hot chocolate and I wanted a soy latte, and that's just what we got, and (after Reed dropped his hot chocolate all over the sidewalk and in the process of picking up his cup, I spilled my soy latte all over the sidewalk, and then I went back in and ordered them again) we sipped our way home, singing along to the Christmas carols.

 xoxo Erica.  Thank you for a lovely day.


Eri said...

How exciting to make the blog! So wonderful to see you...and I've gathered the remains from the loft: one red sweater, one shoe, and one mitten cookie cutter (found in the washing machine). That one cracked us up! I'll be sure and get them to you. Thanks again for making the drive, we'll talk soon. Xo

SNW said...

beautiful soon-to-be-mama!

Angela said...


Michelle said...

And all I can think about are her beautiful thick braids!! What must that gorgeous hair look like undone??? Is that wierd of me to say? That's wierd, right?

Eileen said...

This entry, and the preceding one, are what make your blog a must-read. I *like* reading about your kids, your food, your teaching adventures. I *LOVE* seeing Maine through your beautiful photography.

Also, I've been a bit of a wuss about the weather this year ... and we live in Pennsylvania, where I'll bet it's 20 degrees warmer. So, thanks for the kick in the pants, reminding me to keep getting OUTSIDE!