Monday, June 29, 2009


Is it really almost July? I suppose I should just be thankful that the faster summer goes, the faster school comes.

Here's my month in random:

1. Fish Killer. Just carve it on my tombstone. My daughter caught me at a weak moment last month and begged for permission to bring home a bala shark from her class aquarium. So I bought a tank . . . and gravel . . . and plastic plants . . . and food . . . and water chemicals . . . about which time I wanted to scream, "This is why I don't want a pet!"

But I was trying to be A Good Mom. Poor fish, he didn't know what was coming.

We duly set up everything and got Chester home. He wasn't happy about it. He didn't eat. He darted around a lot--not happy, joyful darting, more like panicked, get-me-out-of here darting. By the second night, I had a dream that Chester finally ate and I was delighted. When I woke up I thought, "Dreaming about a fish? This is why I don't want a pet!"

My husband came home from a trip four days later and said, "I haven't seen the fish. Where is he?" We walked into my daughter's bedroom (she was gone with her grandparents) and I started scanning the tank for Chester. He wasn't darting. He was floating.

"That's a dead fish," my husband said.

And so it was.

When I told my sixteen-year-old, "I killed the fish" he said, "Accidentally?"

And that is why I Don't Want a Pet.

2. Three states and one trip to Mexico. By tomorrow night, I and my two youngest children will be returning from our second visit to Idaho in June. At least this trip doesn't require 12-hours in a car and a long drive through part of Montana. Though I have to admit that Coeur d'Alene was strikingly beautiful and we couldn't beat our lakeside condo. It was a fun week with the little ones, my parents, and my best friend and her two kids. But that 12-hour drive each way . . . there's a reason I like airplanes.

Especially when the airline bumps you to first class. On our flight home from Cabo San Lucas, our entire six-person family got moved into first class (due to my frequent-flying husband). I thought my second son would burst for joy--he's been deadly jealous that his older brother got bumped to first class on a flight last year. My daughter thought it was lovely. The seven-year-old, however, took it in stride. It's the baby you've got to watch for, I'm telling you. They fly first class, they stay in nice hotels . . . they have no memory of the early years of a family when you're just glad there aren't any visible blood stains on your motel carpet.

3. Books. I love summer. I love summer reading. And I love that my revised manuscript is finished, because now I can love my reading with a clear conscience.

4. 40 Days of 40. It's my husband's turn. He's not as excited as I was. He keeps moaning about refusing to turn 40 next month. I remind him that every insult he makes about 40-year-olds lowers the bar for anything he'll get from his already-40-year-old wife.

5. Portland. Next week I'm going to Portland for four days with two fabulous friends. We have our various reasons for going--getting away from the kids, sleeping without interruption, eating out and no dishes to do--but my primary reason is simple.


Simply put, the best bookstore in the world. Five floors of new, used, and rare books. I've been there multiple times during my trips to Portland over the years, but I've never been able to spend more than a couple hours. That is going to change. This trip, I plan to spend an entire day.

The only problem is we're flying, so I'm not sure how I'm going to get all the books home. Note to self: Find the nearest post office to Powell's and plan to ship a box. Or two.


Anita Slate said...

I agree with you on #5 - Powell's. Love, love, love that bookstore. I'm originally from Wisconsin but now live in Spokane, about a five hour drive from Portland. I look forward to October when my son has marching band competition in the area and I always make extra time to get my Powell's fix in! Have a good time! Leave some books for me!
PS-You probably think I'm a stalker, but I first read about your blog on DorothyL and since then, have read every 'bluestocking' and 'Jacob' post. I enjoy your stories immensely and am especially glad Jacob is doing well.

laura said...

Thank you for commenting! I'm always wondering who's reading. And thanks especially for keeping up with Jacob. He is doing immensely well which we are grateful for every day.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fab trip! When are you going and when do you get back? I'm now in Utah so we have to get together. I arrived late last night. There's really nothing like coming home and having your first full day at home being a holiday...aaaah.

Let's get together soon....Amy