I don't drive as much as I used to, but when I do, I take a child-like joy in neat numeric strings on the odometer. Ever since I missed the last one, I was looking forward to 123456. I remembered it at 123452 and then again at 123458. I guess the next really good one will be 222222.
I expect this is because I devote too much attention to things outside the car, like the lady who ran two stop signs to get in front of me (I presume she believes, as many do, that stop signs and painted markings on the pavement in parking lots are purely decorative, like the buildings in Disneyland's "Main Street USA"), or the one who turned right against a sign specifically forbidding it.
Anyway, Sarah's in school now, wrapping up the first short week of first grade in Ms. Collins's class. When she gets home, she usually can't wait to race up the hill behind the house to see if Zack is available. I think today's Zach's first day of kindergarten at a different school. Their street is in a different neighborhood from ours, and he'd probably go to a different school anyway, but he goes to yet another school where he can get all-day kindergarten. The two of them usually either vanish up the hill or they troop through our house, getting ice pops from the freezer in the garage before bouncing on the trampoline. I bounce with them for a while, but stop when I get too old. I mean tired.
There was some excitement when I heard on RASFF that I could get the hardware on my Halliburton Zero suitcase (the Airstream trailer of luggage), and after an exchange of information, I found that it was actually going to cost $100 or more. It was Mom's case, and just about the neatest suitcase I've ever had. It still bears the luggage tags from Houston airports, which means it was about 1983 that enthusiastic baggage handlers succeeded in busting the latches off of it. ("High five, Lenny!") We'll probably budget to get it done some day, and I'll also use solvents to get the old tape off of it that held it shut on its return flight from Colorado.
Sarah has been asking me to play chess with her. She wanted to use my little magnetic set, which I've had for 35 years or so. I was reluctant to start losing the pieces, so Cathy brought home a chess/checkers/Chinese checkers board, and we've been playing with that. She gets discouraged that she can't do as well as a 51-year-old man who's been playing since he was her age, but later on she wants to try again.
Did I mention that her apple trees are finally in the ground again? We transplanted them from the pot that I had been keeping them in last week. Their odyssey started in a pot on the porch in Massachusetts, grown from seeds out of apples Sarah was snacking on -- her idea. When they got big enough for it, I put them in the ground out front of our house in West Springfield, and they spent the winter in the ground under a bunch of snow. When we sold the house, I put the four seedlings back in a pot and they traveled in the front seat of my car and lived on the balcony of the apartment for two weeks, then I had them in the sun room. Realizing soon that they were baking back there, I brought them in for first aid, and then let them be out on the deck for another three or four weeks, getting their strength back (by this time, there were two of them). Now they are in the ground, and oh! the difference to me. The big one was lying down a day or so later, and I took care of that. Now it looks like something has eaten the leaves off of it and some of the stalk -- probably the groundhog that lives under the back of the house. I've been ignoring it so far, but it if meeses with those trees, I'm going to see about trapping it. Maybe I should see if the garden center has protective devices for young, vulnerable trees, while I'm at it.( photos beyond the leap )