Saturday, April 28, 2007

Springtime in Boise

It's a wonderful thing. When we moved here in the late fall, all the trees in this, "the city of trees," were bare. It really adds a dimension of excitement to moving to a new city and a new house when you get to see all the trees and plants come to life. Like playing a "what will our yard look like?" lottery. With a few lovely maples I feel like a winner, though our neighbor's tree hangs over the fence and drops an atrocious fuzzy puky-looking mess. It looks to be only a once a year problem, though.

This afternoon as I pulled weeds in the shade of an 80 degree day and my two healthy sons played QUIETLY in the front yard with sticks and dirt and rocks, I figured that if life doesn't get even one smidgen better than this, it will be better than I could have hoped for and more than I deserve.

I managed to work up the courage to take the boys across the street to visit with our neighbors, who were also enjoying their front yard. They have one son who is two days older than our youngest, and I was quite glad to have finally taken the plunge. The boys all played in their yard and both of our kids threw screaming fits when we told them it was time to go home. Very, very embarrassing. "At least they like you," says I, lamely. Ah well. We invited them for dinner on Thursday and they were kind enough to at least pretend they will come.

It's a good thing that Boise turned so lovely this week, for last weekend we went to visit my dad, the guru, in what is one of the loveliest neighborhoods in one of the loveliest cities in the country, Bellingham, Washington. When I look out on Bellingham Bay from his deck I do feel a bit of envy. It was so fun to watch the boys run up and down the same sidewalks and poke around in the same tidepools that I did when I was little. I was very proud of all involved. My dad and stepmom were gracious and accommodating to the wee ones and my boys didn't destroy a thing in a house packed to the gills with precious and fragile things. OK, Willem did de-program the remote control so that it no longer works, but other than that we all emerged relatively unscathed.

Rather than drive the whole way, we flew to Seattle and drove from there. Everyone with small children understands the trepidation with which we boarded the plane. Fortunately, Horizon Air seems to understand the situation. In an era in which airlines are eliminating food, the folks at Horizon Air, bless their hearts, have eased the pain of parents traveling in small planes with young children and the pain of passengers stuck riding in a small plane with young children by offering "complimentary local wines and microbrews," or, as I like to call it, "free booze." Even without the benefit of a glass of wine, the sight of little Nels enjoying his snack and beverage would have counted as one of the sweetest moments of my life. He started planning and anticipating it very early in the day, and had decided that he would have orange juice. When the big moment finally arrived, he lowered his tray with great ceremony. Potato chip. Wipe hands. Sip of juice. Potato chip. Wipe hands. Sip of juice. Boy did he milk it.

And now we are back in Boise with the novelty of a cool basement and a kitty who missed us and neighbors to get to know and mountains for Shaun to ride his bike up (he rode to Bogus Basin; look it up on a map and be impressed) and grandparents arriving soon to watch the kids while Shaun and I escape to Sun Valley to celebrate our 7th anniversary. Hooray for spring.

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