September 23, 2007

Goldenrod and asters

My husband and daughter flew this weekend to Big Midwestern City With the Baseball Team That is Famous For Losing. The trip, they told me, was all about my daughter visiting Grad School Where Urban Sophisticate Learned to be a Reporter. It was about father/daughter bonding time. Really, the trip was for educational purposes and for strengthening their relationship. And coincidentally, as an afterthought really, they just happened to have expensive hard-to-get tickets for three baseball games.

Meanwhile, I had a lazy weekend home with the boys. On Saturday, I took them out to Pretty Colour Lakes, where With-a-Why, Shaggy Hair Boy, and Philosophical Boy spent their time trying to skip stones on the water's surface. It was a lovely evening to be outside. The sun lit up the cedar trees on the other side of the lake, whose waters were shining deep green. When Boy in Black and Skater Boy joined us, the boys took over the empty beach and tossed the frisbee around until after dark. First Extra was just pulling into the driveway when we got home, and the rest of the evening was devoted to music, chatter, and the game Scattergories.

Today was another sunny fall day, and my mother called in the morning to see if we wanted to go on a picnic. After consulting with the boys, I called her back, but no one answered. For the rest of the morning, I called repeatedly. I was reading aloud to With-a-Why and we'd hit an exciting part in the book, but we did stop at the end of each chapter to hit the redial button. But all I got was a dial tone. I decided then that some tragic accident had happened and both my parents were dead. Or perhaps something was wrong with their phone. Eventually, after With-a-Why and I had finished the book, I drove to their house. They had just finished eating lunch, happily oblivious to the fact that I'd been calling. They turned the phone off when they were watching a television show the other night and then just forgot all about it. "I wondered why we hadn't gotten any calls this week," my mother said.

The sun was still shining, so we took a walk along the canal, on a flat gravel path that was once the towpath. Asters and goldenrod bloomed along the edges. My father, predictably, was filled with facts and stories about the canal. He kept describing to the boys what it must have been like to travel along the canal by boat. My mother pointed out the wild grapes growing along the edge of the canal. Shaggy Hair picked some and made us eat them: the grape he gave me was so sour that I spit it out. An older man was sitting on the stones at the edge, fishing, and farther along, we saw a little boy with his fishing pole and his mother. Several times, we heard calls of "on your right" and bicyclists went zooming by. We saw young people running, parents pushing strollers, and several people walking their dogs. A whole flock of geese swam along on the surface of the water, amidst the floating leaves. Creatures of all types seem to be enjoying the lazy sunny afternoon.

Along the canal

12 comments:

Margo, darling said...

Dearest Joe(e), you're going to have to come up for a new name for that Big Midwestern City. We are currently 1st in the central division! Number one! (Not that I'm a huge fan--I just went to my first game on Friday--but still . . .)

jo(e) said...

Margo, darling: My husband and daughter would agree with you. They were at the last three games, and they're ecstatic.

jane dark said...

Sounds like a lovely weekend. And oh, that midwestern city -- it's great!

Sarah Sometimes said...

today was beautiful here too--a good day for volleyball.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

What's a towpath?

Patti said...

We were at Walden Pond. No pictures, though. It was a perfect way to spend the last day of summer.

Magpie said...

Yesterday was gorgeous where we were, too. I got to dig in the garden until it was too dark to continue. Bliss.

Tie-Dye Brother-in-law said...

> What's a towpath?

dictionary.com says:
A path along a canal or river used by animals towing boats.

jo(e) said...

Jennifer: The canal boats were pulled along the canal by mules or horses who walked along the path that ran along the canal -- the towpath.

jo(e) said...

Oh, I see that Tie-dye Brother-in-law beat me to the definition of towpath.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

We have canals here but they're for irrigation, not transit, and in another decade they'll probably all be piped.

It must have been something to see -- mules pulling boats. Stinky, too.

codfish said...

A beautiful pic and a wonderful post, as always! Jo(e), you have to tell me someday over e-mail or something where you live - it really is such a stunning place.