Monday, August 28

Weekend Sky on Monday

Saturday sunset looking southeast over big beach. Small island is a wildlife sanctuary full of seals. Large ship with tug escort behind. Hard to tell from the photo, but that's one of the largest tugs we've seen. So that boat is Huge. In addition to the ubiquitous seals, we sometimes see river otters, deer, and herons. We almost always see orcas and always see the bald eagles.

Friday sunset looking over north low beach.

10 years of babysitting co-op camping weekends on Lopez Island. 10 years ago the median kid age was 3.5. Almost all were out of diapers; a good thing since there's only a couple of outhouses available. All water must be brought in, all trash taken away. The bigger, sunnier beach is below a 25 foot cliff, accessable by a driftwood ladder. A scary thing with so many little kids, but after a few years, we parents relaxed as all the kids proved themselves capable on the ladder. Last winter must have had a huge storm, since the ladder disappeared and the largest of the driftwood on the beach moved for the first time in family history. We arrived to find a new solution to beach access. Can you see the ropes? Gulp. That driftwood is 30 feet away from the photographer. This year the kids ranged in age from 11 to 18 and all scurried up and down a rope without any problem. (parents? well we coped, but some of us with less grace.)

twenty acres with two beaches owned by the family of one of the co-op moms. She spent her summers here as a child; her husband did as well. He was good buddies with her older brother. She was the easily ignored, best friend's younger sister until he grew up, went away, came back and discovered she had grown up as well. Even though they live only an hour from the ferry terminal, they don't get out to the island often. Two kids, jobs, gigs (he's a musician), soccer, track, drama schedule... Life's more complicated these days.

We had 8 families this year --- 12 girls ranging from 12 to 18 and 2 boys; Zach at 12.5 and a boy a year and a half younger. While there have always been more girls than boys, this was the first year the ratios were so extreme. Zach and the other boy haven't gotten along that well in the past, as the age difference always seemed a gulf, the other boy being more... well, perhaps all-boy is a fair adjective. He's grown and mellowed, so this year they were mostly pleasant with each other. 10 years ago the little girls ran around in clumps squealing and the collection of My Little Ponies seemed endless. (and yes, I'll admit that a three year old Zach helped chase the girls to get them to squeal.) Now the girls still squeal, but are calmer (and curvier!) and the ponies are long gone. Zach prefered to work on a fort than sift the beach for pretty rocks and discuss Project Runway, but did play cards and The Mafia Game with the group. He declined to participate in the teen girls' homemade spin on truth-or-dare --- a cooperative game they call "pass the kiss". (lots of personal questions and cheek kissing, dunno how he could resist :) )

Lots of kayaking in the fleet of boats. We brought our kayaks (the red one and another just like it) 10 years ago and over time more folks have purchased and brought kayaks. 10 years ago the kids all got paddled around by the grown ups. Now they all are competent with the boats.

We used to chase the kids into the tents then stay up around the campfire late. This year it was the kids hanging around the campfire while the parents all turned in.

10 years ago the ferry meant carefully watching the preschoolers, keeping them close. These days the parents play cards or rummikub and the kids? Well, they are somewhere on the ferry and they'll all find the cars when the crew says it's time.


Kathleen said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend, graceful or not! :)

My sons have played the Mafia Game. I had never heard of it and thought one of the neighbors and/or my younger son had made it up. Interesting. Our basement has been the scene for many Mafia Games.

Dorothy said...

Amazing how much life changes in so short a time.

Birdsong said...

What a wonderful saga! I am so glad you left me all the great tips to get through my CeCe, so that I could find this delightful post. I love kayaking in summer, the rest of the year not so much, as I always end up a bit damp:)