When I was a kid, I played with my cousins at my grandmother’s house in Pennsylvania for two weeks every summer. There were five of us all staying in her house along with our parents, although the fathers didn’t stay as long as the mothers, and the mothers played a lot of golf.

These cousins, with five locally and two more visiting from Juneau were, as my mother would have said, like whirling dervishes in my house and yard last week and it was crazy and fun and noisy and just plain good for the heart (and soul). Especially thanks to Auntie JJ and Uncle Bryan who blew in from Dutch Harbor and before flying off to Spain  Principal JJ organized a group photo. Thank God someone was in charge.

Still, riding my bike 80 miles or so on Saturday was kind of relaxing after all that. I only had to provide snacks and drinks for myself. ¬†Now the red heads are back in their house in Juneau, and the blondes and brunettes are sleeping in in theirs, thanks to the rain (we needed it) and the fathers are back to work ( one is on his boat fishing, another is healing bones and muscles, and a third is doing his best to save wild king salmon from extinction) and the mothers and grandmothers are back to work (writing payroll checks and a book, matching Big Brothers and Sisters with “Littles”, and caring for a newborn.)

In other news, Chip and I won our division of the bike race (!) So that was fun. We have been riding in it for half our lives now.

Last night there was a break in the rain clouds, and so Chip and I ate out on the porch, but we had to move because of the dive bombing hummingbirds– I finally managed to refill the feeder– and then I walked over to the greenhouse to pick some basil, and the tomato plants needed tying up. Little James and I had just done that on Thursday, and I commented to Chip about how fast they are growing, and couldn’t explain it– except sometimes benign neglect works? And Chip said: excuse me, but I cut the trees. They are growing because they have sunlight again.

Yes, he has been tidying up, and the spruce trees have grown as fast as our kids– twenty five years ago they were waist high too– and now their children are the same size they were when we built that greenhouse, and the soft weathered deck was crisp and new. It’s a nice feeling, to be in this timeless time-passing summertime place.