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reading tiger

Notes from Michigan

1. International students at the MSU Credit Union gave my children a toy while the latter were waiting for me in the van in the parking lot with my mother. It happened to be a monkey, but as I think my children were probably passing for white (or at least not black) at that moment it's most certainly coincidence. My mother, bless her heart, checked in with me that it was OK for them to have it. "I don't argue with Providence," was my reply.

2. April didn't want to come home. "One more day!" The kids were also plotting on how to build a house *and* a play house in my parents' back yard and move in.

3. The kids got to experience their first real thunderstorm. Lightning, thunder and pouring rain. So much rain that we were stuck at a friend's house down the street on a playdate and my mother had to come drive a whole two blocks to come pick us up, umbrella in hand, so we weren't drenched by the walk home. April turned off all the lights in the house so she could see the lightning better.

4. My youngest sister makes guacamole exactly the way I do. Yum. As we are 20 years apart, there is no explanation for this except convergent evolution.

5. So many insects. The mosquitos weren't so bad this year, but my children are now expert cricket catchers. They kept threatening to feed them to us for dinner. April also caught several lightning bugs. We even saw a cicada in its larval form briefly.

6. We had some excitement with my parents' German Shepherd, Dexter. First he got aggressive at my brother's visiting dogs, snapping at them but not drawing blood. Then he started barking at my children and chasing them out of his "room." (He left off at a sharp "Hey!" from me.) He spent a lot of subsequent time crated, but it happened near the end of our trip and he did get to also spend time in the back yard, so I didn't feel too guilty. Dexter was apparently the runt of the litter and remains extremely timid and fearful to this day -- even though he's now huge. There is a ham-handed moral lesson in here, I know. He came up to April on the last day and put his head under her feet in apology.

7. I got to have my very first experience of Flying With Migraine yesterday. It is good that I have mild migraines as these things go, and the vertigo part was very interesting while being all up in the air. It is not so good that I forgot to pack Excedrin. I just assumed my usual small bottle was in my bag. Oops. It is also good that my children are fantastic travelers and just sat and watched "My Neighbor Totoro" and "Pocoyo" DVDs until we landed in SF and I could buy some analgesics.

8. Places visited include the Potter Park Zoo, the spooky empty playground at Wardcliff Elementary (now decomissioned), the MSU Dairy Store and the Children's Garden nearby, also my mother's office at the School of Packaging, the water park at East Lansing with its concrete lagoon and froggy water slide, which may have been my favorite. I also got to visit the shiny new Apple store in East Lansing thanks to computer shenanigans.

9. We also went over to my friend ML's twice. (See stranded on a playdate, above). She has a trampoline in the back yard and my friends, April singing "Let It Go" at the top of her lungs while bouncing on a trampoline is one of my favorite things to witness ever. ML's eldest daughter gets extra bonus points for joyfully playing Beyblades with my children for at least an hour.

10. I am apparently very popular with cats. Especially calico cats. Especially old and grumpy calico cats who don't particularly like anybody else.


Great to hear the stories! So sorry about the migraine.

i'm not a Frozen fan, but the idea of April singing that song on a trampoline is fantastic.
I wish I had video.