As the regulars here know, every year Andy takes off the week of July 4, and this year was no exception. The weather is always a gamble, of course, and this year he hit the jackpot. We had gorgeous weather almost every day, with none of those triple-digit heat waves going on south of us, nor the power outages due to heavy storms. For the first time in many years—possibly since I've known Andy—we did not go up to New Hampshire and watch the corny parade and eat at Polly's and go canoeing.
What did we do instead? Well, we went twice to the beautiful beach at Good Harbor. I'm not much of an ocean swimmer—by which I mean that I would prefer that my feet don't even get wet the whole day—but that's mostly because we prefer heading north when we go to the beach, and when you head north the water is cold. Especially in Maine, don't get me started. There's sometimes one day in August where the water has spent all summer warming up but the air hasn't gotten chilly yet, and on that day I've been known to go in past my knees. Once, maybe, or twice. The Cape is a different story; the water is warm enough down there that I sometimes even think about getting my suit wet.
So what do I do at the beach while the kids are boogie boarding and body surfing and jumping waves? I sit under the umbrella and play Scrabble on my iPad. I do the Sunday Times crossword puzzle. I read whatever novel I'm on. I stretch out on the blanket (read: old flannel sheet) in the sun and close my eyes. I take a walk with Julie and look for interesting shells and rocks (the only downside to Good Harbor is that there's not much to see there in that regard). I people-watch, specifically noticing the moms who seem just like me in every possible way except that when they take off their little T-shirt dress, they're covered in tattoos. In fact, I look at all tattoos, which I somehow find fascinating, and there are so many to see these days. I look away from the obese people taking time out from eating fried food to have a cigarette. I watch the seagulls dive-bomb the blanket of the teenagers nearby who left food uncovered when they went swimming, dumping out the bag of chips with one swift turn of a beak and devouring every last crumb, fighting over sandwich crusts, squawking over the last french fry. I observe diverse parenting techniques ("But, Mama, I'm tired!" "Well, then you shouldn't have gotten up at the crack of dawn, so shut up!"). I evaluate bathing suit choices. I try to decide how old people are, which I find particularly difficult for anyone between the ages of 15 and 30. I play Spot the Canadian. I hold my breath when someone sprays their kids with aerosol sunblock upwind of me, or walks by with a freaking cigar. On the beach.
What else did we do this week? We meant to go to the movies but never managed to get that far. We did watch Body of Lies on DVD, a Ridley Scott thriller starring Leo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe as CIA guys trying to bring down an Al Qaeda bigwig. It was interesting and exciting, and both actors turned in good, solid performances.
Oh, we also went to Kitten Happy Hour at Angell Memorial in the hopes of finding some pals for Gracie, who has been lonely (if her incessant meowing is any indication) ever since her brother Mr. Jones died. We've decided that we want two kittens, preferably littermates, so that they can keep themselves occupied when she's not up to it (she is 11, after all). But no one was just right; either they weren't engaging or there was something not quite right about their look or we just flat-out didn't get that magical feeling. We went back again yesterday but still couldn't make a love match. They told us that they get 5 or 10 new kittens every day during Kitten Season (May to October), so we will go back this week. In the meantime, we are working on picking names, with very little overlap on our lists so far. So they might be Kitten 1 and Kitten 2 for a while, depending on which happens first—finding the right kittens or agreeing on names.
Beyond that, there was a lot going to the pool, and reading (or pretending to read) in the hammock with cocktails, and watching the Red Sox and Wimbledon, and just hanging out. Hope everyone out there in Internet Land had a nice week too.