There are always incredible stars. On the clearest nights the Milky Way is visible from the front yard; we saw that, and a bright shooting star, and, thanks to the telescope a family friend had brought, Saturn and its rings. The Big Dipper tilts just over the top of a tree behind the house.
Hands-down, Lucia’s favorite activity all week was collecting stones in her bucket, which she (and, consequently, Andrew and I) calls a “bubbik.” The road past the house is unpaved, awash in tantalizing gravel; and the drive up to the house, which is just a worn path in the grass, also has its share of stones. Each morning, barefoot Lucia would traipse down to the road and spend a long, long creating her collection. If you ever join her on one of these expeditions, don’t bother trying to help her; she’ll reject each stone you offer, her eye trained to identify only certain, very particular types of stones, the smaller the better. After gathering some stones, she would return to the house, where she’d show her finds to anyone who was interested. She didn’t seem to mind when, eventually, the miniscule stones got lost in the grass; and she didn’t care about keeping the stones for later. It was the process of collecting that mattered.
Part way through the week, she was collecting with Andrew, who skipped a few stones in the pond. After that, Lucia would sometimes collect somewhat larger stones then walk over to the grassy shore and toss them, one by one, into the weeds.
She also collected small fallen apples from the apple tree by the drive. When Andrew hurled one into an adjacent field to locate the frog pond, Lucia subsequently tossed every apple she found into the weeds in that direction.
Lucia’s inflatable pool was, as always, a huge hit. Pouring water from one vessel to another just does not get boring. She spent most of each day in soaked clothes. “Pool” was often among the first things she said in the morning, along with “tone” (stone).
We also went swimming a few times in the in-ground pool at the Littells’ cousins’ house, just up the road. Lucia liked this, and, given more experience with it, would probably come to love it. She liked sitting on the steps and kicking her feet, and “swimming” across the pool with her rubber duck.
In the utter silence that is the New Hampshire homestead, birds of all kinds can be clearly heard. One particular kind of bird—crows, perhaps—had a loud “Caw! Caw!,” and each time Lucia heard it, no matter what she was doing, she’d lift her head and yell back, “Caw! Caw!”
Bubbles, Swing, Tractor, Car
There was no shortage of outdoor activities this week. Lucia had shoes on perhaps three times in nine days. When I did put her shoes on, she looked at them like they were irksome foreign objects. We blew copious bubbles. She enjoyed a swing we hung in an apple tree. She rode on a toy tractor and in a toy car. Andrew pulled her around in a wheelbarrow. Good country fun.
Bobby & Nina
Lucia is in the process of christening the grandparents. My parents seem to be Papa and Gra, which I think will ultimately become Grandma. During our stay in NH, though we’d been calling Andrew’s dad GranBob, Lucia decided a better name was Bobby, and I think this just might stick; she somehow knew that the Littells have a tradition of calling grandparents by their first names. A couple of times she called Andrew’s mom Nina—short for Kristina—but this seems to have some room to change. We shall see.
Of course, not all was perfect. Lucia threw up on our drive from New York, and then we spent an hour on the morning of July 4 in the ER because we found a tick burrowed into Lucia’s stomach. A nurse on our insurance advice line said preventative antibiotics are sometimes given for ticks, so we decided not to take any chances. Small-town ERs are the best. No wait, quick doctor appearance, then back home. The tick was tiny and not in very far, so all seems fine, no meds required. And Lucia learned the word “tick” like a true country baby.