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Andrea Lani
Mother ~ Nature ~ Writer

Photographs are time machines, and other people's children are time machines (how did that kid get a foot taller and an octave deeper in a month?), and boxes of old letters and cards are time machines. . .

~ Brian Doyle, "Hoop"

The last weekend of May we returned to Hermit Island, where we've gone every May since the twins were toddlers, missing only two years (last year, because of the pandemic, and the year before, because I had to work). Now that my kids are so old, I'm cognizant that every time we do something together as a family, it could very well be the last time. So nothing was going to prevent me from making this trip happen, not work, not weather.

And, oh, did the weather try (as did work). True to form, we had a cold, rainy weekend, despite this having been the driest, sunniest, most beautiful spring and early summer I've ever witnessed in Maine. (We're willing to rent ourselves out to go camping in any drought-stricken locale to bring on the rain.) Sunday night it downright poured, though most of the heavy rain kindly contained itself to times we were in the tent. And you know what? It didn't matter. We've done the drill a million times--keeping everything inside the tent or car, packing extra clothes and blankets, huddling around the fire to stay warm.

The weather didn't dampen the fun, although we didn't do a lot--we didn't hike to the head of the island or bike along the lagoon. I did a bit of lazy birdwatching. We sat on the beach and watched the waves. We cooked and ate--a lot. As much as I wanted to get all nostalgic for those camping trips past (you can see a photo progression of them here), and those freaking adorable little campers, I decided that camping with big kids is even more awesome.The boys had a friend and their bikes, and they careened off to the beach whenever they felt like it. Zephyr made beef stew and Emmet fixed cocktails for the mamas. They split wood and set up their own tents and hauled water (complainingly, as always) and finally learned how to wash camping dishes.


I recently was posed the question: when was the last time you tried something new? I racked my brain for a long, long time before I came up with something (sailing lessons, two years ago). I suppose a pandemic isn't a time to try new things, so I'll use that as my excuse. And now that the worst is over, and we're all finally vaccinated, it's probably time for me to get out there and try new things (or at least leave the county). But there's also something to be said for revisiting the same thing from a new perspective, and with taller kids.
Now Reading
When Women Ruled the World by Kara Cooney, about six women in ancient Egypt who ruled as kinds. I usually get my Egyptian knowledge from Amelia Peabody mysteries, so it's fun to read a nonfiction for a change. It's a fascinating delve into a few anomalous women bucking the system in an extremely patriarchal society (but don't mistake them for feminists--they didn't do anything to advance the lot of women in general; much like a number of women leaders in modern times).
Recent Publications
A Review of World of Wonders

Recent Blog Posts
Book Stack ~ May 2021
Watching the World Unfold


From the Vault
"Boy Trouble" Brain, Child Magazine, February 2016
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Check out the May/June issue of Literary Mama.
I hope you find some island time this summer, friends.
~ Andrea
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