bikin’. and stitchin’.

We have decided we are only going to do fun things this weekend.

This morning I had the zany idea to go out to Ocean Shores’ Shilo Inn for breakfast. Years and years ago we had brunch there and it was fancy so maybe I was hoping for something to bring that special feeling back (hopefully without the $16-a-plate prices). As it turned out, the brunch is actually on Sunday, while Saturdays features typical breakfast fare, the most exotic item being a “seasonal” fruit bowl (which included sour grapes and wooden strawberries, the latter of which only my children would eat) but at least we had decent coffee – and decent prices, too.

After breakfast we checked out the rather lovely large saltwater aquarium and rather dreadful (but very titsy) mermaid sculpture. Such a successful set of morning activities got Ralph so fired up he would not take no for an answer on a little enterprise he’d been talking about for years, but I’d been hoping he was kidding. He wasn’t.

Now keep in mind a surrey bike looks innocuous (dorky) enough at first but it is in truth, as I found out, both extremely hard work to pedal and also feels very dangerous, as if you are going to tip over any second or fly out of control off the embankment which Ralph came close to many times and would have had not my stentorian voice (Ralph’s word: “sharp”, said while laughing at me) alerted this crazy man to near-disaster. Ralph mocked me our entire ride for being nervous but I knew what he didn’t, that this thing was a death trap. While mid-ride he ran up to the van to get his camera, I gingerly leaned out of my side of the bike (the faggot side that had a steering wheel that steered nothing, and thank God Ralph didn’t get the episode on tape where in a panic I attempted to counter his “driving” [careening] by using it) to feel that center-of-balance point. The bike stayed pointedly and solidly on all four wheels, acting like a car. But I knew better.

Of course it goes without saying that our children, ensconced in the basket in front of us, had the time of their lives. Ralph said he didn’t realize until he watched his footage that I was laughing the entire time we were out at the beach (that’s my mannish voice you hear in every second of that footage). Big Fun Weekend is looking like a good plan afterall.

Now, sadly, a 100% “fun weekend” plan got fucked because I had a prior commitment: see, the minute I felt slightly better after my illness I also knew I had to complete my obligation to finish a quilt for my children’s school. This quilt was a sad enterprise because every thread of fabric and bit of composition had been planned out by someone else – namely, our daughter’s teacher and a friendly neighborhood quilter. It was left to me (and the very vital efforts of my mother) to finish the quilt and finally, a half-hour before the auction tonight at which the item was due, drag it in, fingers bleeding but all smiles to be done, and done doing a very good job (well, except for a detail or two).

My mother and I sew very well together. I probably tease her too much, or rather talk too much shit about my superior speed in the whip stitch (I’m not kidding, I made a joke about it). But we speak our own foreign language of sewing, developed in no small part together but also refined and practiced in many ventures apart. We work well together and laugh and my dad circles in the background and wishes for our attention and makes jokes when he thinks of them. It was good times today.

This quilt is currently being auctioned off at a fundraiser and I feel a real pang that I’m not there – especially since my lovely friend Jen and her family is.

But Family Fun Weekend calls – onward!

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