I wanted to take a quick break from the Basics series I’ve been working on to share a little home news with you all — of course, the “home” part of the news being somewhat relative, as you’ll see below.
This is pretty much how our Missoula environs have been looking lately. We’ve had what some might call an unfair share of sunny days this year, but even when the sun shines, it shines on wide oceans of white, and it shines in a cold cobalt sky.
However… we’ve had occasion to slip away this week, and we’ve brought the whole family to Santa Cruz. We arranged with both Bella’s and Xi’s moms to be able to bring them, and they graciously assisted us in arranging for the older girls to come. Bella flew out of a different town and met us en route in Salt Lake City, which was quite a coup, and we continued all together from there.
And so now we have quite suddenly exchanged all that white and grey and shivering blue for a whole different palette, a whole different set of rules governing the seasons, a whole different kind of ecosystem, and a whole delicious week all together at the same time to soak it all in.
Yes, these are real, ladies and gentlemen. And they are blooming at this very Leap Day moment. That’s early for around here, but unheard of and unparalleled in Missoula.
Especially on this scale. You can immediately see why I’d say it feels as though we’ve crossed over to the land of Oz, or of Willy Wonka for that matter…
Bella, Xi, and Echo in mid-lemonade-from-scratch-making, got called away on an urgent pretend. What a weird, magical treat, though, to pick ripe fruit (let alone ones that can be transformed into lemonade) in what is most certainly still considered cold, lifeless Winter almost anywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere…
Maybe you can just make out the little bee in the top right above having a delicious Rosemary nectar snack. I’d love to have Rosemary honey, mmmm, or Lavender honey, or even Magnolia honey…
In addition to being wowed by amazing floral displays, making ultra-fresh lemonade, going to the beach(!), and eating so much taffy that our brains hurt (like 6 pieces each!), we all went roller-skating with Grammy. Natalie and I, and all the girls hit the floor, and even Natalie’s Dad popped by for a second, and jumped on a pair of 4x4s.
As a one time serious skating enthusiast, it was so fun for me to be out on the smooth, shellacked-wood floor, cruising along with the breeze blowing back my hair once more. I swept around the painted black oval track that was filled in the center with circles and crescents one could use to practices spins and loops, and I weaved between the laughing children and adults, unable to remove the smile from my face.
After spending the first couple of nights at “Beauty and the Beach”, the name for Grammy and Grandpa Rootbeer’s house, we transfered to our next home base, “Paradise Gardens”, Natalie’s childhood home, where Juju and Gramma Bonnie still live.
Natalie and I went for a walk this early evening, and all three girls stayed happily behind with the grandparents — they were outside, roaring with glee and playing their various games at top speed. We saw the above and other even taller groves of yucca trees as we strolled briskly along, agape at the growing Dr. Suess-y feel of the flora here.
These giant trees wind up in a lot of the local honey, I bet. These in particular line Branciforte Creek, way down below and behind Paradise Gardens.
See what I mean about the Dr Suess thing? This crazy palm tree is just one of millions acting as if their presence here is absolutely normal.
Yep, this is how things were when we left on the walk, and afterward, they were pretty much the same.
All in all, a weird, wild, and wonderful adventure thus far, far away from our home and normal experience of February.
We’re spending our Leap Day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I am so excited, I can hardly believe it. I hope the girls have half as much fun as I am certain to have… and have been having!
And here’s hoping your Leap Day is extraordinary, too.