|From a game of Creationary. Caroline's castle, my firehouse.|
My band had a performance Thursday in Limerick Township, which was the second time in five days my family found itself out there. The concert was at an unusual time, 6 pm, but that afforded an opportunity for Sam and Caroline to hang in there long enough for a concert. Our first time in the township was Sunday when we, surprisingly, purchased new furniture for the living room.
Our second instance of spending money like sailors on shore leave was a source of angst for the week. We decided to install central air conditioning. I spent the first part of the week meeting contractors who sized up our home's potential for the project. I actually did my homework and solicited estimates from four firms. Friday I settled on the winner and made the deposit to get the work underway. I used the word angst as I got into this tale: I didn't enjoy entering into a process where I contacted four businesses knowing full well that I would say "Sorry, but no" to at least three. I also didn't enjoy the 24-hour window of time in which I was weighing the costs and benefits of various BTUs and SEER ratings. Still, it's about time we did this. After all, three of the four members of this household live here through the days of the hottest months of the year, and increasingly Sherry and I do a lot of work in the home. It makes sense that we do so in some degree of comfort.
Sunday featured a trip to the Johnson estate for a belated celebration of the Fourth of July. All were able to gather save for my nephew, who was away. My brother-in-law and I holed up in the basement for a bit too long re-waging the Cold War (in which the U.S. eked out a one-point victory).
Sam, Caroline, and I ventured to the library for our second trip of the summer. For the second summer in a row, I've resolved to pick a day of the week and just pick out a new series of books for us to enjoy for the week.
An interesting moment of frenetic craziness: Within a half hour on Thursday, my daughter had two friends visit and I received phone calls from three individuals on three unrelated issues of pressing importance. I don't know if the phone rang at all the rest of the week.
Sam, Caroline, and I ventured down to Ocean City, NJ for a day on Wednesday. The weather was miserable (a mid-afternoon thunderstorm chased us from the beach), but we enjoyed the trip regardless. Our neighbor was nice enough to invite us down, and I enjoy spending a summer day with them. I even got to fit in a taut game of Ticket to Ride with the New Hampshire wing of the family.
The best surprise of the week was the way our first camping trip as a whole family turned out. Sam and I spent an overnight at Site 1 of Hickory Run State Park in April and resolved to stay again. I reserved two nights at that same spot. Originally I was going to venture up Friday and then Sherry would join me Saturday. At the last minute, Sherry decided to come on up with us Friday. The four of us had a blast hiking and making a campsite work. We did three separate hikes at Hawk Falls, Fireline Trail, and Shades of Death. We visited a cold lake where I harassed geese, attended an astronomy presentation, and made a brief trip to the Boulder Field there. We also discovered that the four of us enjoy camping and unplugging for the occasional weekend. I'm stunned at the kids' patience through a night of rain and two failed attempts to start a camp fire. I invite you to check out the album.
Supporting videos might be available on YouTube. I'm still working out the kinks of using it for family videos.