Hi Natalie–

Below, I’ve written a little homage to summer break. Jess is already back in school, and I begin teaching the week after next. I may vanish, as I have 95 students and TONS of writing to grade!


From Blair:

I just returned from joining lunch at Oxford Elementary, Jess’s new school for second grade. It’s a public school (thank goodness), just off highway 7, tucked into a pocket of trees and singing birds. The vibe in that place is good, and on every visit I’ve noticed a shiny red Vespa parked out front. Although we’re all happy with the school, and thrilled with Jess’s new teacher, I am mourning the passing of summer vacation.

Last summer was miserable because I taught an online course and had to stare at the computer screen too much, and Jess was too young to turn loose in the neighborhood. We were bonkers. Too much Spongebob. So this summer, my generous husband asked me to take a teaching break, play with Jess, and paint pictures.

Jess and I did swim, paint flower bed bricks, and play basketball, but John T and I decided to enroll Jess in several camps to keep his brain working. There was Camp Hopewell, art camp, and ecology camp. At camp Hopewell, Jess practiced archery, canoeing, beading, and singing. At art camp, he created paper, books, pinch pots, still-life paintings, and batik cloth. At ecology camp, he collected ancient shark teeth underneath a Mississippi bridge. He was also turned loose into the forest on the lip of a pond. Beneath the Pine canopy, he stalked dragonflies with nail polish remover and a Folger’s can–his “kill box.”

I have a pub table where I’ve collected all of the artifacts from summer and those camps. I even piled on the sand dollars we brought back from our decadent end-of-summer vacation at Sea Island, Georgia’s Cloister.


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