We like to try to plan things to do with them on Sunday. Two weeks ago, we took them apple picking, an annual event where they also get to select their own pumpkin. Last year, Ben was so attached to his pumpkin, he took it to bed with him, only relinquishing it when it started to smell a little too ripe.
This past Sunday, we had no real plans but since the weather in Connecticut is looking and feeling more autumnal, Jay wanted to prepare the wood stove for the winter. Few things make my husband happier than splitting, stacking and maintaining his woodpile. The anticipation of lighting the wood stove at the first hint of frost is so overwhelming to him that I've had to declare that the outside temperature must be no greater than 40 degrees before he jumps the gun. We've had a few occasions in the past where Jay gets excited because it feels "raw" out so he lights the stove in the basement. If it isn't really that raw, but actually 55 degrees, the prematurely lit wood stove has driven us to open windows in response to a house that is now heated up to a balmy 85.
Being a firefighter while in college has also made Jay a stickler for cleaning the chimney and the wood stove in order to rid them of any nasty hazardous creosote. Even though we have a Cape Cod style house with a steep roof, Jay walks it easily while it terrifies me. He doesn't quite dance and sing on the roof the way Dick Van Dyke did in Mary Poppins, but the soot-smudged image of Jay usually inspires me to sing songs from the musical the rest of the day. This Sunday morning, Ben had no interest in helping his grandfather, so he directed his 5-year-old energy to drawing facial hair on people in the newspaper. Eight-year-old Amanda was Jay's little helper, holding the ladder, carrying out wood stove pipes to be cleaned, and basically making her grandfather feel good about being able to share with her.
After fulfilling her chimney/wood stove cleaning duties, Amanda joined her brother at the kitchen counter to draw, but she also wrote a short story. It was so cute I'm sharing it here with the spelling corrected for readability.
The Mysterious Sandcastle
Once day I was walking on the beach and I saw a mysterious sandcastle. I dipped my finger in the moat and I shrunk. Suddenly the drawbridge fell down. There were two men guarding the sandcastle and I snuck past them. Once I got in I heard a rumble; it was a king and a queen and they said, "If you want to stay here, you have to haul firewood and clean the chimney." I said, "Okay!"
But then I heard my name and woke up. It was just a dream.
|Ben, Jay and Amanda at Holmberg Orchards|