Saturday, June 20, 2015


This year I was just as eager to be done with the school year as the kids were, and ready to take a break from the home improvement grind. So our family has spent most of the month re-setting our gears for summer and getting a little vacation time in.

We hit the long road almost immediately after the last class bell rang to go to my sister Dyan's house in Georgia. Getting there from Iowa is a two-day drive and somewhat of an endurance test, but it was worth it for the week we had the sisters and cousins together. It included a great moment at Indian Seats, a lookout point on Sawnee Mountain, pictured above. We were eye level with turkey vultures wheeling in the sky on a clear and gorgeous day. 

A memorial to Chief Sawnee, a Cherokee for whom the mountain was named.
Dyan lives north of Atlanta, and it had been awhile since my kids and I have been able to avail ourselves of big city culture. So we hit Zoo Atlanta, a small but extremely well-cared-for institution. 

I have mixed feelings about zoos, but realize that they in many cases are the last thread holding together a fragile existence for some animals, including these rhinos, and the pandas that are also a big draw for Zoo Atlanta. 

I loved that they were hosting artists all over the zoo that day. I was struck by how this woman's painting matched her clothing. I wonder if it was intentional? 

My sister and I took a day to have lady lunch and visit the High Museum of Art in downtown Atlanta: 

It's green, it's a chicken. It's absurd. There is so much to love here. 

I love how this icon of a little house is situated in a backdrop of ultra-modern lines. 

But as is usual with me, the stuff I cherish most about these kinds of vacations is often about the moments that don't make for very good bragging or photo album fodder. I'm glad my sister and I cooked together in her warm red kitchen. I'm glad my brother-in-law made me try frozen cinnamon moonshine. I'm glad I had a few hours' reunion with a dear friend I knew in Michigan who now lives in South Carolina. I'm glad I got to sit in a lawn chair by the pool and read while the cousins swam and shouted. I'm glad I was there for my nephew's birthday party for a change, and could marvel in person the fact that at age 12 he's taller than his Auntie Laura. 

Now that we're back, I'm ready to move into "lazy and long" mode. My kids have reading lists and and pool passes and bare feet. I'm working in the garden, and hope to make a few passes at outdoor painting in the weeks to come. 

What's your summer been like? 


  1. I like the small moments in a vacation, too. In a life, really. Glad you all had such a nice time.

  2. So happy that you had a nice vacation and a good visit with family. It really is the small moments that make life so amazing.