It’s hard to believe how much bigger the kids are since the last time we visited our friend Sara’s lakehouse 2 years ago. They seemed so little the previous years we’ve spent our Fourth of July here. So much has happened to both our families in the past year, but there’s nothing like sitting out on the dock in the first morning light, taking in all the sparks of light that reflect off the water’s surface. This year the girls were able to swim across the lake to the other side of the dock, with flotation devices of course, but still an accomplishment. They marked their names on the inside of the living room closet, adding their names to the list of family and friends who have completed that swim in past years (never mind that they technically cheated). They’re etched now into the history of the house.
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A visit to the opening of our friend Fany’s little’s storefront adjacent to her production space last weekend in Red Hook. If you’ve been to the High Line, then you may have had La Newyorkina paletas before. We cruised by just as the pinata was raining down confetti and candy. It’s all about the little communities that form, that make us feel like we belong somewhere. I’m trying to see the light in that again.
Bubbles, Pinatas, Confetti. Just another weekend in NYC. Summer’s in full swing. School’s out tomorrow and we rub our eyes in disbelief that the 4th of July is already next week. June was a blur for obvious reasons, but also a month of changes and a shift in plans that were starting to take root a few months before. Somehow, the change seems fitting.
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Can never underestimate the importance of travel, even if it’s just a 4 hour drive away. Sometimes you need to break away from your life to gain perspective on some decisions you’ve been wavering on. I’m always eager to see something new. Time spent with family is good too. As my cousins and I got older, our big extended family stopped getting together for various reasons that our parents never shared. Sometimes years went by. It takes effort to stay in touch, but when it happens you realize how important family can be, especially now that a younger generation is involved. The kids really do love to spend time with extended family. It’s often not “what are we doing” that gets asked at holidays, but “who are we spending it with?”
I also met a long time online friend for the first time this trip. I feel like I haven’t been doing this as much as I have in the past, maybe because I think there was a period of time when I was closing in, but sometimes these meetings just feel right, like picking up a conversation where you had left off in emails, but in person. My friend and I walked around Boston for miles and miles. She showed me some of her favorite streets including Commonwealth Avenue which reminded me of a prettier Eastern Parkway here in Brooklyn. The magnolias were in peak bloom all along the avenue and it felt good to be moving, talking, and enjoying the milder weather and sunshine.
I recently made a set of decisions that I’m unsure of. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I coast solely on my gut and not on careful examination of the pros and cons. Well, let me back up because I think you all know I tend to overthink things. In the end though, even after endless deliberation, I go with my gut. I’m waiting to see if they were the right choices. It can be nerve-wracking.
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A quick trip to Portland a few weeks back. Breakfast at Tasty n Sons. A visit to Schoolhouse Electric.
When we were tossing around ideas for our day in Portland, our friend Jen got a laugh when Mia suggested we “drink coffee and complain about how much our backs hurt”. Because from her perspective that’s the only thing adults ever seemed to do, but it was all in the delivery that made it so funny. Somebody is starting to understand sarcasm, I see. Later that morning, Jen let her sneak some sips from her iced coffee. She’s like the aunt who says yes to all the nos that we dish out (total tangent: what the hell is the plural of no? Nos? Noes?? No’s???).
We discussed childhood schoolyard games over breakfast the next morning and was sort of flabbergasted when Mia told us that in gym they played dodgeball with bean bags. WHUT?! Not only that but you’re only allowed to toss them at your opponent’s feet, not anywhere else. Oh man, that made us laugh so hard. Somehow a little part of me couldn’t help but feel a little cheated that kids these days didn’t have to go through the ritual of childhood gym torture like we did. I mean I hated dodgeball with a passion when I was a kid and always dreaded hearing that game called during gym (I did like Steal the Bacon and SPUD though). What a stupid game. So maybe a part of me wasn’t really that surprised at this wussified version of the game that the kids play nowadays (at least at their school), but sheesh. I mean, bean bags. We obviously had to tell her how dodgeball was properly played, with balls that hurt so bad because you could basically throw them as hard as you could and no body parts were off limits.
And this, of course, reminded me of one of the greatest scenes to ever air on television – the dodgeball scene on the pilot episode of Freaks and Greeks. The girls weren’t so amused when I showed them the clip; they didn’t think it was all that funny (how?!) I guess nostalgia really does play a huge part here because personally, I think this episode is one of the funniest things ever. But I guess you had to be there.
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I don’t want to end the week on a down note. In fact, things are not down at all – anxiety filled, yes, but not down. Just a state of continuous questioning, of which will emerge an answer, eventually. I’ve been asking myself, what am I good at? What do I want to be doing? Turns out these simple questions aren’t easy to answer at all, but I can now answer them in a broader, general sense. I’m prepared for a bumpy ride this year, but I accept the challenge. From talking to so many people the past 5 weeks, seems like many of you are too.
Onto more mundane things…oh, this rain! It didn’t put a damper on this sweet party we attended last Saturday, but we are getting killed with rainy, cool weekends at the markets. It isn’t good for business and we desperately need a nice sunshiny day for a change. The forecast doesn’t bode well for the Brooklyn Flea tomorrow, but Mark will still be there as it is rain or shine.
And finally…Father’s Day Gift Boxes and a pre-order sale all through Memorial Day weekend. Have a great one.
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I’m in one of these phases where I’m feeling out of sync with a lot of people right now. It’s nothing dramatic, but just a slight feeling like I’m out of step with everybody, online and in real life. The boundaries are blurred now anyway. I’ve also been thinking about some people who aren’t in my day to day life anymore. I mean they are there because of the “wonders” of the internet and I can see aspects of their lives that they choose to share, but it doesn’t have anything to do with mine. It almost feels voyeuristic when a friendship is reduced to a few status updates as the remaining thread that connects you. In this way, Facebook seems to magnify that loss of meaningful friendship rather than make us feel connected, when people drift away gradually from your life whether it’s just for a little while or permanently.
I know it’s perfectly natural for relationships to evolve and fluctuate, but sometimes it makes me wonder what happened. These are the things I think about when I sit in my room looking out the window on gloomy, rainy days.
Mia’s been doing this a bit too, something she calls her “dark time”, where she’ll sit in front of our bedroom window with the lights out after the sun goes down and look out the window. I wonder what she thinks about.
Maybe it’s this weather, this crappy no man’s land of weather where we’re somewhere in between Winter and Spring, that makes me want to cocoon myself at home and just listen to music (oh, it snowed again last night – wet, icy, slushy snow). Feels almost like those high school teenage days when shutting everything out but the music on your headphones was the only thing that seemed to make sense in the world.
But I know things are cyclical. March is always a weird, transitional month. Even the business slows down this month, a fact that we can map as a trend from our 5 years of monthly sales data. But sometimes we forget and we freak out over how slow it is and then we remember and go, oh…it’s March.
I know we’ll fall in sync again.
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