Inner Tube vs. BoobTube

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We have been enjoying the most glorious (and sticky) summer weather that we have had since I came back from Tucson over a decade ago (read almost 2 decades ago!) It has been hot for several days starting with blue skies and then increasing haziness this afternoon. We have also been enjoying a visit from Alexandria Elliot, a dear young old friend of the family. She is a few years older than MB and graduated this year. My first mixed media textile art piece was created in an attempt (successful) to save her beloved blankie from the rag bag, so I owe Allie a debt of creative gratitude.

Anyway, yesterday it was hot and Alexandria's only real request during her visit was to eat Stewart's ice cream and spend some time in the river so we picked up some inner tubes from Aunt Di's and headed to the twin bridges on Rt 11 to do some tubing. The St. Regis River between Rt 11 and Brasher is very mellow and with the recent rainfall bringing the river level back up, tubing was a perfect Family Home Evening activity with little Maxx. It was his first big water adventure and he really enjoyed it - until he fell off his tube the first time! He kept wanting to remove his life vest because it was squishing his little face up but he was sure glad he had it on every time he fell out. He also learned that one should not splash one's sister unless one can handle retaliatory splashing. He can now say "Don't dish it out if you can't take it back" and knows what it means - an important concept for 4 year old brothers to learn.

The water was as warm as a bath but felt soooo good after a day of stickiness. It was wonderful to lie back and drift peacefully past forests and meadows, admiring the incredibly blue sky and the rocky bottom illuminated through water. A large section of this run is lined with meadows that have been allowed to overgrow in the past couple of decades and you can admire large oak and maple trees overhanging the river bank with young birch trees growing in thick stands behind them. The variety of greens that such a scene affords on a breezy early evening was particularly pleasing. I wish that my digital camera was water resistant, words cannot describe how lovely the light was and how beautiful the trees were.

Another pleasant surprise was a species of tree along the river that I have had no previous experience with. We encountered these trees near the end of the run, overhanging the banks in a slow spot. They have largeish, oblong leaves and at any other time, we would not have paid them any particular attention. Yesterday, however, the were blossomed and their scent was beyond beautiful. The ends of the branches had large clumps of dangling beigeish/ivory blossoms with a very subtle, sweet scent. Their scent was almost like that of grape blossoms and for a while I was looking for grape vines along the river until I caught sight of the blossom clumps hanging from one tree. Anyone have any idea what it was?

The whole run took about an hour and a half and we were sufficiently cool and hungry when we got out. We finished up the evening with s'mores and some sleepy singing up at the Harmon house with Aunt Lue and the cousins. (Sorry about the noisy truck, Uncle Dick!) All in all it was a wonderful night.

Tonight, on the other hand is a bit pathetic. It is hotter and stickier than yesterday and Maxx had his immunizations this morning. Tonight he is sickly and feverish and sitting in front of the BoobTube, sucking up all the Disney movies he can fit in before bedtime. The poor babe. I'm very glad that we no longer have to worry about Polio and Pertussis, but he and I would trade in this miserable experience for floating down the river in an inner tube in a heartbeat!

I'll post some summertime rive photos soon. Fort Jackson park has been particularly gorgeous this summer with a full river instead of an almost dry bed, lush grass instead of shriveled brown fringe and trees that seem to have finally recovered from the ice storm ten years ago. It is high time for a late afternoon photo outing over there!

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