Sunday, August 22, 2010

Diamonds and Girls

Yesterday and the night before, my daughter and I got to spend a lot of time together, just us, while the guys were out camping.

My husband and son left Friday at dinner time to go camping with our son's Boy Scout troop.  It was a gorgeous evening, so my daughter and I enjoyed a trip to Zem's for ice cream and miniature golf.  She got to watch a movie at home, and we had a long snuggle and story before she went to bed.

We started the morning yesterday with our church's tag sale, to raise money for two missionaries.  We went to help out, but of course my daughter couldn't leave without getting something as well.  Many of the items were in a "$1 for a bag full" section, so I gave her a dollar and let her poke around.  She was very pleased with her treasures (which included a dolphin wind chime, two glittery star-shaped pillows, a miniature basket, and a necklace, among other goodies).  I had to ask her to leave a couple items behind when she got overenthusiastic with her bag-stuffing.

After that, we set out for Herkimer, NY, to visit the Herkimer Diamond Mine.  The "diamonds" are really beautiful double-pointed clear quartz crystals, which you can "mine" for yourself, either by digging through the gravel, or cracking rocks with a hammer.  We tried both methods, and had much better luck looking through gravel, although we knew we wouldn't find anything really big that way.  We spent a couple hours getting happily grubby, and came away with a tiny handful of gems.  I'm going to make the largest one into a necklace for her, as a keepsake.
These are some of what we found - my little treasure trove.  Juliana has her own handful of gems, just as nice.  We had a small lunch there, and went on to my sister-in-law's, to visit and have dinner with her.  We always enjoy spending time with Teresa.  We eventually went to dinner at Yetty's in Herkimer (a wonderful little Italian restaurant, one of our favorite places to eat over there).  Before we moved here, I had no idea anyone would even consider making pizza and putting the sauce on top of the cheese.  That's just WRONG,  but it tastes great.  Last night I had eggplant Parmesan and cheesy garlic bread and salad - totally delicious.

My daughter was going to spend the night with Teresa, then go to the county fair with her today, so I left them after dinner and headed home.  I did some shopping for school supplies on the way - it's amazing how relaxing it can be to shop alone.  People who aren't the primary caregivers for children often can't understand that - how wonderful it is to be ALONE sometimes.  To make the evening complete, I got to enjoy listening to an entire album (Journey, "Escape") on the way home.  No interruptions, no arguments, no talking, nothing but me, the music, and the drive.  Sometimes the simple things are the best, aren't they?

My alone time didn't last, though - the guys had to come home early from their camping trip, due to the weather, around 9PM.  Still, I was glad to have them home safe (instead of trying to earn their "Junior Lighting Rod" merit badges), and I enjoyed the change in routine for the day.  We'll have to go to the diamond mine again, and look for more buried gems, but the real treasure was spending time with my daughter.

The Album is Dead

The record album, that is.  I think I may be the last person owning internet access to realize this, but I finally "got it" last night.  You see, I love music, and always have.  I'm not a musician; I just enjoy music, in many genres and from many eras.  Growing up in the 70s and 80s, albums were just a part of life, and I had my favorite artists just like anyone.  Back before CDs, records and tapes were IT, and you had to listen through them from beginning to end, unless you took the trouble to make your own mix tapes (which I also did, and recorded stuff from the radio so I didn't have to buy a whole album just to get a song or two I liked).  Life with music just isn't like that any more.  The age of CDs, MP3 players, iPods, personalized internet radio, and Pandora has made the album all but irrelevant.

I realized all this last night, when I bought myself a copy of Journey's album "Escape" and listened to it from start to finish in the car on the way home from my sister-in-law's.  I was alone in the car (not a normal occurrence for me, to be child-free), so I wasn't interrupted.  I love Journey's music, but I've been listening to it on compilation CDs and YouTube, where I can pick/choose whatever I want.  To listen to the whole original album, in the sequence it was intended to be listened to, was wonderful, and helped me appreciate the music and musicians even more.  Kids these days (LOL!) may not know what they're missing, with their 4 minute sound-bite attention spans, and ability to have everything instantly, digitally at their fingertips.

I think I'm getting old. . . .