Almost all of our classes are done (with the exception of ongoing stuff like karate and violin) and the warm summer weather is here. We've been re-adjusting our daily routine to coincide with the best times to be outdoors. I headed out to pick cherries first thing in the morning while it was still cool, and the kids worked off some debt (yard work pays well around here) and then they set to work on "Kiddyville" which is a series of "houses" or shelters down in the woods by the creek.
M. worked for quite some time on building Miss A. a new home, making a lean-to and then covering it with branches. Once he showed it to her, she moved right in and made herself at home. The kids and their friends each have a home down there, so I'm trying to clear out the newly-sprouting blackberries as much as I can so that they can run around and play. It's cool and shady there through a lot of the day, so it's a nice spot for them.
After we got some lunch, we decided to come inside during the hottest hours of the day from about 2:00 to 5:00. Our projector is set up in the cool, dark basement, so we can go down there and lounge around and watch movies while the sun roasts outside. We had a mid-afternoon lunch in the coolness of the house and ate cherries until we just about burst. Then in the evening, we headed out for a walk to the store and a very late light dinner, as well as some more outdoor time while it was cooling down. One of the neighbor kids was here until 10:00 when it was finally dark.
Taking advantage of the natural rhythm of the summertime weather feels so wonderful. It's like all the day is aligned just perfectly. Miss A. said "We're having a day like Italy!". We have been discussing taking a bicycling trip to Italy in 2008, and had been talking about how in many places there they still have a siesta time as they do in Spain, where we went a couple of years ago. In fact, we totally got caught by the siesta hours when we visited the city of Burgos, because we didn't have any food with us and everything was closing down. We ended up going by a little cafe and getting some pasta to go, but they didn't have any plastic silverware like they would here in America. I guess most people take it home or someplace else that they can eat with their own silverware. So we ended up eating pasta in a park with our fingers like the American barbarians that we were. It was November and bitterly cold, too. Next time we're in a country that has a siesta time, we'll be better prepared. In fact, we'll have lots of practice at it by then!