The Friday Five!

1. I am only JUST now getting caught up on sleep, mail and everything else I fell behind on during the last week when I was with my extended family on Cape Cod. But it was TOTALLY worth it. Gorgeous weather, cousins everywhere, and lots of laughing and swimming and general silliness. It’s always a long day going and coming back for us—airport, 2 hr flight, rental car, drive to Cape—but once we pulled up at my aunt’s house, which we were renting, I forgot about all that. It was just so, so lovely and reminds me of all the summers I spent there as a kid, running through the woods with my cousins, swimming to the raft during the day and playing night games once it was dark. (“Beckon” was a favorite, a game nobody here in NC had ever heard of. Must be a Massachusetts thing?) I’m a Southern girl at heart, and NC is my home. But a piece of me will always be in this place, looking out at this view.

2. Every summer on this trip there are Big Moments. If you’re lucky, they are GOOD Big Moments (like when my cousin Miranda was married!) and not the not-so-good ones (when I fainted the only time I was catching the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard). This time, the good, for me, was watching my kid swim out to the raft. She had on her puddlejumper, with my husband and I on either side of her, but even so it was EPIC. I cried. (Luckily, I was in the water, and nobody could tell. I hope.) It was just such a Cape rite of passage, not to mention a big kid thing. I still can’t get over it, even though she did it a bunch more times after that. I guess part of it that, up there, part of me thinks I’M still a kid, and seeing her grow up is blowing my mind a bit. In the best possible way, but still: it IS happening. The NOT so good Big Moment came when the tree in front of aunt and uncle’s house, the one that generations of us have climbed on, under which my grandmother, my cousin Kate AND Miranda were all married, suddenly shed its huge, ancient front branch. CRACK! I know, it’s just a tree. But to us…it’s like part of the family. And just like that, the view was literally different. All week people kept stopping by just to stare. It’s so crazy to me to think of this tree that has been there a hundred and fifty or so years, growing and growing, and then one day, suddenly, the branch just goes. There is some metaphor there, but I’m too much of a coward (and getting too close to 50) to try and figure out what it is. So I’ll just say: Wow.

3. One downside to being gone was that I missed the premiere of Good Afternoon America, which is now airing at 2pm on ABC. Regular readers KNOW how much I love Good Morning America, so of course this would be a natural fit for me, even if it wasn’t hosted by Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer, who also host on that show. There is ONE wrinkle, though: 2pm M-F is squarely during my writing time. Like, smack in there. Which is a problem considering I am already challenged enough in the discipline department. I’m thinking I have to DVR it to watch at 5, when I’ve put in my words and time. Which will TOTALLY not be the same, I know. But books don’t write themselves. Or, if they do, I haven’t figured out how to make that happen. Anyone?

4. Speaking of books, I’ve now had TWO experiences of seeing my new paperback covers out in the wild (and by wild, I mean, at bookstores. Not in the jungle or woods. Although wouldn’t THAT be something?). Market Street Books in Mashpee had one of the new ALONG FOR THE RIDE, and I also saw some of them at Target here at home. It’s a crazy thing to ever see my books when I’m not really expecting it—sometimes I think this whole thing is just an awesome dream, and I’m going to wake up back at the Flying Burrito spooning salsa into ramekins—but the new look takes that to a whole other level. I love seeing them in a fresh new way, especially DREAMLAND, which I am especially proud of and always worried didn’t get picked up as much because it had a darker cover. (It is, however, a darker book, so it was truth in advertising, I guess.) Anyway, thanks to everyone who has posted pics over on Twitter of the books in THEIR local stores. It makes me happy. So nice when the internet does that, isn’t it?

5. And now, with the Cape behind us, we’re back at home to the usual chaos. The painters are gone, but we’re about to rip up the carpet in the bedroom. (My husband, as a contractor, sees projects EVERYWHERE, kind of like I see places to could curl up for a nap. It’s all how you look at the world, I guess.) While we were gone, our refrigerator leaked all over the kitchen floor, warping the boards, so now they’re already pulled up, which makes it much more interesting (and perilous) whenever you try to get anything out of the fridge. Our middle chickens are producing eggs, and our tiny d’uccles are getting bigger, with a couple of them attempting crowing. It’s so cute! Although I know that fierce is what they are going for. All this, and it’s only mid-July, with so much summer left. I tried to keep this in mind when I got my first BACK TO SCHOOL flier in the mail today. Don’t rush me! It’s my favorite season, even with the heat and bugs. I want it to last. I’ll be breaking branches soon enough, I am sure. So let me just have this, now. If that’s okay and all.

Have a good weekend, everyone!