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Sunday, August 19, 2001

Sometimes the sweetest memories can be recalled in a simple shopping trip. It's been a long time since I've bought toys, my nephews having grown up and all (although I did give Eric an action figure for his twenty-fifth birthday, but that's different, isn't it?). Mom wanted to get something for some children we're visiting later this week, and so I gave her a ride out to Target.

My motive was not just to keep Mom from having to persuade her ancient Plymouth to make it through the Sunday traffic. I wanted to go toy shopping, too, even if it was for kids I've never met. I haven't shopped for a ten-year-old boy for (let's see) ten years, I guess. And I don't even remember when I've ever tried to find something to please a twelve-year-old girl.

However long it's been, kids and toys are both different now. Especially toys, I think. We were looking at miniature race cars when I turned the corner into the next aisle and saw the BattleBots kits. I thought they were so cool I almost bought one for myself, but I did talk Mom into getting one for J.

I tried to steer her toward the Harry Potter school supplies for M. They have some really neat notebooks with the insignias of Hogwarts and all the houses at the school. (Except Slytherin. I didn't see anything for Slytherin, but maybe I just didn't dig deep enough.) Mom thought this stuff was too young for M (but it's not too young for me!), and she doesn't know if M is a Harry Potter fan anyway (I'm guessing yes, and I've never even met the girl).

So we found an electronic organizer, in colors a twelve-year-old girl might like. Since she didn't spend over ten dollars on either gift, I'd have to say it was a successful shopping trip. And fun!

cows under the trees

I'm not sure what I was trying to prove when I took this photo. The low tree branches formed long, dark tunnels that the cows used on their daily rounds. I should have known that I was too far away for the digital camera to see what I was seeing.

It was a perfect afternoon here. Perfect, that is, for getting out in the yard and pulling up the high weeds. Some day I'll have this place looking almost civilized. I won't go overboard, though; I don't want it to look like a landscaped estate, when I find such character and charm in the wildness of it. I'd just like to be able to walk across the yard to the back fence without getting burrs and stickers all over my socks. I don't think that's too much to ask.

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