trislandRight across the river from the chaos and traffic of the National Mall is a little nature reserve— an island, in the middle of the Potomic, with wild wooded trails and little else, accessible only by footbridge— where you can find respite from the hubbub of civilization. Black Friday found us wandering these trails and marveling at the dancing falling leaves and the deep golden sunlight. Ducks floated in loosely constructed vees down the cold green river eddies, their black-green plumage flashing as they turned and swirled in the late November rays. Bean was fascinated and spent a long time hanging over the wooden railing of the arching bridge, mesmerized, hypnotized by the flowing life. Once his reverie broke, he pretty much ran the entire time on the island, blowing leaves before his flurry of boy-energy. He was only lost twice.

We met some friends there, while Abby spread a homemade quilt of patchwork stars on a bench, and carefully set out a tiny porcelain tea set she had packed and poured tiny portions of lemonade in the little tea cups to share. Jeffrey, more interested in what was for lunch, helped me unpack the picnic we had brought, and distributed the carefully cut sandwiches. I spread out an array of cheese and fruit, and settled in to watch the kids play. A game of hide-and-seek turned into a game of Find Bean, as it always does.

29341_10151171966285963_553044660_nAfter our picnic, we made the mistake of thinking it might be fun to hit the Natural History Museum, and we left the Eden of the island to head across the river. It took an hour, and all the peace and calm of the island was drained away. The traffic in DC was insane, and there wasn’t a single parking spot to be found— anywhere. So we scrapped that, bid our friends goodbye, and went home to bake apple pies instead.8767_10151173887580963_1117363878_n

Through a little alchemy, my pippins and macintoshes and honeycrisps, some cane sugar and fresh nutmeg became this….318902_10151173969100963_999205484_nOn Saturday, for the first time since Abby was born, we went and got a fresh-cut tree. In the chaos of the move, and despite the Tardis moving truck, Fakey Fakerson was unable to join us here in Virginia. He lives now with Mo and her crew in Seattle, and she was awesome enough to send me a picture of him last night.414913_10200141157030722_918379070_o

All three of my kids have asked for hand-knit socks for Christmas. They couldn’t ask for a scarf, or a hat- something easy and simple to toss off the needles— noooooooo. Instead I have to dig out the DP’s and find the time to knit a passel of socks- and figure out how to do it while they are sleeping. Who needs sleep anyway?

Hope your thanksgiving was lovely and you found whatever you were looking for- whether it was crazy sales and bargains on Friday, or the tranquil peace and sunlight that soothed my soul.

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