Wednesday, July 28, 2010

fawing over it

On Monday morning it was quiet in the house because my boys were still at their cousin's after traveling to Cedar Point. I missed them and wished that they had called me like I asked them to, so I knew how things were going. I looked out the window at the lake like I always do, and saw a deer standing out on the swampy peninsula that juts into the water behind our house. We see deer all the time, but this was an unusual place and time of day for that. So I looked a little closer and saw something else over to the left.

A baby fawn! Just barely visible. I watched as the doe very cautiously inched away from where the fawn was. She would go a little further each time, and then look around to see if anything saw her. I have heard that does leave their newborns all day so they can forage for food without attracting attention to the helpless little one. Eventually, she left the area, but I knew where her baby was!

I have always known that fawns were being born behind our house, but I usually only get to see them once they are walking around. I couldn't help it, I decided to go look, and sure enough, there it was.

It was so sweet, and tiny.

Later, I went to pick up the boys. I asked Jeff why he didn't call me from the park and he said that I worry too much and shouldn't need to know whether he's okay all the time. I told him about the fawn and he couln't wait to see it. We went to the same spot and there it was. Jeffrey was enthralled. He wanted so badly to reach out and touch it, but understood that he shouldn't do that. He said that he also wanted to pick it up and bring it home and put it in a box and feed it from a bottle. I explained how the mother would come back eventually and take care of it. He didn't think that was very nice of the mother, but I told him that is how they do it. I assured him that when HE was a baby I barely ever put him down or let him out of my sight, which is true.

Still, Jeffrey worried about the fawn and whether the mother would come back for it now that our scent was all around the area. I could tell that he had fallen a little in love with it, just like I did. It was like having our own special, precious secret, and we knew just where it was and could go see it whenever we wanted.

The next morning the first thing we did was go and see if it was still there. Sure enough, it was, but in a slightly different spot, which meant that the mother had come back and was still protecting it. We showed Tim this time, and he loved it too. We could tell that it was already changing, the fuzzy fur was flatter now and the nose looked longer and more deer-like.

And then that evening, Jeff saw the mother deer leading the fawn away, into another more wooded area where we wouldn't be able to find it so easily. Jeffrey was sad that now we wouldn't know exactly where it was and go see it when we wanted to. I told him that we would still probably see it going around as it got old enough to walk, but we both knew that wouldn't be the same. It would be a little less ours now. Kind of like when your child goes far away for the whole day, and you don't know how he's doing. Jeff rolled his eyes and said its not the same at all, but it is, a little, and now he knows it too.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day in Detroit 2010

Today was the day I put the boys in the car and drive them out of suburbia and into the big city of Detroit to spend some time with their Aunt Becky, who seems to know everyone and everything around there.

First we stopped in the small city within a city of Hamtramck. We went to see Hamtramck Disneyland. If you have never seen it, you should go. This sign will help you find your way:

And this is what you will see there:

It even has Elvis!

After taking that in, we went downtown to the streets of "The D."

Becky knows a man she calls "Old George." He is the caretaker/security person for the building that used to house the Detroit Federal Reserve.

Hardly anyone besides Old George ever goes in there anymore, but we did.
Here you can see his "office" set up in the lobby, as well as those round holes coming off the balcony above which were for security guns to point through.

We got to go all through the place, even the dark parts where we needed to use flashlights. There was a cool balcony where we could see this view of the city:

And we went down into the vaults, where they used to keep the money. Jeffrey looked around, but did NOT find any leftover millions laying in the corners.

The walls of the vaults are five feet thick, and the doors are amazing. I liked the way the combination lock looked:

The hvac room was also scenic:

After that, we took a peek in the Penobscot building, where Becky explained to the boys who the Penobscots were, the style of architecture, the type of metal used, the meaning of the airplanes, and how a letterbox with a mail chute works.

We also checked out the Guardian building, an art deco architectural wonder:

Then we walked through the city center to the teen-pleasing Hard Rock Cafe.

Tim was impressed with the light fixtures in this room, and was able to quickly calculate the value of the cymbals they used to make them.

Last on our tour was this very meaningful historic place:

Where many decades ago if a lovely young typist had not caught a glimpse of the handsome delivery guy...

Okay, so my parents were nerds who met in a library. Now you know where I got it from.

The Detroit Public Library is more interesting inside than you might think:

The boys could not guess what these funny cabinets with the little drawers were for, so Becky showed them how to look up names to trace their geneology.

They also got to meet Anna, another friend of Becky's, who showed them this strange machine called a microfilm.

And that was the end of our day. As usual, it was a day of discovery, and curiously fascinating places and things to see.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Not Hal and Weird Al

Last night I found myself going to a Weird Al Yankovich Concert.

The original plan was for my brother-in-law Mark to take my boys and his kids using tickets that he got half-off through his job. Then my sister Becky and her husband Hal were added to the plans, since they like Weird Al and going places with their nephews and niece. When I went to drop off my boys, Mark offered me the opportunity to take his place at the concert. I agreed.

The tickets had to be picked up at the Will Call desk and Mark was supposed to show a picture ID and his credit card. We decided that Hal would pose as Mark since I probably couldn't pull it off convincingly. Since there were seven of us, we had the idea to take Mark's large Ford Expedition and only pay for parking one car.

Hal drove, and we realized that he was driving Mark's car, had his credit car and ID, and his two kids in the backseat! It was like voluntary identity theft! A weird start to a weird evening.

This was going to be the first real concert experience for all of the kids, and I was excited for them.

I still remember my first concert. I went to see Journey in the late 70's with my friend Tracey, I think it was in Cobo Arena. Our seats were so high up that when we stood on them we could touch the ceiling. I can remember seeing Steve Perry pacing around on the stage, and that the air smelled kind of funny in there.

The Weird Al concert was perfect for these kids. Jeffrey was already a fan, and it had a little bit of everything. I liked it a lot. There were many pop-culture references that had me smiling. Weird Al has been around a long long time, and he made a point about how famous he is. We were all laughing and singing along, having a ball.

Finally, the band thanked everyone and left the stage. My nephew Cale then said to me, "It's over, let's go now."

I told him that if we made enough noise Weird Al would come back and sing another song. He didn't believe me! So he stood there while I screamed and hollered...and then the encore began!

It's a great day when I get be with the kids as they are experiencing something for the first time. The weirdness will always be remembered!