Fry Lodge Creativity

Half days of school all week means lots of extra time at home to do all kinds of things. We started the afternoon with logo design for our upcoming summer ProjectWA road trip. Ruby was particularly interested in this assignment. We like her design so much, we’re considering using it for our official ProjectWA tee shirts. I think Ruby has a future in graphic design.

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This afternoon, we moved on to Henry’s science homework, which involved creating a device that would count 60 seconds consistently. Henry and Kristine took on this assignment, using sand from the beach, a funnel and a plastic bottle. After several attempts, they determined the exact amount of sand that would take 60 seconds to fill up the bottle. Well done, Fry Lodge engineers.

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Longest Bedtime Story While Child Sleeps

Grandma and Grandpa Eiting gave Henry the 2016 Guinness Book of World Records for his birthday. Tonight at bedtime Henry asked if I’d read out loud from that book instead of Percy Jackson. No problem. I became totally engrossed in this fascinating book, amazed by some of these crazy records. The longest bicycle wheelie in one hour is 15.04 miles, by the way. I was so into the book, I didn’t notice that Henry fell asleep almost immediately. I was reading out loud, to myself, for at least 20 minutes.

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Number 9

Fry Lodge hosted nine of Henry’s friends for his ninth birthday party today. Big success – complete with capture the flag, foursquare, cupcakes and corndogs from Tommer. One of Henry’s sweetest gifts was this homemade sign from his buddy Silas – hand painted and milled from a Lopez Douglas fir. Happy almost ninth birthday, sweet Henry.

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

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We had a bit of a bumpy start at Fry Lodge today. Damage report: one bruised head, a downed fence, and two lost kayaks. Henry will be totally fine – His bandage makes his injury look worse than it is. We’ll repair the fence. And, the kayaks have been recovered.

It all started when Ruby woke me up at 6:30 this morning by saying, “Dad, the boat’s in the water.” That’s normally not a cause for alarm. Unless your boat isn’t supposed to be in the water, which was the case with our boat. High winds and an extra high tide had dislodged Emotional Rescue III from the beach. Knowing our boat was tied up, I wasn’t too concerned. Until I realized that our kayaks were not tied up. And, they no longer were anchored by being full of water – thanks to the work Henry and I did last weekend. No good deed goes unpunished. I shot out of bed to look out the window. The kayaks were nowhere in sight. Damnit.

I quickly pulled on my pants and boots to inspect the beach, where the wind was pushing water up onto the yard and trying to blow me over. As I looked down the beach, I saw a hint of yellow about 200 yards away; so I ran up the driveway and down the road. Luckily, the wind was pushing both of our kayaks against the shore. I scrambled down the bank and hauled up the red kayak, which was about 100 pounds heavier than normal due to all the water in it. Just then, Henry and Ruby showed up. Did I mention it was 6:30 AM? A little excitement gets anybody dressed, I suppose. As I moaned about the shape our kayak was in, Henry said, “well, Dad, at least we still have a kayak.” Always the optimist, that Henry.

The next challenge was how to retrieve the yellow kayak, which was further down the beach, stuck into a steep bank of brambles. I decided to get a paddle and crawl down to the kayak so I could then paddle it back to our beach. There’s nothing quite like sitting down into a seat of icy water first thing in the morning. It took some effort to paddle against the wind, but I eventually got the kayak back to Fry Lodge beach.

Back on our property, I noticed the wind had knocked down part of the fence.

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That was the second piece of bad news of the morning. What was the third? Just then, Henry came stumbling back into the house holding his head. On the walk home, a tree branch fell and hit him on top of the head. He was OK – until he noticed the blood streaming down the side of his face. It really was a minor scrape, but head wounds tend to produce more blood than other cuts.  Kristine was ready with the first aid kit.

Once Henry calmed down, the first question he asked was: “Does this mean I can stay home from school?” Fry Lodge policy stipulates that any head trauma results in a day off from school.  Ruby, ever the empathetic sister, made the case she should stay home, too; but in the end, we decided she could soldier on while Kristine and I took care of Henry for the day.

All of this activity happened before 7 AM.  We’re glad to have retrieved the kayaks, which we would gladly sacrifice a million times for a healthy Henry. We’re glad he’s OK. From now on, we will all be extra careful while walking during windstorms. Oh, and maybe I’ve learned enough lessons about what happens when you don’t secure a vessel.

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Springtime Boundaries

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After a fairly productive Sunday that included a run to the dump and preparing Ruby’s bedroom to be painted, I settled in to do some work on my laptop – looking forward to some time off my feet. My butt had just hit the chair when Henry and his buddy, Rudy, came in and asked if I’d get the kayaks out so they could paddle around the bay. How could I say no? I’d much rather have them outside than have their noses in screens playing Minecraft. I’d been thinking for weeks about how I needed to empty the water that’d collected in the kayaks over the winter. The boys helped me scoop and sponge out the ice-cold, algae-filled water, and then they were on their way. They had a great time, and I’m glad I didn’t succumb to the screen time alternative.

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As soon as I sat down again, Ruby and her friend, Audrey, came in. Ruby said, “Dad, can you mow the lawn?” That’s where I drew the line.

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