Sunday, July 09, 2006

Even Mountain Girls Long for the Ocean Sometimes

In spite of the fact that I "should spend my summer in the mountains" (see silly quiz I posted earlier this month) I'm actually finding myself longing for the seashore a lot this summer. I think because it's been so long since I've been to the ocean and because the Boop has never seen the sea...and boy, does she want to!

We've been reading some stories by one of her all-time favorite authors, Shirley Hughes, and in at least two of the stories we've read over and over this week, Alfie and his little sister Annie Rose go to the beach. Yesterday my sweet girl got out a blanket and lots of plastic play food (along with her fabric rings and some colorful sponges) and set a feast for her bears in our living room. When I asked what she was doing, she announced "having a picnic at the beach!" Hmm. Well, the carpet is sand colored anyway! When she was done, she packed everything up again in her little doll stroller and a backpack and headed "home" with her furry family -- home being her bedroom.

A picnic at the beach sounded like a great idea to me too, and since we couldn't really get there any other way, taking the imaginative route was a terrific idea. It was a perfect time to bring out a book about another family that had to imagine the seaside too. So we read Charlotte Zolotow's The Seashore Book (see above!) a wonderful story about a little boy who's never seen the ocean, but who goes there by closing his eyes and listening to the beautiful word pictures painted by his mother.

We also made a yummy summer drink. We call it peppermint/apple/lemon drink; I adapted it from a recipe my sister Martha gave me years ago. All you need to do is boil 2 - 2 1/2 cups of water, and then steep a peppermint tea bag or two for a few minutes (how many bags and how long you steep can be adjusted to make peppermint as strong or weak as you'd like). Then add about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of apple juice (I used juicy juice, but any 100% juice or fresh juice should work fine). Finally, add a bit of lemon juice, again adjusted to your taste. I added about a tablespoon. Add ice and you've got a really delicious and not too sweet summer cooler. We liked it so much yesterday we made it again today!


Erin said...

Hm, that drink sounds pretty good! I spent yesterday at the peninsula, though I didn't actually get to the beach, which was a couple minutes' walk away. Would've been a great day for it, but I was busy visiting with the people at Nathan's party. I would so love to swim with dolphins someday; obviously that's not going to happen in Lake Erie! But it's pretty nice having it so close - though my favorite swimming place is definitely swimming holes in creeks. Lakes and oceans are a bit too expansive for my comfort...

Beth said...

Hee hee! You're fast, Erin. I just got this posted and was actually about to come back in and edit, and here you are, commenting already.

I've been trying to learn how to post some of those nifty little html tags that show a picure of what you're currently reading. Thus far I've done it once by accident (and in the wrong place) but when I try to do it where I want to do it, I keep getting error messages. Sigh. Of course what I need to be doing is work on my syllabus while S. naps. Should go do that now...

Dana and I are seriously considering trying at least a day-trip in the Erie area, just to show Sarah a big body of water this summer. We're still trying to figure out what we can swing time and money wise, if anything. I may email you soon to chat about what might be some of the best places we could visit, keeping in mind it would be a very short trip with a very little person. :-)

Swimming with dolphins...hmmm... are you a Madeleine L'Engle fan? I love her books, and one of my absolute favorites is *A Ring of Endless Light* where one of the characters swims with dolphins several times. Have you read it? Very fine book.


Erin said...

I have read it, and I thought it was a wonderful book. :) It actually was on the reading list for school one summer, one of several that we could choose from, and given my prior experience with L'Engle - and my fondness for dolphins! - it was easy for me to decide which one to pick. I later read the sequel, "Troubling a Star," and enjoyed that quite a bit too.

That would be great if you made it to Erie! I was just talking yesterday to someone at my brother's party about how people who live in Erie don't tend to appreciate how much there is to do here. I think Sarah would love it - and you and Dana too, hopefully! :)