We had a beautiful long weekend in Erie. We spent almost every moment we could outdoors, from drives on the peninsula to shore time by the lake to playtime on the sweet girl's favorite sandy playground to s'mores around our trailer-side firepit at the campgrounds in the evening. We also got to see wonderful friends for dinner on two successive nights. Despite some stressed moments (we continue to be very concerned about D's mom's deteriorating health and will be making another trip soon to see her) and our usual sparse accommodations in the trailer (made even more rustic this year since they'd opted to improve the bathroom facilities but take out the shower) we really had a lovely time.
One of my favorite parts of the beautiful flora and fauna on Presque Isle are the cottonwood trees that seem to grow everywhere. These are tall, beautiful trees that rustle with a hushed music in the frequently strong winds. It was the sweet girl who pointed out that the back of the green leaves seemed to shimmer with silver -- the leaves are a kind of greenish-gray. Coupled with the few eager leaves already turning yellow in anticipation of the autumn, there was a lovely silver-gold quality to some of the trees. It made us think of the Mallorn trees of Lothlorien, and S. and I ended up calling them Lothlorien trees every time we traipsed under another stand of them near the beach.
I love seeing S. learn to love Tolkien. We're nearing the end of The Two Towers, and every time Tolkien stops to describe the phase of the moon and the quality/timing of its light, she practically shivers with delight. I love that our daughter, so like us and yet so uniquely her own self, loves him as much for his scientific accuracy as she does for his poetry. She is so impressed that here, at last, is an author who cares about those kinds of details!