Doesn’t that title make it look like I’m about to quit blogging? As if. But, like my cousin Di, you may have rather desperately wondered where I’ve been. I pride myself on making people feel desperate. As if. No, I’ve just…not been blogging. Spending my time going on walks, getting sunburt, painting pots, gardening, working, working up a sweat, eating malt eggs, watching Q, shopping for shoes, and playing croquet. Or, as my dad in a toothache induced stupor called it, crochet.

I went over to my parents’ for dinner, and one thing turned into another, and after a glass of wine, dinner, coffee, an ice cream cone, and beating up my not-so-small cousins for a while, I found myself playing croquet. At dusk. On the ever-so-smooth surface of my parents’ back yard. How do normal people play croquet? I have no idea. Jon seems to pride himself on finding the worst terrain and oddest corners for wickets. Around the pine tree, across the cement walk, around a corner of each shed, through the raspberry bushes, up against the rhododendron, and across a stretch of bumpy grass. With each shoddy hit came Jon’s exclamation, “Oh, it hurts!” But he got his dues when, nearing the finish line in almost complete darkness, he lost his ball in the heap of odds & ends under the pine tree. It hurt, but he had to forfeit. Strangely enough, the ball was later discovered under a bush on the opposite side of the yard. Cousin Donovan,* the competition crushed, rallied to finish first, and I managed to beat out Alexis in a last minute show of skill.

I promised Di I’d show her the shoes – but that’ll have to wait until tomorrow when I’ve gotten some sleep. I swear, I can barely remember the days when weekends meant sleeping in. Now weekdays are my only chance, and not many of those if Kate & I take up running again. (Oddly enough, the shoes motivate us to run. Run for the shoes! You can do it! We begin tomorrow.)

*Being, of course, the cousin of our cousin-by-marriage. We feel that Cousin Donovan has a pleasantly Dickensian ring to it and usually employ the name in his absence.