Three things I’m loving this week

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A fabulous long weekend. Well…Erieites, we cannot complain about the great weather we had for Memorial Day weekend (OK, full disclosure, I was annoyed at the humidity and heat…why must we go from freezing to sweating to death in a week?) ANYWAY…..we made the most of the weekend, and three of the four days I was on the water ‘yaking (and I’ve got the paddle blisters and sunburned back to prove it).

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Baby black-capped chickadees. Squeeee! I love, love, love little black-capped chickadees so I cannot even tell you how thrilled I was to learn that the bird building a nest in our brand new birdhouse was a little mamma chickadee. Soon, there were 6 tiny speckled eggs (I know because I kept opening the lid to peer in). A week later….just when I thought maybe the eggs were all duds, I came home to find five teeny tiny super-ugly chicks in there. (Still one egg to hatch). Now, I just need to protect the fledglings from all the furry four-footed serial killers on my property. (When they are learning to fly — in about 10-15 days — is when they are most vulnerable.)

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A second kayak. We bought another kayak this weekend (the orange one above) because it’s boring to go alone and two means I can take one of the girls or Dan with me, or let the girls go while Dan and I sit on the shore with a book and a beer. I actually like the new kayak better — it’s heavier, but it has more “extras” (a place to hold your paddle if you are not paddling, a big dry bag space, etc.) and also has a built in wheel on one end that makes it easy to lift and push around.

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Erie. Say what you want about this “blue collar” or “rust belt” town (as the national media like to label us), but life is damn sweet here in the summer. Last night, Kelly and I drove to the east bayfront, parked at DonJon Shipping and rode our bikes along the trail (and along the water) to Sara’s (ice cream stop!) and back. As we circled our bikes around the yacht club, Liberty Park, and Dobbin’s Landing for a 14-mile roundtrip ride, we admired the geese (and goslings galore!), watched dozens of sailboats racing in the bay, and took in another awesome Erie sunset.  We waved to the kids playing mini golf on State Street, stopped to see what the fishermen (and women) had caught, and swung by the U.S. Brig Niagara to get a closer look. Life is good here…it really is.

Three things I’m not loving this week

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Last day of middle-school for Kelly. How did this happen? When? Wasn’t it just yesterday she was graduating from preschool? How can she be onto HIGH SCHOOL next year?

Parent-shaming. When I learned that people (Internet a-holes) were going after the parents of the boy fell into the gorilla moat, I felt sick to my stomach. NPR nailed why with this piece: A Gorilla is Killed and Our Parent-Shaming Culture Springs to Life.  If only people cared as much about each others as they do animals.