This summer, for me, has been dominated by problems/challenges/grief that are not mine directly, but affect me because they affect people I care about. (Births, deaths, kidnapping, cancer...) Our family has basically been healthy (we won't count my wisdom tooth extraction and my root canal, especially considering how I much I enjoyed the peacefulness and air conditioning and lack of demands on me while in the dentist's office...), nobody's really been crazier than usual, it's possible I've even been a little less crazy than in some of the last several years. I didn't like the heat and humidity, but I never like the heat and humidity. It was a very busy summer for the children--orchestra, camps, holiday club, mission trip, doing things with friends, visitors, etc. We didn't even manage swimming lessons this year--I didn't bother signing them up in May because the first two weeks were Orthodox Easter vacation, my parents visited, various other people visited, in June in the midst of other visitors I realized we'd missed the first week and there was hardly any point, and then that happened again in July, added to which, Marie and Jacob were gone most of the month anyway. We didn't go to the beach very often, partly because of the busy-ness (most of the trips we DID take to the beach were with visitors--I think just our family went maybe twice...quite a contrast to our first summer here, when we went five or six days a week!), partly because although it was refreshing to BE there, leaving was very stressful every single time, with uncooperative children. We did get up to the mountains as a family briefly, only two nights and Marie stayed home, but it was still good.
In July my morning walks started to peter out, but I scrambled myself together and managed to finish the month with having walked just over half of the days, I think 17. And I bribed myself to walk every single day in August by promising myself that I wouldn't even TRY to run. I did run twice, though, accidentally. The first time was a Friday evening at the beach, which had been very stressful for several reasons, and as it was getting dark and Jörn and the children didn't want to leave, I asked if they minded if I went for a walk. For those who live here and care, we were at the part of Makenzy beach across from Flamingo Hotel (and for those who don't live here but have visited...that's the beach we've usually gone to, this year, anyway), and I started off walking towards the airport, but somehow soon found myself running, and I LOVED it. I ran all the way to the fence around the airport and back. Then just a few days later there was a morning that I didn't get up in time (I don't remember why, probably stayed up too late reading), so that evening I went out briefly, but really, really didn't have enough time, because friends were arriving soon, so started running almost as soon as I left the house. Once I was on the Salt Lake trail, I went left, past the bird-watching station to the first 500-meter marker after it, then back, gone barely more than ten minutes. It was a little nerve-wracking in the dark, but I loved the feeling of invisibleness, and felt like I was flying. September 1st I started running again, four days a week. Sue walks with me Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, which is wonderful, and the other days I run at least part of the way of the eight kilometers. The first week it was a struggle to manage three kilometers total, running only 500 meters at a time (I love those markers every 500 meters along the trail!), but this morning I ran six consecutive kilometers (although not entirely without stopping...I had to stop to chat with a friend who had been out of the country and just got back, but that was only for about two minutes) and ran about half of the last two of the eight kilometers in bits and pieces. I haven't figured out yet why I actually ENJOY the running, I am so totally not built for it or fit enough for it and half the time I'm thinking that I'll stop any second, but I do enjoy it, very much.
Back to the scavenger list...yes, I could have fairly or extremely easily gotten photos for most of these, but pretty much just didn't even bother. Still, can't help from commenting my thoughts, at least, even without photos:
1. Open air market
Last year at the last minute I took a photo of the outdoor part of the local fruit store for "roadside stand selling something", which was a bit of a stretch, but WOULD have been appropriate for this one. But it felt too much like cheating to take a photo of the same thing, and the only other candidate for this would have been the chaos-fairs downtown, which I didn't think of until later. So, no photo. (And no, they're not called "chaos fairs", but I don't know what TO call them. It starts with Kataklysmos--Pentecost, actually, but for some reason, it's a celebration or remembrance or something of the Flood, known as Noah's Flood although he did NOT cause it, and there's lots of partying and lots of selling of stuff and lots of throwing of water, and there are stands all up and down the main beachfront, selling a lot more than anyone could possibly imagine and nothing anybody could possibly need.)
2. Theater for performing arts (not a movie theater)
For this one I thought of taking a photo of Catherine's house. Catherine runs Little Muse Young People's Theatre, which just moved to a new place this summer (oh yeah, that was something else I was doing this summer, helping drive stuff from the old place to the new place), which starts next week, and which ALL of my children will be participating in. The top photo on the Facebook page at the moment (September 14th) has Helen's face right in the center, in the First Steps class (ages 3-5) and in various other photos one can see Marie and Jacob in the 11-18-year-olds' play last year, Mugged, and Lukas in the 7-11-year-olds' play last year, The Twits. At the moment, the plan is for Marie, Jacob, and Lukas to be in the class for 11-18-year-olds, Katie in the 7-11, Helen in the 5-7, and Elisabeth in the 3-5. However, although Elisabeth loves to watch, she hasn't, so far, participated (nor was she enrolled, but she could have participated if she'd wanted to), so we'll see how that goes. And it's not that I think that a three-year-old NEEDS to be doing any "extra-curricular activities" (nor any "curricular activities"!!), but we love Catherine and love her classes, and I love the excuse to sit for an hour and watch the class, so...as I said, we'll see. And Katie stopped after Christmas last year because of abominable behavior, but does want to go back, and I think that she'll do much better with Catherine than with her previous teacher, so she's going to start in October.
Seeing as we live ten minutes from the airport, it's a very rare day that I don't see at least a few airplanes, but...taking a photo is another thing. I did take one, but it's not very good. Nor at all exciting.
5. A sunset
This one should NOT have been so difficult! I see many, many sunrises, but very few sunsets. Sunsets have a tendency to happen during dinner or putting-children-to-bed-time or hanging-out-in-the-evening time, and I just don't see sunsets. I was somewhat aware of it being sunset-time several times while we were at the beach, as I will ONLY go to the beach in the evening, when there's shade from buildings, but...as I only go when there's shade, that means, of course, that the prettiness part of the sunset is happening behind the buildings that provide the shade, so no pretty pictures!
8. A tower
No inspiration at all. I thought about the Venetian watchtower in Pervolia, or a tower of blocks, or even a tower of laundry or just a tower of STUFF in my room or one of the children's rooms, but never got around to any of the above.
10. A bench that is outside
There are several benches along the Salt Lake trail, as well as at the playgrounds, of course, but...I never got around to specifically going and taking a photo. I know I have photos from the playground and almost definitely there are benches included, but I haven't even bothered to try looking through my way-too-many photos.
13. A fence
Boring. Maybe if I'd chanced across something interesting, but I didn't.
14. A stained glass object or a mosaic
Hmm...I should have photographed the vase that Lukas has been covering with a mosaic of broken glass...
15. A fire truck or police car
When the boys reported very excitedly to me a month or so ago that there was a fire in a house a block away, and that there were fire trucks all over, I DID think about taking the camera just to get a photo of a fire truck...but I didn't.
16. A windmill
Modern windmills don't make very exciting photos and I already have enough of them, didn't feel like bothering.
Now this one, I really should have managed, considering that THREE of my children have birthdays in June, one in July, and two in September! Marie's 16th birthday was yesterday, completing our birthday season. And 16 is already a LOT of candles! So yes, I have photos of candles. But no, I haven't managed to go on picasa and choose and edit and post any photos.
19. A fisherman
I've seen several...never thought to take out the camera (assuming that I even had it with me)...
20. A dinosaur
I held a plastic dinosaur in my hand at Tots and Co. on September 5th and thought of taking a photo, then forgot. (And I did have the camera--it was Helen's fifth birthday.) I also thought about taking a photo of "Jacob's" computer, which is so ancient that nobody wanted it four years ago, which is why we have it. (And it's not really Jacob's, but he is the only one who uses it.)
21. A photograph of (you) with an artistic tool or craft supply
Lukas did take a photo of me on the computer, but since I've hardly done any writing at all this summer, it didn't seem quite right, and I couldn't think of anything else. Of course, it doesn't say that it has to be an artistic took or craft supply that I use, and my husband and sons have an (in my opinion) over-abundance of art stuff, so I could have taken a photo of me with some of THEIR stuff! But I didn't.
Bonus item 1. A person wearing an outfit (or item of clothing) that symbolizes your country
Ah. I don't think I remembered this one even being included.
Bonus item 2. A sundial
I don't remember having seen one, I suppose I could have made one. They'd be of a lot more use here than in Germany, anyway!
There. That concludes, without completing, my participation in this year's summer photo scavenger hunt.