Clearing the back yard, cello lessons, babies’ development, baseball

Today our landscaping neighbors came over and rescued our back yard. They finished the root barrier trench we started literally years ago, redirected the end of it to where we wanted it to be, cut down all the blackberries & other big unwanted growth, took the vines off the fence but saved my clematis, mowed (with a weed whacker since the grass was rather too high for a mower), and generally created a useable space where there had previously been grassy chaos. It doesn’t look lovely – we’d need actual landscaping, new grass, a border, etc for that. But it looks tons better, and is now functional. We can take blankets out back and sit outside with the babies without fear of someone falling in the trench or eating nightshade (which had also taken root back there.) Eventually there will be more to do: we want to get rid of the old garage, re-grade the yard so that there’s a higher portion by the house on which we’ll have a stone patio, chairs, a bbq, and a lower portion where we can have grass on which to play, as well as raised beds for veggies & herbs. Oh, and we’ll probably want to take out the old oil tank too. So there’ll be some significant outlay of $$, so that will be another year (or three).

Also today a student who’d taken a hiatus had his first lesson in a year. It was good to see him, and enjoyable to start some new music. After the lesson he came into the kitchen to meet the twins. He said hi and they promptly burst into tears, first one and then the other. They have been a bit unpredictable of late with their reactions to people they don’t know. It’s sad when you get the chorus of wails, but next week their response to him might have changed.

Emily has started playing peekaboo. She’ll hold a receiving blanket up in front of her face and then drop it and grin. The first time I thought it was just chance, but she’s repeated it several times. I wonder if she’ll start playing that game with Joanna. She is also starting to take a couple of side-steps when holding onto something like a couch. I had forgotten the rapid rate of change in babies. It is amazing to see them develop day-to-day. It seems like magic, like one has acquired the ability to see plants grow.

This evening after my middle student’s lesson was over and we were packing up his things, he started regaling me with baseball statistics. He’s six years old (or maybe seven, I can’t remember) and was rattling off numbers like a pro. He explained that he’s both a Cubs and Cardinals fan, since his mom grew up in Chicago (I can’t remember why he’s a Cardinals fan too). I think that statement must upset some delicate equilibrium somewhere, however. I didn’t really think that baseball rules would allow such a condition to pertain.

It just occurred to me that we can now play soccer with Hazel in our back yard without hazarding blackberry brambles or hidden trenches. She was given a soccer ball recently, and loves it. She did a pretty respectable series of kicks in the house recently. Now if we can move that activity outside, even better.

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