Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Land of the Friendly

We all miss Massachusetts very much. But, the weather makes it a little easier for us to bear, considering it's topping off in the lower 50s and nighttime temperatures are freezing in Shrewsbury, while here it's going to be 80 degrees tomorrow. Ha ha ha.

Goodbye, Fall jackets, goodbye, "crisp" autumn days. Even though, the beauty of Autumn there makes up for the negatives.

There are a lot more things that are nice here: people are nicer: even drivers. People are very nice in Boston too. But drivers there aren't technically people, they are a different species. Decent people there get behind their wheels and transform into ugly selfish honking monsters. I realize that I am a Mr.Hyde in the car too, only after I drove here for a while.

People wave thank you at me for letting them in front of me every time. They give way to me all the time. They actually act the same way they do when they are not driving! There is much talk about rush hour road rage on the freeways here, but Man, they haven't been to Boston. Ofcourse there are exceptions, but mostly, the drivers seem friendlier to me, even though the driving conditions are very stressful.

And at the Farmers Market, people talk to each other. The shopkeepers call me Amiga and offer good deals. Shoppers next to me trying new vegetables ask me if I like them (the vegetables, not the shoppers).

Last Sunday, I tasted a purple grape before picking them out at the Market. An old man shopping next to me said, "Taste one of the green ones too." I don't like green grapes and I hesitated. "Have one." he ordered. Normally if it were Kiran or my parents telling me to try something new, I would put my foot down. But not to be rude, I tasted a green grape. It was deliciously sweet, and the man smiled with satisfaction. "See?" He said. "The green grapes are the sweet ones today." So I had to buy the green grapes.

Not having been to a real Farmer's Market before, this place is really something else. Musicians playing guitars and singing songs. Juicy peaches, plums, apples, pears, pomegrenate are cut up and put outside the stalls, so you can taste before you buy. And the fruit is usually so sweet it's unnatural. The vegetables, I can't wait to go home and cook. And if all this makes one too hungry to wait until they go home and cook lunch, there are delicious-smelling kettlecorn and freshly-cooked food stalls right there.

Does life get any better? Sometimes it does for Summy, when the face-painting lady sets up a small station with a sign that says "Donations lovingly accepted".

Goodbye, chain grocery stores. Hello, Music and the scent of fruit and flowers in the air, Hello good food, Hello friendly fellow people. The humble-sounding Farmers Market, to me, is an example of what life should be like everywhere.

This and That

Long time no post, but it doesn't mean that there is nothing to write about. Summy is still cute and funny and gives me a lot of things to write about. Just yesterday, while we were watching a movie, someone in the movie had Chicken pox, and she said "Chicken Pops".

She also said something at bedtime that made us laugh a lot, but I can't remember what it is.

She also seems grown up and eager to grow up more (why? why? why?).

I know I wrote a long time ago that she had read her first book, but she didn't read that much for a long time after that. Only now, she is very much into reading small beginner books again.

She seems interested in Math right now, and wants to do Math activities frequently. I am so terrible at teaching it. Even though I always thought Kumon (a learning center for children of all ages) was unnecessary (unless really necessary), I am even starting to think it may be a good idea for her, even though their workbooks seem very dreary to me. Anything is better than me struggling to explain to her why 20 comes after 19.

Counting, adding small numbers, subtracting small numbers under ten, she does. But she has gotten hold of a grade 1 workbook that I bought by mistake, and wants to do coin math, fractions, and telling time. I still have to think for a minute before I can figure out if a dime is five cents or ten, or before I can tell time from an analog clock.

She is doing very well at school. Next month, we will be moving closer to her school, so she will finally be a more regular student. (We are now at least 20 crawling-at-snail's-pace freeway miles away. )

We will be moving to an apartment. For four months we have lived with the basics, and did well. Summy has very rarely remembered or asked for her things. She has made do with whatever was there. Still, it will be nice to see everything back from storage. I can't wait for her to have a room. Somehow, even when we lived in a three bedroom house, we never made up a room just for her.

It was actually more of a struggle for me not to buy her new toys. I love getting her things. I have to remember that she will be reunited with a lot of her old toys again, and that there will be so many that we will probably have to give some away. Especially now that I know she doesn't need them.

She hasn't forgotten her old friends though, and frequently asks when we will go back to see them, and if we can celebrate her next birthday with them.

She misses Shrewsbury when she thinks of it, at the same time, she realizes that we are in a nice place too. "Shrewsbury is very special" she said out of the blue on the drive to school this morning. Then after a minute of thinking - "California is very special too".