Sunday was the last regular sunday school class at church. The lesson was about recycling, animals and our environment.

The guest speaker was a woman who brought in several pet snakes, and taught the kids about their habits and habitats. She had a small tank full of snake babies, since one of her pets had given birth: baby checkered garters, as big around as a pencil.

Of course, Connor came home with one.  He named him squeaker, and feeds him earthworms.  He has a lovely olive color and intricate patterns. He’s as smooth as a polished stone, solid and cool in my hand. Watching  his sides expand and contract while he breathes is a strangely fascinating sensation.

I spent the rest of sunday planting moss roses, lobelia and pansies in the windowboxes, and mulching the raised flowerbeds in the front yard.  They are perennial beds and have been layered with mulch-compost “lasagna style”, but they haven’t looked too pretty this spring withthe sprouts coming up through fall leaves. 

Now the folks across the street are selling their house, so I’m sprucing up the yard to be as helpful as possible.  I hate the fake dyed-red mulch, but there were several torn/rebagged ones for a dollar each, so red it is. I am pretty sure the red color will be gone with the first rain, anyway.

Jeff took the boys to see Spiderman 3, and later we continued with our let’s-see-where-we-can-bike-to adventure, and found a way to the Bob Evans by the highway, through neighborhood streets.  Good old American comfort food, starch and grease that probably offset any health benefits of biking.

This morning the kids and I spent some time on geometry, then rode our bikes to the metropark for homeschool park day. 8 to 10 moms and dozens of kids usually show, and it’s a nice connection for everybody.  The kids fly kites and play red rover and tag among the trees, and the little ones make sand castles and play on the slides and swings. There are kids in the group my kids have known since they were in strollers. 

This evening Jeff dropped the kids at gymnastic/tae kwon do and then he and I rode our bikes to the grocery store for milk; I made 10 pints of yogurt, culturing now on the counters. I am rethinking all the places we do business and trying to find a place within biking distance. Of course, this is only going to be useful during the summer month.

(That’s not a typo, that’s my attempt at humor.)

Tomorrow my mom will pick up the kids to deliver Mobile Meals, and I’ll rent a u-haul trailer to go pick up a load of cedar and me-haul it to the wood kiln at EMU.  These May days are busy, but feel somehow unpressured; varied, and unscheduled. I think spending less time in my car has added to my sense of peace. No clock in front of my forehead telling me whether I’m late, gas gauge telling me how far to empty, kids arguing in the back, red lights and tailgaters. The bike ride includes the smell of honeysuckle and catnip along the trail, tadpoles in the ditches, shortcuts through parkinfg lots, perusal of neighbors yards and flowerbeds, fresh air and exercise.

Between my bike and the hammock I got for Mother’s day, this is turning out to be a lovely spring. It’s still sunny enough for freckles but too chilly for bugs. Nice cool sleeping weather, coffee on the deck in the morning. And getting out of the car means I have a new relationship with my “territory” – like when I was a kid. I know where the hills are, huffing up and gliding down. I know where the squished roadkill squirrel is, and whose dog barks along the fence when I pass.

Now if only I could hitch that U-haul trailer to my bike…