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Windy Night and a Stray Cat

by Tom Johnson on Aug 14, 2011 •
categories: family

This weekend was a lazy weekend, a kind of "stillness before the storm" time before the school and swimming year starts. I spent Saturday at home, reading and playing with the kids. While Shannon took Avery shopping for school clothes (and her first bra), I helped build a fort for Callie and Lucy.

This fort has an ingenious construction.

I asked Callie what she wanted to do, and she said she wanted to build a house. Both of them wanted to make gingerbread houses like they did last Christmas at Grandmas. That involves a lot of specialty supplies, so I said let's build a house out of cardboard. As soon as we started, our initial idea transformed into building a fort, because they wanted to build a house they could fit into. We taped about 10 cardboard squares together with duct tape. But then what could we do for the roof?

I realized that figuring out a roof for a circular structure is nearly the same challenge faced by architects from the Romans to the Italians to many others. Callie suggested that we make a pole out of cardboard to prop up the roof, and it really worked. We made more of a long rectangle box with feet using cardboard scraps.

The kids played in it for a while, bringing in cheese and crackers, the baby, and other activities. Lucy brought in some ribbon to hang on the walls.

When Avery came home, she altered the fort, moving the tall box pole in the middle to the side as a chimney. She then got more cardboard from the recycle bin and attempted to make a slanted roof outside, but then she ran out of energy or lost interest. It's extremely hot outside, about 95 degrees, so it's not very inviting to be out there.

That was Saturday.

On Sunday, after a lazy Sunday nap, we danced a bit to Mumford & Sons' "The Cave."

This song has drums and guitar, with an increasingly complex rhythm and energy. The kids absolutely love dancing, especially when I join in.

It felt good to dance around. It made me realize how important the physical is to life. I have a sedentary IT office job that involves entirely too much sitting. I almost forget that I have a body. But jumping/dancing around, I seem to connect with a kinetic memory of some primordial state of being. It's euphoric. I want to emphasize more healthy eating and exercise in our home.

After dancing, we took a walk to Maverick to return some movies (Season of the Witch and Yogi Bear). It was a warm windy night, and we walked along the twisting parkway sidewalk. Lucy rode her trike, pedaling about 10 times faster than any other kid. Callie rode her bike. Avery rolled along in her roller skates. I walked. The sun went down and the warm night draped over us.

At Maverick, one of my basketball friends (Roger) was holding a small grey kitten. He said it followed him from the Highlands. Callie asked to hold it, and then we ended up carrying it home. Avery has a soft heart for animals and wouldn't let it go. We try to set it down in the Highlands and see if it would find its home, but it insisted on following us.

When we arrived home, we brought it into our backyard and fed it.

The stray cat we adopted tonight.

I have no idea if it will stay. If it does, Avery wants to name it "Night."

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.