Jim loves to point out to me that, while New Jersey is a small state in terms of its size, one does not have to go far to find variation in the look of the landscape.
Indeed: Sunday we headed out to New Jersey horse country, to the same place where Jim had figured the bike path, well-shaded by trees, would be a fine place for him and Charlie to ride when the mercury hit the 90s. Our thought had been that it would be colder out there though the path would likely be all snowy and slushy. Jim figured, he and Charlie might be able to ride on the roads.
And things turned out even better.
There was barely any snow left on the ground!
Where we live is, as it turns out, the epicenter of Holiday Blizzard '10. Not as much snow had fallen farther west, and the past days of warmer temperatures and (on Sunday) rain were making the snow history.
So a-biking they did go. (Me, I sat in the car and wrote a letter of recommendation for a student.)
Charlie was game, as always.
It sprinkled some on the ride, but we are quite prepared, between the yellow jackets and pants made of some quick-drying fabric. Jim and Charlie did something over ten miles on the road (the path was, as predicted, too snowy.)
It looks like spring in these photos, I rather think----ok, early spring, but still! So much for snowmaggedon.
Charlie was, with one or two anxious, repetitive-talking moments, quite at ease the rest of the day. We did not go over the picture schedule about 'two more days till school start' again. Jim and I have concluded that Charlie's anxiety about changes to his routine usually occur about 2-3 days prior to something actually happening. And Friday night was really the time when Charlie's anxiety about transitioning from vacation and back to school was at its peak.
I am thinking that the picture schedule helped to allay some of his worries--he did not ask to see it again after Friday. I suspect Charlie may have committed it to memory. Or maybe, just seeing the next couple of days explicated for him, was enough.
Charlie has kept his blue book bag in the special spot between his bed and the wall since Friday. At a trip to the grocery store yesterday afternoon, he was eager to get a container of 'orange sushi.' He had been vehement about not wanting to buy it last week and I realize now it must be a 'school food,' something not to be eaten (in Charlie's book) except when school is in session.
Looking over my last few posts, this blog has had a definite travels with Charlie kind of feel. Tomorrow's post will be in a different vein, I am predicting, with some account about Charlie's (much looked-forward to) return to school and how we all returned to our boring old everyday and (I hope!) It Will Have Been Good. I do tend to see such mundane events as travels too: It is all a journey with Charlie, a progress, a moving and a keeping-going, on a road whose route no one has ever yet mapped.
Before we got back home on Sunday, we stopped at Charlie's favorite Mexican take-out place. Except, he asked to go in and sit down, and we did, for the first time ever in this particular restaurant.
I think the restaurant staff (they know us well) gave us an extra big plate of nachos and extra chips.