Wed, 8 July 2009
On the sixth of this month, I took my children to Seattle to go to the Pacific Science Center. We do not go to Seattle very often, so I thought that, now that it is summer, I should make the effort and make the three hour drive over the mountains to spend some time in that fantastic city. My children were so excited. Part of the journey was to pop in and visit my sister-in-law and her five children. Yes five! Phew! She's a smart lady; she has a nanny four days a week to help her with all the children and their busy lives. We arrived at their house at about one o'clock in the afternoon, chatted for a while, the kids played with their cousins, and then we left for the Science Museum. Three of the cousins came with us and the nanny, called Amy. I was relieved that Amy wanted to go also because I have no idea how to get around Seattle. It really helps to follow someone else who actually has an idea where they are going. I am sure that in future podcasts I will be telling you about areas of the museum that we visited; there was so much to see. However, the last section of the museum that we experienced was the butterfly sanctuary. It wasn't very big, but it was so, so beautiful. There were tropical type plants all over the place, lots of blooming flowers, protective netting walls, and most importantly, stunning butterflies fluttering around all over the place.
Preterite: to pop in/ out, to be, to chat, to come.
My mother popped in to see me this morning to help me bake some pies.
I was ready to go to the shops early in the morning, but my children weren't.
We chatted nearly all night. It was so good to catch up with my friends.
My cousin came to visit us for Christmas.
As we walked into the high, humid room, I breathed a sigh of relief. Most of the day had been exhausting for me, even though it was also fun. Bringing four kids on a three hour car journey over the mountain passes, trying to negotiate my way through a city that I don't know, and then going into a museum where they took off and ran in all directions like mice that had been let out of their cages, had just about finished me off. But, then we walked into the butterfly sanctuary, and it was all stillness and quiet. "Oh, mummy look!" I heard countless times as my kids would see a delicate, fluttering beauty float past our eyes just as if we were parts of the scenery. The "oohs" and "ahs" that I heard reminded me of the "oohs" and "ahs" from the night of the 4th of July. And the reasons were similar. Surprises of sudden beauty. There was a collection of a large, brilliant blue species, some tiny, pretty black and white ones, and a black and red beauty that I was really taken with. It was such a pleasure to be quiet and take in the sights. There were very strict rules to follow inside the room: no running, no touching the butterflies, no eating or drinking, and no leaving until we had been thoroughly checked. Why would we need to be checked? Because the butterflies have the habit of landing on people without them realizing, and if those people are not checked, they could walk off with a precious creature!
Expressions: to be in the habit of, to breathe a sigh of relief.
He was in the habit of sucking his teeth after every meal. Yuck!
I breathed a sigh of relief after the exam; it was something that I had been very concerned about.