rainless, but colorful rocks watch linguistic children reign

The city of Santa Barbara is recovering after (nighttime) temperatures dipped into the low 40’s. (One time.) Nazy and I were not able to find our winter parkas before normality returned. More concerning, this year’s rainless rainy season is coming to an end. We are at 7% of average precipitation for the year. Heavy dew generated more water than the only rain ‘storm’ of the past six weeks. Luckily, the major reservoir is full and the desalination plant is working as we move to the rainless dry season.

This week, Mitra came up from Los Angeles. While Tiger went to a birthday party, Mitra joined me, Arrow (3 years old) and Azelle (one year old) in a visit to the local
Museum of Natural History. Arrow asked to go to..

“…. see the colorful
rocks, Dan.” He explained.

“He’s talking about the fluorescent rocks that display luminesce when a UV light is turned on.” I told Mitra. “He also likes walking in the outdoors garden and playing with the blocks on the ‘earthquake table’.”

“What about Azelle?” Mitra asked.
owl and tiger june 2016

“She hasn’t been there.” I replied. “I hope that they don’t have anything fragile,” I thought.

When we arrived, people from the local raptor sanctuary were showing the owls, hawks and falcons to the visitors. All of these birds had been injured in various accidents and the sanctuary was taking care of them. They had a red-
tailed hawk, a bird that is familiar to the Adams family: a hawk family has set up a nest in a big tree in Melika’s back yard. Azelle and Arrow enjoyed the visit so much that we forgot to get photos. However, it seems that this is not the first time we’ve seen the bird of prey at the museum… the photo is with 2 year old Tiger and the Barn Owl.

As expected, we checked out the colorful
rocks before heading to the block display. But the blocks were not there! Arrow complained to me. I suggested that he ask the proctor and Arrow obliged:

“Where did you put the blocks?” Arrow asked the lady sitting at the desk.

“The blocks?” She replied.

“Where are the earthquake blocks?” Arrow repeated.

“The table broke. Now we have feathers and rocks over there. You will have a good …”

“Let’s go outside, Dan.” Arrow, clearly not enamored by feathers and rocks, concluded.

The museum grounds are very nice. Mission Creek runs through a lovely outdoor park.
We strolled through the grounds. Arrow wanted me to read every sign. Azelle wanted to run and jump. Arrow wanted to throw coins into Mission Creek. Azelle wanted to run and jump. Arrow wanted to build a tent with the bamboo and bark. Azelle wanted to run and jump. Mitra and I followed along as they both happily helped us enjoy nature.

Mitra and Azelle (on left) and Arrow (right)

Museum of history Feb 2020

All of us, the children as well and Mitra and me, had a great time.

Earlier in the week, we were talking with Darius.

“… and did you know, Dad, that Leandra is correcting my French pronunciation?”

“Really. Is she accurate?”

“Yes, accurate — I think. She’s also correcting Christiane’s English pronunciation.”

“Well, how does that go over?”

“And, when I mispronounce French really badly, she tells me that I shouldn’t speak ‘Spanish’.”

I hope she doesn’t hear my Dutch,” I thought as I recalled my favorite Dutch word: “Hottentottotententententoonstelling”.

Language correction runs in the family: Nazy often corrects my ‘Farsi —-

“Farsi shame
bad ast.” Nazy claimed before continuing: “As a monolingual, you are deprived of cultural richness.”

“I am a ‘
bad-ass’ my dear,” I replied, before asserting that the past tense of deprive was deprave.

Memphis Tennessee

Mitra was 2 and a half years old that day when I came home from work. As I walked in the front door, I heard a loud ‘bang, bang, bang,” sound coming from the kitchen.

“What are you doing?” I asked curiously.

“I’m chopping pecans,” Nazy replied.

I heard Mitra running from the kitchen to greet me: “In English, Daddy, we call them nuts.”

End Flashback

And, finally, hottentottotententententoonstelling is a real, if somewhat infrequently used, Dutch word that means hottentot tent exhibition.

As I was writing this issue of The Weekly Letter, I thought about the amount of time I’ve spent at a keyboard — and how that runs in the family:

Melika and Darius (Zurich) and Darius, age 3, (Vancouver)

various on computer for TWL Feb 2020

For last week's letter, please click here

Dan and Tiger on Computer

Tiger and computer Jan 2017

Melika and Arrow on Computer

Melika and Arrow on computer March 2017

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