Wednesday, 4:17 p.m.

I have two loaves of French bread rising on the counter and a pound of shrimp defrosting in the sink.

I have an eleven-year-old boy, feverish and teary, working his way through a heavy load of homework on my couch.

I have two girls who took the keys and the car, and drove themselves up the road to the temple to spend a couple of peaceful hours.

I have another boy rigorously practicing his Bach partita, providing the daily afternoon soundtrack to my life.

I have a dog sniffing the yard apart and protecting us from all manner of treacherous and cunning birds that might happen to land.  You can't be too careful.

In the whirlwind that is my life, this is an afternoon to be savored.