one of my least favorite gardening activity is thinning out the seedlings. in past years i've actually separated out the entangled immature plants and repotted them just so i wouldn't have to kill off the extras. the problem with that approach is i run the risk of damaging all the seedlings and i end up with a whole bunch of slightly stunted plants. this morning i snipped off the spare tomatoes and the hot peppers. it's sad now but i'll get over it once i get these vegetables into the garden. i also have some basil that may need thinning but i think i may let them all grow together this season.

a rainstorm that's supposed to last a few days was heading our way. a check of the doppler radar showed the storm clouds right outside the boston area. i quickly gathered up my things and pedaled to belmont.

this was a day of waiting. figuring i beat the storm, the rain never did seem to fall, and there were even intermittent periods of sunshine. i kept turning to the weather channel to see the doppler radar, a large green blob of precipitation hovering around boston, but the weather stayed dry until almost evening time and even then it was just a sprinkle. the other waiting was for my parents to return from china. they called me yesterday before they left shanghai. they called me again today when they arrived in chicago, with their final boston destination at 9:55.

the house was a bit of a mess and i spent a part of the day sprucing up the place so my parents could come back to a clean house. while my sister was nowhere to be found, i did all the dishes in the sink, i cleared the dining room table, and i spent an hour vacuuming the house and cleaning the bathroom.

the flight was slightly late to arrive, but the exact moment the airline website said they touched down, that's when my parents called asking my sister and i to come pick them up from the airport. it took us almost 30 minutes to get there (besides the rain, my sister had the wrong glasses and had to go back home to get them, and then she had a brief moment of road rage when some car stopped abruptly in front of us), but it was for the best because apparently united had lost one of parents' suitcases and they spent some time tracking it down (it wasn't loaded onto the plane and wouldn't arrive until the next flight from chicago).

back in belmont my parents revealed all the loot they'd gathered in china. most of it was things they bought, but some were gifts from friends. it was mostly food items, things you couldn't find in any local chinatown super markets. unfortunately the suitcase that was missing was also the one with the laptop with all the photos. with no travel slideshow scheduled for tonight (it was late anyway), i bicycled back home in the slight drizzle, taking with me my old DSLR camera.

i got back around midnight. the streets were eerily quiet, and there wasn't a single car behind me the whole trip. there was some rain but it wasn't bad, not enough to soak my clothes anyway, except for my jeans, which were wet from the rain splattering wheels.