Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hello world!

Schools out, I'm supposed to be 'out' until September but somehow I keep needing to head into work for just one more thing. Which is fine---I'm thankful to have a job.

We went camping this weekend. Normally my idea of 'roughing' it would mean I go somewhere where cell coverage is just a wee bit spotty--this place was roughing it and THEN some.

But first a little about our nearly 12 hour drive to get to the middle of nowhere. And I when I say nowhere, I really mean it. This was nowhere in a BIG way. In a bear, rattlesnake and coyote kind of way. Where the mosquitos were the size of Boeing 787's but with better take off and landing capabilities.

We went to Lake Ellen. Don't ask where it is--just know that if you want to experience nature without all the nasty ammenities like showering, flushing a toilet or getting a cell signal, this is your kind of place.

First we followed this man. Yeah, yeah ok. I used the Alien Booth app on him. This is my father. Normally he doesn't look like this unless you squint.

And this is what we looked at for hours and hours. The rear end of his trailer.
Please excuse the duck and the bear. The bear is called The Navigator and has been with Lance and I since before we were married. It's a long ooey gooey love story that is best told another time. The duck? I think it belonged to one of the kids and came along for the ride.

The drive there took 11 1/2 hours. ELEVEN AND ONE HALF HOURS! The drive home took us 6 1/2 hours. SIX AND ONE HALF HOURS!!! Yes, there was a difference of FIVE HOURS. That's because we were following this man.

And this man wanted to take the 'scenic route' and then drive 25 mph under the posted speed limit.

Ok, it wasn't 25 mph under--but it was darn close. He had a trailer to fall into when he got there. We had to do this:

The detour was fine because we got to see the snow that was still piled up over the pass.

And we were also able to see this beautiful, albeit windy, sight high up above the resevoir.

The girls (cousins and friends that went with) tried to enjoy the pristine and freezing lake. Ashley is on the floatie. Some of them washed their hair in the lake. There was no beach, you had to climb down rocks. Notice all the other people there? That's because there wasn't anyone there. I'm not sure anyone else could find the place. Which was a pleasant experience--not having to have a lot of strangers around.

My father fished the lake off the dirt road around the side. He never caught anything but did have a huge bald eagle swoop in where his fishing line was and scoop up a fish. It flew off to feed it's young and my dad packed up his gear

The other men we were with all limited out each time but they had to crawl down large boulders on the other side of the lake to do so and it was too dangerous for my father to manage that. He got down there once and had to have four guys help him back out. The trout were delicious, by the way.

Alli played the guitar while we were there.

We were going to stay four nights but then remembered a birthday party we'd promised to attend and so we left on Saturday morning. We never made it home in time for the party (sorry Jordan!) but when we did arrive, our kitty was extremely happy to have his human home. Lance is his human. Can't you tell?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

There's a wonderful column out on CNN by Jeff Perlman. It's called A father's day wish: Dads, wake the hell up! That's a link there by the way. Just roll over it with your cursor and you can click on it to read the entire piece.

In this column he gives ten commandments to fathers. It's brilliant.

And I'm grateful that my husband keeps all ten of those 'commandments' and more. I've been blessed with a man who is incredibly unselfish with his love and his time and, well everything. Until I met him I'd never known someone so kind hearted and caring.

Our children have all, at one time or another, come to us and told us about someone they know who is living with a verbally abusive father. They then express their gratitude for Lance. I'm thankful they realize just how much their father loves them. He loved them enough to change their diapers, to take on more than a few 3 a.m. feedings, to walk them in the park or to swim with them in a lake. He has loved them enough to be an example of righteousness and service in our home.

I love him more as each year passes. I'm thankful to have him by my side.

Love you sweetie.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Sunset on Lake Union

My girl Alli likes to go for drives in the evening. It's either to get out of the house or to see how fast she can drain my gas tank.

After we barbecued some burgers this evening, she gave me 'the look'. That hopeful puppy dog look that I'm loathe to deny. Since we hadn't had time on Monday for Family Home Evening, we decided to have it tonight. On the go.

So off we went. Generally she likes to go at night in the dark, but as summer is on the horizon it's staying lighter later. We talked Daddy into going with us, though he probably should have stayed home and gone to bed. He has to get up so early---but he had the best time out of all of us I think. We went to the park on south Lake Union. It's been there for awhile, we've just never gotten around to visiting.

Alli and Ash by the pond.
Lance says that people run their little remote controlled boats on this pond. No one was using it while we were there. The park was pretty big and boasted the occasional pile of Canadian Goose Poop. I kept reminding the girls to watch where they were walking. This is important.

Lance and Ashley on the Bridge.
There is a bridge there that crosses a portion of the lake. One part of the bridge is wooden planking, the other part is a metal grate. While walking on the grate you can look down at the water below you. This is not something I enjoy. It gives me serious case of the guillermos. :::shudder:::

Looking a little south and west you can see the Space Needle from the park. As we walked over the bridge and then walked further down towards the lake I kept reminding the girls to watch where they were walking. Gooey Goose Guck was pretty much everywhere.

Ashley should have heeded my warnings. Unfortunately she was wearing sandals and well, lets just say she needed a foot bath when we returned home.

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Big Test

The sun came out to play today. Gorgeous blue skies, big white fluffy clouds and actual sunshine. As I walked out of my office today, I noticed they were cutting the grass and I took a few deep breaths of that memory-inducing scent.

Reminds me of care free blue-skied summer days as a child. Dad or my brother would be cutting the grass and the smell....oh the smell. Like the sweet smell of the lilacs that are in bloom right now, I'm swept back in time. I close my eyes instinctively and *see* my life before I became the adult in charge of so many things. The pressure in my chest eases and I relax. Oh...the scent.

Obstacles that seemed insurmountable to me then, now appear as slight crumbs, easily crushed beneath my adult foot. Is it maturity that causes those past trials to seem insignificant compared to current struggles? No, I don't think that's it. Not really. Perhaps it's like going through school. First you're in Kindergarten. They don't teach you chemistry in Kindergarten, they start off with the easy stuff. You learn your A B C's. You have nap time. Snack time. You learn you must share the toys and learn to take your turn.

Then you move on, and the lessons get harder. The math gets more complicated.

Life gets more complicated and if you pass Algebra you can move on to Calculus. One test prepares you for the next. You quietly soldier on and you're able to bear more weight on your shoulders. You're older, stronger, smarter.

That doesn't mean the Big Tests in life are easy. They aren't. Sometimes they are excruciatingly painful and you can't share that pain except on your knees in fervent prayer to the Lord. And if your knees are bad, that physical ritual is taken from you and you are left to spiritually kneel before your Maker and plead for peace, for hearts to soften, for forgiveness, for healing.

And you can't forget to thank Him for the sweet smell of a freshly mowed lawn and the heady scent of lilacs.