I've gotta apologize for being AWOL - I didn't realize how it may seem when I'm pregnant and then I suddenly stopped communicating. I finally had enough comments and emails from friends to let me know how it appeared. Everything baby is 'so far, so good'. I've had a few ultrasounds and have photos of a beautiful little face with no name. I have another dr. appt. today. My due date keeps changing - sometime in December. We're still not naming the baby Boston.
Where, oh where, did I go on vacation? Two trips were chaperoning kids school camping trips - one in cabins and one in tents. The highlights: within 48 hours, standing at the tip of the contiguous United States (Cape Flattery in Neah Bay) and looking out at Tatoosh Island - to being amidst the Olympic Mountains at an elevation of 5230 ft - to hiking through mossy old growth rain forest - to chasing Dungeness Crabs at a saltwater beach at sea level. And waking up oh so early in the campground to the sound of the birds, and taking a walk with the neon pink sunrise reflecting over Sequim Bay.
The third trip was Grandma Camp. I am in awe of my mother. This was her third annual camp with all seven of her grandchildren. As a grown-up, we're free to hang out at the cabin and participate - but also free to play and have our own mini-vacation while we're there. She does intense crafty activities with the kids - concrete leaf print bird baths, watercolor painting . . glass plate art, she takes the kids into town to the candy store and out for ice-cream and swimming at the lake, she roasts marshmallows and popcorn over the fire - she cooks pancakes in the morning. They took walks and did some community service pulling an invasive plant down by the river. She surprised the kids and took them on a horseback riding adventure out a trail to a clearing where they were provided a catered breakfast feast. All the other five adults in attendance also rode horses. I, the pregnant mommy, hitched a different ride to breakfast. I was able to capture photos of the delight on my children's faces as they mounted horses, then was whisked away.
My ride was some cross between an outback wagon ride and feeling like Cinderella in her carriage. An older gentleman named Clint - a weathered sort of cowboy - was my driver. Bob & Wishem pulled the wagon. Before we left, I had a little bit of time to talk to Clint . . . get a feel for his pace of life and meet the horses. But once we started moving, we were both silent for the 45 minute ride out and also on the ride back. This was the part of vacation where my emotions took over inside me. The trail wound around Sun Mountain in eastern Washington, with the Methow Valley below and glimpses of Lake Patterson glittering in the morning sun. We rode through hillsides ablaze in sprays of wildflowers - most specifically the sunny yellow balsam root leftover from springtime. The light breezes blew through the aspen trees, almost twinkling like christmas lights. We road along quietly, listening to the wind and the horses hooves and the wagon wheels over the ruts. Every so often Clint would point out a grazing deer, or grouse crossing the trail. Big yellow butterflies would zigzag through the air around the wagon. There was just something about the sights, the sounds, the smells . . . the fresh air . . . that was just astounding - wondrous in its own right. Arriving early at the meadow where breakfast was served, I had time to talk with the chef - outback chef by summer, telemark skiier by winter - what a life. I nearly stepped on a gopher snake as it slithered past my feet into the nearby rock pile. They aren't poisonous, but at quick glance look very similar to a northern pacific rattlesnake. It was one of those moments in life when you don't know how you'll react - I sorta stared at it and watched it go by.
It's funny what people pull from a text and focus on. Clint seemed to attract attention, so I thought I'd edit the post and add a photo of him. I hope seeing him in photograph after reading the fine print, isn't like spoiling a good book by watching a movie. He just seemed to earn a small tribute of sorts, so here he is.
Now my kids are out of school on summer break for two months. Novice piano music fills the air at home. My youngest woke up this morning and told me she had a dream that she was a native american (she is not) hunting bison, but that then she saw some deer and went over to pet them and wanted to ride them. What a crack-up. I have a full summer schedule ahead - to include lots of sand, music, sun, beach days, walks in the woods, good books and great friends. Maybe I'll go for a run. I'll have to journal it all in my blog. I miss writing, and it's gonna take me eons to read through all the other blogs I've missed. I'll get there. It's summer, and all I have is time.