Monday, July 09, 2007

Rodents of the Skies

I learned something about myself this last week. I don't laugh often enough. I've thought about it lately - I'm a pretty intense person emotionally. I need to remember to loosen up more often and have fun. I'm a planner, a worrier, meticulous about detail. I think what finally clinched the whole needing to laugh thing more, was actually having several moments of it - day after day, and realizing how much fun it was - laughing, I mean. After driving across the state and camping in 95 degree weather with the kids . . . there really wasn't a whole lot to do there. We - on a rare occasion - didn't overplan with sights to see and activities galore. It was even too hot to play frisbee. There was a swimming hole, but you can't stay in there all day. So - hot and irritable to an extent, the kids didn't fall asleep until after 11:00. But my husband and I were awakened around 4:30 (to a gorgeous sunrise that I have no regrets about being up to see) by the squawking. Yes, the lovely squawking of the crows. If crows don't live in your neck of the woods, then you simply must consider the title of my post to understand. I mean - you're out in the wilderness - camping in the middle of nowhere - hot as hell and desert-like, but beautiful - and you're awakened by scavengers with scratchy voices. I think there is some Native American story about how the crow lost it's singing voice. If there isn't, there really ought to be.

So, admiring the colors of the morning sun . . against the contrast of the loud annoying birds, with tired jollies from lack of sleep and another hot day ahead of us, my husband and I started mimicking the birds - inserting words with what they might be saying to one another - and we just started cracking up and I couldn't stop. Then a looooong freight train rolled by - aways away, but quite audible. One of the kids sat straight up in bed from a dead sleep, watched the train intently, then laid back down and went back to sleep. The next child, out of the blue, and an assumed sleep, called out, "Are those stinkin' birds?!" All the more fodder for my inability to stop laughing before 5 in the morning.

I had another such unstoppable laughter episode involving mayonnaise and trying to make sandwiches on a beach towel under a tree in the shade. I greatly dislike mayonnaise, and that's all I'm gonna say about that story.

Camping was a blast though, it always is. Before our trip, we did something different this year for the fourth of July holiday and took the kids hiking. We went around the back side of Mount Rainier - checked with the ranger about the trail and everything. Should've been a great 4-mile hike with the kids - excellent views and not too much elevation gain. It was beautiful and warm and sunny - but the ranger never said anything about the snow. We spent two hours trying to connect the dots with the trail that was covered about 95% in snowfields. The kids finally lost the feelings of nervousness and frustration and sledded and skiied down the hills. It was really a beautiful hike . . . Mt. Rainier is one of those things in life that humbles you and puts life in perspective.
PS. I added a photo of Clint to my last post


Robin said...

Sounds like fun. Rainier has surprised me before with snow on trails I thought would be empty in July. Glad you all were able to have a great time of it!

13akbal said...

Joe! Joe! Did you get that worm yet??!! Caw! Caw!

OK - camping was hilarious.. and the mayo.. that's a post on it's own.. I'm laughing my ass off right now just thinking about it.

Danielle said...

I have the coolest pic of Rainier from the space needle, you can just make it out and it has a very surreal feel to it.

Crows might be preferable to the nasty, dirty Canadian geese that cover every inch of nice pond and lake area with their filth around here! But yeah, the serenity is ruined by that cawing sound and I think you're right about the story with the crow losing it's voice, it had a beautiful one and was too much a braggart I think is how it goes.

JustRun said...

I agree about crows. Yuck.
I really, really need to make it up there. Looks and sounds great!

Oh, and I REALLY, REALLY dislike mayo, too.

Josh said...

In NY "Rodents of the Skies" are something entirely different - Pigeons. Filthy winged rats.

Your post is very fun and I am glad you've found your laughter. As Jimmy Buffett said "If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane."

Kurt said...

I miss running up and around Mt Ranier. Did that a few times in High School and when I went to the UW.

I hate crows. Grrr on crows.

Hope you and your hubby make the race on the 18th. I have found one for me to do. A 10K in Woodinville.

Besides when you see me you just might break out in hysterical laughter!

Anne said...

What a great reminder that life doesn't always have to be serious and about sweating the details.

IHateToast said...

a crow and a rodent walk into a bar and order a glass of mayonnaise...

our morning glories are magpies and kookaburras. magpies also dive bomb around nesting time. cranky buggers.

looks like you had fun. i miss mountains.

Just12Finish said...

Nice pics!

Sarah said...

Oh I just luuuvv Mt Rainier! Glad you had a chance to get out and laugh.