There are a lot more photos of the weekend, but alas, I ran out of time this morning and didn’t get them all uploaded. It was just such a good weekend all the way around. We picked Steve up from work on Thursday night and headed across the desert; it was a beautiful evening, and I cannot describe the scent of the desert after a rain. The combined smells of damp earth and pungent sage and wildflowers is nothing short of heavenly. It was getting on dark when we found the perfect place to camp, so it was a comedy of sorts trying to get the camp all set up as the light faded. Still, we Steve got everything up with a minimum of fuss, and Hannah and I gathered sagebrush for the fire and we roasted hot dogs and had s’mores. Then, bed, which was extremely cozy for us adults, as we have an air mattress, but less so for the kids. They found all the rocks that we couldn’t really see while setting up the tent, so there was much maneuvering around and laughter.
I woke up early on Friday morning, just as the sun was coming up; I had to go gather more sage in order to start the fire in order to make coffee. A little FYI for those of you who are not familiar with sagebrush fires, it burns hot but very rapidly; it takes a lot of sagebrush to boil a pot full of coffee. I felt very pioneerish out scrubbing through the brush to gather enough sticks; never mind the sturdy tin pot and the freshly-ground beans and the cozy camp chair to sit in while it boiled; I was totally roughing it. The dog and I took a walk and climbed the rocks around the campsite (and it was really good exercise for her; her cast is off and the leg looks great, but it is still really weak and needs to be exercised. She did well, though, and it doesn’t look like she is going to be crippled at all-whew!) while we waited for everyone else to get up. I loved the solitude, nothing but the sounds of the mourning doves and the mockingbirds and the occasional thrumming sound that crickets make.
On our way across the desert to go pick up the boys, we ran into a herd of sheep (hence the picture above of the Black Sheep). I has jumped out of the car in order to get said picture of the sheep, and was aiming very carefully, in my professional photographer mode, when up on my back jumped one of the three Great Pyrenees who were out with the sheep. I didn’t even notice him creeping up behind me, though I had dutifully pet and loved on all three of them in order to keep from being attacked and eatenwin their trust. Suddenly I just felt these huge paws on my shoulders and a warm and decidedly slobbery tongue on my cheek. I elbowed him and Steve said from his angle, it looked like the dog was saying, “Hey, baby, come on, it’s been a long time…”
Then on to pick up the boys from my dad’s house. They were glad to be coming home but sad to be leaving dad, and it seemed like dad was also sad to be facing an empty house again. They did a lot of neat things while they were there; went fishing, drove up to see the Indian paintings in some caves (and Sam was thrilled about having been able to drink “right out of a creek!”), rode on the four wheeler, scared themselves silly every night and convinced themselves that dad’s house was haunted-it sounds like they all enjoyed themselves thoroughly.
On the way home, we stopped at some hot pools I knew about from my drinking days and went swimming for awhile. There was one other person there when we got there, an old man who said, “I hope you don’t mind, I don’t, um, have a suit on,” which struck us all as hilarious (you can’t see anything once you were in the water anyway, and he was already in, so what the hell?). It was made even funnier when Sam dove into the pool and lost his underwear, so there were two naked guys in the pool. Right before we left, some creepy guy came down from the road and I don’t know, he was just strange. Strange enough that we decided it was time to leave, anyway. After some of the events of the last year, I no longer take our isolation as an instant guarantee of safety, so it made me very nervous when he left as well, following us up the path back to the road. I was lagging behind, Owen and I, and at one point the path turns so that the people ahead are no longer visible. That was a long 60 seconds; I had these visions of this Creepy Guy reaching around me and grabbing me by the throat and pulling me off into the lava rocks and killing me. I was sweating when we got to the top, not from the heat but from rank fear. As he drove out of the pull-out, I had to laugh at myself inwardly for being such a pussy, but then Eli said, “Mom, that guy was really weird.” Hm.
Anyway, that covers Friday…on Saturday, we spent the day doing household shores and, since Steve was at work, taking the opportunity to organize some of his things in the basement. I didn’t have it in me to deal with the 4th of July parade; the kids were all already fighting, and it was hot, and I knew if we went then I wouldn’t get anything done at home. We did go watch the fireworks, meeting up with Steve’s family there. They were all right, though not as good as the ones we saw last week. We also got devoured by mosquitoes, especially Owen; they couldn’t resist his sweet juicy toddler skin, so he is now all lumpy and swollen, poor thing.
Sunday, we simply stayed home and puttered around. I washed all three dogs outside, took the basement rugs out and scrubbed those, did a ton of laundry-you know, housework. Gag. I was a little bit depressed all day, because we have been planning this annual camping trip with Steve’s entire family (they all go every year). I took the time off and everything, but for a variety of reasons I am just not going to be able to go. So that made me sad and disappointed, like I was going to cry all day. We went to the movies, Steve and I, and saw Public Enemies-it was frankly disappointing. Johnny Depp was as sexy as ever, and there were some good lines, but all in all, it definitelyisn’t worth seeing in the theaters, and I wouldn’t rent the DVD again. Sad, sad night all the way around.
But now it is Monday again, another week of work beginning, and summer has finally come with a vengeance. I am finally starting to look more like a human being instead of a pasty white corpse, and that makes me happy. The fact that Owen heard the beginning strains of “Crazy Train” and gleefully shouted, “Ai ai ai” makes me happy. I have all four kids home now and that makes me happy (to a point; why can’t they just get along?!), and all in all life is pretty okay today.
***And don’t forget to enter my giveaway! Tomorrow will be my 300th post, and in honor of that, I will be announcing the winners, along with the correct answers.***