Birds and Burns

There’s a mama and baby turkey hanging out in our neighborhood these days, and by neighborhood I mean they mostly seem to be hanging out in our yard — front, back, peering in the windows, basically whatever they feel like doing.

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The first time I looked out the window at the mama turkey looking in at me was a bit startling but we’re getting used to seeing them daily now that it’s been about a month. Junior has grown quite a bit since I took these photos. My DIL who loves birds and majored in animal science tells me that turkeys normally have about 5 eggs to hatch, so we don’t know what happened to Junior’s siblings.

As I’ve written before — several times — we have a small wilderness park behind our home. Every year around the 4th of July I get a little tense, worrying about wildfires due to fools and fireworks. Well, this year it happened, more than a week after the holiday, and we’re lucky the fire department arrived quickly. (Personally, we’re lucky it happened on the other end of the street and the wind wasn’t blowing our direction so we didn’t even have to breathe the smoke.) The fire came close to several houses but only one is having to replace siding that melted in the heat of burning trees.

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It could have been so much worse.

DSCN5568 Resilient Nature WEBSIZED

And nature is resilient.

DSCN5599 circle of life, burn, WEBSIZED

May all of those who are so terribly affected by the [much, MUCH WORSE] wildfires in other places be shown grace, hope, mercy, and respite from the anxious worries that now consume their thoughts and lives.

 

 

 

 

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That went by quickly!

July is over and I’ve hardly written. We had Little Foot here one weekend while his parents had an adult weekend with baby brother, and then all 4 of them were here this past weekend. The Engineer and the Author have purchased an investment property/rental home and he’s been cleaning and preparing while she hangs out here with Little Foot and Chomper. I miss having the extra time with my son but nothing beats snuggling grandbabies!
In fact, that snuggle-time helped me come to a decision: I’ve given notice at work and will be done by October 1st. Because how can I miss out on this?

DSCN5447 Sweet baby boy 4x6

DSCN5493 (3) WEBSIZED

Little Foot, age 2.5 years, with Chomper, age 3 weeks

DSCN5469 (2) with big brother in background

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We’ve hit peak heat and more this summer: mid- to upper-90s and we’re supposed to reach 100 degrees tomorrow while I’m at work in an old brick building (the office portion was built in 1926) with a wall of southern facing windows. There’s a single wall/window air conditioner unit far from my desk but by 3pm it cannot keep up on a 92 degree day even with additional fans blowing the air my direction.

Normally we have perhaps one or two weeks in August where it is too hot for those of us without air conditioned houses — and even then it cools down sufficiently at night to sleep comfortably with the windows open. The cost of installing A/C is probably equal to replacing our 6-inch high deck, and the deck is more crucial to fix (yes, we’ve repaired it once already, but thanks to apparently second-rate composite decking, the previous owner’s DIY job is disintegrating badly). Next will come the convincing ourselves to spend the money.

Anyhoodle, we’re hanging out with our family and trying to beat the heat.

What’s up in your end of the world?

 

 

 

Summer mileposts

Spokane RIver view from dining room window of TRAILER, websized

glamping bed
My private glamping tent set up inside my friends’ trailer.

Last week SuperDad and I finally had our first trailer camping experience together. I’ve trailer-camped with friends, enjoying my own little glamping hideout, but this was our first time as husband and wife.

We don’t yet agree on what size of trailer or layout so this is going to be a process of discovery and discussion.  We’re renting from the local military installation’s outdoor recreation store while we weigh the pros and cons of trailer camping.  I am personally a big fan of indoor plumbing, coffee pots on timers, and pillows. I’m also a big fan of fresh air and seeing the stars at night, so that rules out traveling via motels 100% of the time.  After all, I traded in my beloved minivan for a big SUV last winter in order to tow a trailer, so I’m obviously committed to doing this.

Plesiosaur and the Beast, websized
SuperDad told me he was being tailgated by a giant trailer.

Trail Runner 21-foot trailer from AFB, camping at Riverside State Park, WEBSIZED

While I agree it was intimidating, it was also close to being what I want in a travel trailer. It had a walk-around queen bed (“trailer queen” so a bit short in length but still 60 inches wide), a full bath mid-trailer with a good sized shower, a fridge with separate freezer, and a u-shaped dinette in back that gave us the window view at the top of this post . Not bad!
The campsite was near home, so I went to work from here and my better half stayed and played. SuperDad brought along his kayak (which rode in the truck) and mountain bike (trailer) and is now thinking about a toyhauler as compromise (“Think of all the TOYS we could bring inside it!”) while I am sure that would ruin the glamping vibe. Kayaks and bikes don’t need to ride inside the trailer.  I want a cute space for my crafting supplies. After all, I need to have something to do while he’s out being outdoorsy.

Happy Camper, websized

Once upon a time, I would have thought this was all ridiculous. I was a committed tent camper. But now that we are getting older and I cannot get up off the ground easily (understatement) thanks to my Frankenstein ankle, this is where we are at.  How about you, dear Reader? How do you feel about camping?

We still cling to hope.

It’s prom season.
In fact, tonight is prom for my youngest son’s high school.
He’s not going.
He’s not into loud crowds or loud music or pop culture, but none of his brothers have been either, and two out of three of them did attend prom.  I don’t know if he would have gone had he not fallen out of that tree.

It’s also the season for announcements of which university the high school graduates are heading off to in the fall.  I’ve seen multiple pictures of my friends’ high school seniors proudly holding their acceptance letters and wearing their new college t-shirts. I get a little jealous pang but that doesn’t mean I’m not happy for them. I truly am pleased for the parents and the students.
My youngest son will graduate (thanks to his IEP and his hard work) and he plans to attend the local community college in September. We are still hoping that by the time he has two years of CC under his belt, he will be recovered enough to go on to a full university.  But there are no promises. I know it, his dad knows it, and I’m pretty sure he knows it.

We still cling to hope.

I have to keep reminding myself that we are so very lucky to have him as whole as he is, despite the constant headache and the times his brain refuses to function properly for him.
Dear God, I am grateful.
At the same time, though, I sometimes grieve for what he has lost.

DSCN5773 bleeding HEARTs

Woman in Winter

Winter mocks her.

Despondency settles heavily on her brow like a sinus headache.

The steady drip of melting snow trickling off the eaves is just that: a trick. It will snow again. She knows this to be true.

DSCN1306  street view

Today’s roadway slush will freeze tonight into alien landforms. Walking outdoors is treacherous; slick ice with sloppy, wet, grayish-brown sludge on the offensive, ready to take her down. She despises shopping malls – if one more person suggests walking in one, she will scream. Besides, there is no time. She hasn’t seen her younger child since an early supper on Wednesday before he left for scouts, his shaggy unkempt hair incongruent with the neatness of the Boy Scout uniform. She lies awake late at night, trying to clear her mind and relax so she can sleep. Eventually, sleep comes – she suspects it arrives with a cast iron skillet like a cartoon fishwife.

Groggy mornings find her struggling (but not really – why fight the sleep that came so slowly?) to awaken. The children are already at school. She forces herself to go through the motions: shower, get dressed. She looks longingly at fleece lounge pants – too warm for sleep, they would be perfect right now. But she must leave for work and they are too informal for office attire, even for her. Wearing no make-up, she chooses nicer yoga pants that she hopes look like dress pants.

At work, she fakes happiness in a voice doesn’t belong to her. The more she accomplishes the further behind she feels. How important, really, is that particular task? Would anyone notice if it was done or left undone? She stays late at the office in a futile attempt to catch up, making mistakes that cost her more time.

She pulls into the driveway and turns the key, shutting off the engine. Life at home continued without her, of course. The fourteen-year-old has already shut himself in his room for the night. Her place is set at the table, her cold supper portion resting in serving dishes.

Rest. That’s what she craves. So much remains undone in her life: work, appointments. She sighs – and realizes that in the morning shuffle, she failed to take her medication. No wonder she is achy and sad. (There is no exclamation point because one of the forgotten pills is an anti-depressant.) If she takes one now, she will perk up and have trouble sleeping. It is better to wait for morning. Tomorrow is another day.

february-freezing-rain

This post was originally written 4 years ago and left to languish in the “drafts” file. Today simply felt like the right day to set it free.