With our new-found “freedom” after no longer being 24/7 caregivers for Mom, you’d think we’d be all over the place traveling and doing exotic things, but between my working, taking care of that wonderful little granddaughter several days a week, and David’s (and Chris and Louise’s) various medical issues… well, heck, we haven’t gone anywhere! Until last week that is, when we traveled an entire hour and fifteen minutes north of here to the Hyrum State Park.
As a bit of back-story, ever since we’ve been back in the states we’ve been talking with Chris and Louise about camping. I grew up tent-camping and have fond memories. (Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not to be confused with “back-packing” and camping in itty-bitty tents eating dehydrated food. But I enjoy the challenge of cooking on a camp stove or other minimal equipment, and I like the “fresh air” and “back-to-nature” aspect of camping — as long as I can have some kind of potty for middle-of-the-night peeing, of course. Let’s get real.)
Despite my enthusiasm, Chris and Louise have been a little bit on the “not so much” side of things, but Louise gave herself away when she would report an occasional DI (Deseret Industries, much like “Goodwill” elsewhere) find that she thought would be very appropriate for camping. Camping, really?!? So, we figured it was still an open subject.
By pure happenstance we found the perfect “quasi-camping” option — just a bit northward of here is the Hyrum Reservoir and associated state park. In addition to the normal campground, they’d recently built two lovely little cabins. All-right! Electricity, real beds (two queen-size bunk-beds, in fact), a microwave and mini-fridge. What more could one want?!?
I immediately went online and bought a “bedside commode” to use for midnight potty-ing (just email me if you want to hear the low-down about using kitty litter to make this a really excellent option!) and we set about planning out meals. Chris, our resident grill-master, took on the task of grilling steaks our first night there, I made up some curried chicken and rice for our second night, and I made a breakfast casserole for one morning and stuffed french toast (easily cooked up in the cabin on the electric skillet I brought) another morning — along with the requisite bacon, of course! During the days we wandered out and went birding, checked out some hot springs with the highest mineral content of any hot springs practically in the whole world, did a bit of “antiquing” (kinda scary when antique stores are filled with items familiar from your own youth!), enjoyed lunches out, and just had a wonderful time.
We’d wondered if we’d see any signs of leaf-turning and actually found that we did spot the occasional red/orange leaf. We’re plotting a true leaf-peeping excursion in another week or so, hoping to catch the peak up higher in the mountains. After our spectacular trip in September last fall, we’d headed just a couple of weeks later back to the same area where we just “camped” and went to the famous Bear Lake, but discovered we were too late for the leaves. So we’ll try to hit that sweet spot a couple of weeks earlier this year. We enjoy the long sunny days of summer, but are all excited about the hints of fall. Cooler nights — even just ten degrees make a huge difference! — that indescribable “something” that foretells of fall around the corner.
Oh, and you’re wondering about Avila? Gee, we thought you’d never ask! She continues to amaze us — the language explosion just kept going. She talks pretty much constantly with such complexity that we are *constantly* remarking “how can she know that?!?” so she’s just a world of fun to be around. As she approaches two-and-a-half, we certainly see the *occasional* flare of the infamous “terrible twos” but we feel incredibly blessed that those flares truly are occasional and short-lived. She really is just cheerful and happy most of the time.
And, given the language, are we really surprised when she *is* having challenges now and then, that she says things like “I’m a little bit sad!” or “I really, REALLY need [fill in the blank]?? Not to say that she *never* has melt-downs, but they are luckily not too often. And just today when she was deciding (at a not-altogether-convenient time) that she wanted to change clothes, and when I first expressed some resistance, she started to cry. I pointed out that she did NOT get what she wanted by crying for it, and she paused for a moment, took a deep breath, and said, “I’m okay!” and she was, indeed. (And yes, she was allowed to change clothes after she stopped crying for it!)
Enough out of me! Let me hear from YOU — comments are always appreciated and enjoyed. And I hope that wherever you are YOU are experiencing that “indescribable something” that marks fall, whether fall is literally falling where you live or not. There’s an “energy” to fall that can be captured no matter where you are, and we wish that for you!
Our love to all!!