“When it comes to life the critical thing is
whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”
– Gilbert Keith Chesterton
June 1st! Are we already getting to the halfway point of the year? This month marks the start of crazy for us. Birthdays, holidays, baseball, and a new element: marching band. Andrew started baseball this week. I love it! They have practices 4-5 days a week. The coach said at least 4 days. He is working them hard on conditioning. At this point they all know how to throw the ball, catch it, and hit it; time to get conditioned. I did not think he would like it, but he does. Last night he came home and was really sore. He almost an entire pizza and crawled on to the couch and went to sleep. Next Tuesday, Amanda starts marching band practice. On the second to last day of school, she got her Chamber’s music and marching band music. It was strongly suggested that she got her music memorized so she could learn and focus on marching. It will be interesting!
I’m trying to work things out with my sister about exchanging or just taking kids. Her kids have a lot going on this summer. There’s traveling to see their other family, camps, and other things going on (sounds familiar). Amanda really wants to make money this summer. I can remember being 14 and wanting to make money. Not old enough to get a job, yet. I’m thinking about meeting my sister in Cheyenne so she can go to my Dad’s house the week he has his surgery. This would give him the chance to have someone around while mom is working. Someone to keep him out of trouble! Amanda also wants to go see her best friend. I can relate. I know at some point this month I will get to see my best friend. I’ve missed her so much!
So I have a question…. What is the “it” you’ve taken for granted?
Have you ever stopped and thought about or experienced the “it” and realized how much you took it for granted? As summer rolls out it’s carpet I realized my “it” is Washington. There were so many opportunities as a photographer! I get mad at myself that so much drama and crap got into our lives that it really cut off being and doing the things that we loved so much! I have truly been uninspired. I guess my challenge here is to find that same beauty and mystery. I like tiptoeing through the dark misty forests and sitting on the beach listening to the ocean waves crash against the shore. There was something magical about it. Something that would awaken my senses and the challenge to me was showing and sharing it through the lens of a camera. Here… I’m struggling to find that inspiration and excitement.
I have joined a facebook group that has some truly talented photographers. I think it’s awesome that they put together outings to not only give people a chance to dabble in a particular genre, but also to share their knowledge. I’ve scrolled through all the events, but the biggest problem is this stupid messed up leg. I so badly want to hike through the Rocky Mountain National Forest next weekend, but I know I’d just be holding people back and the last thing I want is people to feel sorry for me. I guess I should just admit, that patience I so delicately learned…is wearing thin. I know it isn’t the will power. I could go with them and keep up, but when the weekend was over me and my physical therapy team would be shaking their heads. I also still run that risk of dumb fractures, and that would just ruin not only my weekend, but those around me. So I will wait….and grumble about it….
OH! I know another “it”. WALKING!! Isn’t it crazy? You’d think that walking is the most natural thing we learn to do. How do we learn as babies? This old woman can’t seem to figure it out. SO many things have to happen from the brain to your legs… I feel like half of my body is not communicating! It’s rather frustrating. My muscle memory is so messed up and getting it fixed is daunting. I’m so thankful I have a team of people working with me to get it fixed. It goes back into patience. One slow step at a time.
Anything else going on? OH! Camping was really awesome! It really went without any major hiccups. I did forget a few things: dish soap, chapstick, and ketchup. It was a good belly laugh at times. When we showed up Thursday night we were not sure if it was a good idea or not. The wind was howling and it was getting cold fast. The wind was blowing so hard we almost could not keep one tent standing. So Dan moved the truck behind the tent and it helped. I am not sure we got any real sleep that night. The next morning was fun! The wind was still stirring the pot, but it wasn’t as bad as during the night. It was just enough to keep the little propane stove from staying lit. So we used the next best thing, a camp fire. Quite interesting to cook fried potatoes, sausage, and bacon on the stove; ok it took forever! My most favorite part was coffee!! I’ve been waiting for camp fire coffee for years! So warm and yummy!
After we cleaned up breakfast, things could have really turned for the bad. Dan and I decided to go down and soak a few worms in the lake. Well, the third ranger drove up and parked next to our camping spot. Mind you this is the third ranger we had already seen that morning. He got out and asked the kids where the adult was. So Dan started heading up that way. Needless to say he gave us a ticket for not staying parked in the parking area. This is one of those lessons you teach your kids about rules are rules…no matter how much you have good intentions, if you break a rule you break it. We got to talking to the ranger and I was a bit mad. It wasn’t like we were our four wheeling. I was mad on the inside. All I could think about was this guy was telling my husband they were going to have to send someone out to “repair” the damaged we caused (by the way when he moved his truck you couldn’t even see tire tracks). Dan was very careful not to spin his. I mean I get the rangers point. Well, I blurted out how I felt sorry for the rangers because of all the litter that was lining the lake and campsites. Honestly, it’s the worst I’ve seen next to seeing Fountain Creek.
He explained that there was 20 miles of beach and not enough volunteers or rangers to keep things clean. I can understand that, but it’s a cardinal rule for us; what you pack in you pack out. You just assume that rule of thumb goes to all people using or visiting the lake. Well he went on his way and we resumed fishing. Dan and I were talking when he stopped in the public parking area and got out of his truck. He pulled a bright orange bag out and my heart sunk. All I could think was I possibly did something wrong with my crawdad trap. The ranger started walking down the beach and picking up trash. When he got to us I told him that if he wanted to leave his trash bag the kids and I would do some trash picking up. I knew that afternoon everyone would get board and why not do a good deed for the environment. He nodded and kept walking down the bank. On his way back he stopped and gave us a spinner. Oh, the amount of “fishing” trash was awesome! We got so many hooks and sinkers! There were all sorts of treasures lying around. Any who, the ranger stopped as he was walking away and turned to say, “In all my 27 years of being a ranger I’ve never made a deal with anyone. If you get your kids involved and pick up litter, I’ll void your husband’s ticket.” Know what I said? “Oh you don’t have to do that, I’m just passionate about trash.” (lol moment) He smiled and told me to have Dan meet him at his truck.
I wasn’t trying to get Dan out of a ticket; I was just so darn mad about how inconsiderate people are. The rest of the trip went uneventful until late in the evening. I had my line in the water and was brewing a hell of a headache. Too much sunshine and not enough air to breath? So I propped my pole against a rock and ran up to get something to make it go away. While I was in camp I head Amber hooting and hollering. I was so excited! I thought she had finally got her fish she had been so patience in getting. So I grabbed my camera and “ran” back to the shore. Come to find out My pole had fallen over, so Dan told her to reel it in. The cutthroat on the other end had swallowed hook and all. So we say we tag teamed that fish. It got exciting! We thought that it was fish time. Nothing. No bites. Nothing until about 1:00 in the morning.
Now I was exhausted, so I went to bed early. So did my bear. The boys (Amanda’s boyfriend came with us) and little Bee stayed up to fish with Dan. He said several times they had something on their line, but it spit the hook. What was so exciting was Brandon caught a fish for the first time in his life. He even took care of it after Dan showed him. This is my final “it”. You know sometimes I just assume that people have done these things. I am starting to wonder if we are unique. It’s important to us to not only get away from “city” life, but also to show our kids some survival things. You never know where you might need to use a slip knot or how to cook with fire. It was great that we could share these things with Brandon. When Dan crawled into the tent he said, “You know, sometimes you take the things that you have done and know for granted.”
Got me to thinking about all the “its” that I take for granted.