Monday, July 14, 2014

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

We took advantage of the extra day off for the 4th to make a cabin trip. My mom was here that week, she stayed with the kids for the 4 workdays and then came with us for the long weekend. Between the extra passenger and the need to bring a ton of stuff up there that weekend we ended up driving two cars.

[the worst of times]
One hour out of town I hear "I need the potty."  "I do too."

One half hour after that stop, "I need the potty again. I need to make a poopy."

Another hour later I am hungry and grumpy and need to stop for a snack.

Almost two hours later we stop for lunch and groceries.  One last half hour later we are finally there.

Terry starts unloading the truck while I unload the children and the Bubby and start putting the kitchen things away. He calls from the basement to come down. I enter the room and gasp in horror. The floor is soaking wet and the back wall is speckled black. Mold. We turn the dehumidifier back on - oops - and grab mop, bleach, rubber gloves, rags. One door is so nastily moldy that Terry takes it off its hinges and brings it outside.  We become very thankful for the decision to use the semi-gloss paint downstairs as the mold wipes right off the wall. We also become very thankful for the Bubby, who entertains the kids upstairs, feeds them a snack, and generally keeps them from coming downstairs to the mold and bleach dangers that await them there.

[the best of times]
We drove on the 4th itself. Learning from past mistakes, we planned to keep the kids up for the fireworks. This meant late nap and late dinner. Everyone except Terry napped. Afterwards the kids and I went up the hill to check things out. We saw the mature trees (aka the old apples, the plum, and the various Adams County new fruit trees). We picked black raspberries - we probably got a whole cup of them.  For dinner we grilled the steaks we'd bought on the way up, as well as corn and potatoes. Later came the fire and S'mores. When it got dark we pulled out the glow-sticks and let the kids pick two each. We watched the fireworks from the deck - there were some to the side, barely visible through the trees but there was a second display right smack in front of us on the water. The kids were beside themselves with excitement and happiness. Turns out fireworks are their very most favorite thing.

The next day we went to the beach for a while. I hadn't planned to go in the water so hadn't worn a bathing suit. There was an "emergency" - the beach ball went beyond the marker where Alex was allowed to go - so I ended up swimming in my shorts and Tshirt. And glasses But I did rescue the ball. The kids really do love the water. When it was time to head home for lunch and nap, they were reluctant to leave but handled it remarkably well given that they had not slept nearly enough the night before. Our traditional dinner at Grotto's and another round of S'mores back home and it was once again bedtime.

On Sunday, Terry's dad and step-mom came. The kids told me how excited they were to have two sets of grandparents together at the same time. And it was pretty cool. With so many grandparents I felt not a shred of guilt leaving them all together and Terry and I went to check on the game commission yearling trees. This was our 2nd or 3rd try at rebuilding a healthy forest and Terry told me later he planned to give up if this wasn't successful.  One of the main differences this time was that he had done a lot to prepare the area where the trees were planted - cleared all the weeds and ferns for a decent perimeter - and some lucky trees also got the assistance of tubing. I am hoping he will pop on one day and blog about the reforestation dream and adventure. This time, well more than 50% of the oaks were still alive and I think 75% of the cherry trees were alive. One cherry was maybe 3 inches off the ground with two tiny leaves, surrounded by ferns reaching past my knees. I was sure there was nothing there to find, but even that little baby persevered despite all the competition.  We had to clear more weeds and ferns, but they seem like many of them will actually make it. Next year will be the big test.

[back to the worst of times]
And then it was time to leave. We got all the kids's stuff situated with the Pennsylvania grandparents and Terry, mom and I took off for home.  Usual 4th of July weekend traffic meant that although we only stopped once, it took just as long to get home as it took to get there, and on the way there we had a sit down lunch. The "highlight" of the awful trip home was the major delay on Route 15 that led Terry to decide to get off at Gettysburg and find another way. I followed him dutifully, past the center of town, past the horse-drawn carriage, and right through Gettysburg battlefields. Well, it was in the battlefields I turned to my mom and said "We are so lost. We're going to have to turn around eventually."

Silly me for doubting my husband who can follow the sun and carries a map in his head. Soon thereafter we saw the highway we'd gotten off of about 5 miles back (but now we were 5 miles farther along it) and traffic was moving. As in, going the speed limit.  From there on out the traffic was bad but not as bad as we'd expected. We got home before bedtime, it was a win.

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