Brian, the log-splitting master in a play-by-play of his lumber jack abilities.
I woke up this morning and turned to Brian, "Do you think we could hike-"
"No, not today -I was talking about tomorrow. Do you want to hit up the Appalachian trail for a bit?"
So today was spent entirely at camp, and it was glorious. After exactly a week here, it felt like home. We were constantly dirty, despite our daily dips in the creek, and my hair has never been so greasy, but we didn't care -we LOVED it. We were slowly becoming those weird woodsy folks who think on the "modern" world and all who inhabit it as strange and frivolous. Here in the woods, in our secluded campsite where we could (and often did) walked around in just what God gave us, skinny dipping in the frigid stream, roasting our food over a fire and constantly working on maintaining camp, we were content and ridiculously happy. It helped that it hadn't really rained yet and we enjoyed fabulous weather, reaching into the mid-80s. We sipped light beer and drank cheap boxed wine out of McDonald's sundae cups (yes, VERY classy folks) and let the sun warm us in true aboriginal fashion. Can't do THAT in our back yard, that's for sure. (Sorry, no pictures posted -our private collection.)
We rinsed our clothes in the stream and I boiled river water and washed them further with detergent in the small mixing bowl I brought. Scrubbing, washing, wringing, hanging them to dry -the sweetness of the labor made us tipsy with happiness. The simple, honest, hard work of caring for our family and making a tiny "civilization" in the woods created a better vacation than a 5 star resort ever could. At least for us.
Wilder and his wood chips. The one electronic toy we brought down to the campsite was constantly covered in dirt as he piled handfuls on top while pressing buttons and waving his arms to the music.
One of the trees above us at our site was a large, wild magnolia. Can't get more perfect than that -well, perhaps if it was a peach or apple tree and it was in season...
This is the view up from our site. Both Brian and I thought the day we arrived that it was just like Terabithia (if you haven't read the book "Bridge to Terabithia" or watched the movie, grab either or both as soon as you can.) At night the stars shine more brilliantly than any place I've been, no city lights to interfere with the blackness of the sky and the diamond-like twinklings of the stars.
Wilder was using the Sprite bottle for his "nightlight in a bottle" but Savannah lost her ball in the woods and claimed it as her chew toy. She was running around like mad, growling and chasing this bottle.
"I LOVE DIRT!!!"
Okay, majorly bad decision making skills. Nearly finished making lunch, Wilder decided he had enough of us and was ready for a nap. I was making creamy chicken noodles (1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 can chicken in water, 1/2 bag wholewheat egg noodles) and Wilder grabbed some of the seasonings. Obviously he took the pepper. Holding on to his Barnyard electronic toy and the closed pepper shaker, I plopped him in the tent and let him have his quiet time. About 10 minutes later while Brian and I were talking about life, family and changing world views over lunch, "Achoo!.....AchOOO!"
"He's sneezing!" I said, "How cute."
"Why is he sneezing?" Brian asked.
"OH NOOOOOO!!!! THE PEPPER!!!"
"What?! He has PEPPER in there?! What were you thinking?!"
"Uh, I didn't think he could get it open," I said as we rushed to the tent to rescue both Wilder and the pepper.
It was RIDICULOUS. All but 1/2 tsp. of the bottle was dumped in Wilder's lap and on the blankets we had just shaken and aired out that morning. The poor little dude. I took his clothes off and washed his face and eyes with water and we removed the majority of the pepper from the tent -as much as we could. All of us were tearing up with itchy eyes. Thankfully Brian has had plenty of experience with pepper spray and helped us get sorted out after my severely retarded decision to let my 18 month old have quiet time with a full pepper shaker.
And then....it rained. A serious thunder-lightning-down-pour kind of rain. Thankfully it was about 7pm and time for Wilder to start winding down, anyway. We played for quite awhile...
And eventually all konked out. Brian and I got up at about 9:30pm after the rain had stopped, made a fire out of the wood we covered with the tarp, and had dinner. If it had to rain, that was pretty good timing, in my opinion.