Today is the Saturday of a mostly at-home Labor Day weekend for our family. Monday will be a late summer day trip to the ocean to frolic in the chilly north Atlantic surf, read a little, maybe knit, picnic, walk the beach and climb rocks. Perfect if you ask me. Damien is speaking my love language today as he's working on domestic maintenance; mowing the lawn, cleaning out our old work-out room to convert into a sewing/guest space (oh, I'm so excited about this), organizing the garage, hanging new clothesline and such. Last weekend I was speaking his love language by spending time together in the woods.
I wrote a (really) little summary of our trip when we got home last Sunday night. The trip was so much better than I had hoped it would be and our family had a fantastic time together. I kept a little journal while we were there and posted those thoughts and a bunch of photos on our family adventure blog. But I wanted to add a couple notes on this space about the trip.
Being married to a mountain loving, adventurous outdoorsy man has not been particularly easy on me this summer. Finding common ground (we refuse to go separate ways in our recreational pursuits) and still meeting our individual goals has been tricky at times. One of my big fears has been the idea of long trips in the woods. Do I have the stamina? Or even the desire?
Damien has been very wise at introducing his family to this world he loves, that he wants us to love in turn. He makes sure everyone is well fed, comfortable and warm. And dry when it really matters - like bedtime. He buys & makes clothing and gear that works, listens to the kid's needs and and never pushes them beyond what they are capable of doing. And he's willing to do the same for me, if I will just be open to try. I guess this has been one of our marriage lessons this summer. But it's been learned through tears, frustration, sore muscles and fatigue. Why do important lessons and life changes involve some sort of pain?
But one gets tired of always learning and wants to just enjoy and that's what our backpacking weekend was for me. And having 2 sunny days sure helped with my state of mind and physical comfort. I had mentally prepared for carrying a heavy pack reminding myself it was only 3 1/2 miles and that bearing weight is necessary for my bone health. I had packed all the gear I needed to be warm and dry - I was. And I had drawn a line in the sand; I would not go hiking this time in the pouring rain. Having taken care of all those details the joys that came with the rest of the trip were unexpected and refreshing:
- Meeting the interesting AT thru hikers who have been hiking for 4 or 5 months already and are almost to their goal of Mt. Katahdin, Maine.
- Spending Saturday in the 3 sided shelter (a lot more comfortable than hanging out in our tent all day!) that kept us dry during the tropical storm that was hitting the north east.
- The mental rest I felt from spending a whole day doing basically nothing.
- The pure enthusiasm of my children for these kind of adventures. When we ran out of TP Brienne happily chirped, "I'll just use moss" (and she did). You go girl!
- The pleasure of taking photos in a beautiful setting.
But what about getting my period? Well I'm still working out how to deal with that in the back woods since at home I don't use disposable products. For this trip I compromised using The Keeper with disposable pad back up. This part was a tad challenging for me but we North American women are kind of wimpy in this regard. Really now, women the world over for many millennia have learned to cope with this. I'm not going to let this most natural of "womanly functions" keep me from enjoying the beauty of the back country. Now I just have to figure out how to do it without waste. Never a moment without something to work on! I think that pretty much wraps up what I have time to say about our trip. Check out ADVENTUREinPROGRESS for more. Oh, I almost forgot - the backpack didn't fit Celine too well (such a disappointment, it hurt her shoulders) and Damien had to carry it up the mountain in addition to the 55+ lbs on his back! He rocks.