In Kathy’s absence, I find myself driven to write a blog to break the silence. Perhaps her recent phone call explains my motivation:
“If you can lay on the couch in good conscience and read your book while there is no blog posting for today or yesterday, then go right ahead,” Kathy suggested. So here I am, taking up the sacred keyboard out of sheer guilt.
Today we celebrated my Mom’s birthday, cheerfully ignoring the fact that her birthday was on Wednesday. In keeping with her own character, and (perhaps) in honor of our recent attempts to reduce our expenses, Mom asked for work instead of presents. We piled into the van at about 7:20 this morning (shudder) and drove out to the Duckabush, where we spent about 2 1/2 hours pulling Oregon Grape fragments out of what seemed like acres of muddy hillside.
We planted 20-some trees (Dad said they were Turkish firs, but I wasn’t fooled) with the help of Chaplain Ted, who has been staying out at the Duckabush and was duped into being part of this project.
As energies flagged, Grandpa entertained the kids with tractor rides (and promptly ran out of gas). We broke for lunch (hot dogs at the Gazebo) and stalled until the rain settled in. We played games and read stories and enjoyed cake, hoping that the rain would continue so we wouldn’t have to go back out and do more clearing. As is often the case in the Spring, the sun shone brightly while the rain poured down for much of the afternoon.
It was a fun day, and Mom seemed to enjoy it. I was very proud of my children, who did very little complaining or whining, at least on a per-capita basis. Joshua, Rachel and Daniel plugged away at the ground-cover removal, and Rachel kept a stiff upper lip about an outbreak of hives (apparently aggravated by the cold temperatures). David and Sarah worked with Chaplain Ted to plant a number of the so-called Turkish firs, and even I managed to keep my whining down to a low mumble.
I took a few minutes to walk around the main lodge of The Refuge, admiring the progress made since my last visit. The kids and I agreed that we disliked the yellow and blue outside wall coloring — funny that Grandma and Grandpa would put so much effort into designing such a beautiful lodge and yet neglect such basic asthetic matters.
On the way home we saw the most spectacular rainbow, which, of course, I didn’t capture with my camera. It was a double rainbow, and it was very deep and vibrant with color — so much so, that there seemed to be two nearly complete rainbows mapped out in the bands of the primary half-ring. As we drove along, it seemed the rainbow ended just a few hundred yards away in the marshlands — we were tempted to go hunting for a pot o’ gold, or at least a box of Lucky Charms.
When we arrived home, Joshua made us pancakes while I collapsed on Doughboy (our couch, not a slow-moving family pet). I was very proud of him — he is on dinner dishes duty, which meant that he had to clean up everything as well — he is a very diligent and cheerful boy who we are beginning to rely upon a little too heavily. As I struggled to wake up enough to work on my Sunday School class, he even decorated the downstairs with crepe paper streamers for Daniel’s birthday tomorrow. Truly, a delightful boy.