P365 – Day 104

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.

Truth be told, I would never dare to take up the actual sacred keyboard, that is, Kathy’s cool wireless keyboard. Somehow, in spite of the fact that I am the resident computer professional, her computer is the best and newest one, with the biggest monitor, and (much to my chagrin) the comfiest chair. I’m writing from a straight-backed chair at my own tiny desk in the corner, having (finally) outlasted the kids and their incessant Webkinz playing. Such idle amusements are not permitted on Kathy’s computer.

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.

Mom and Daniel working on a stubborn root
We had a competition to see who could get the longest root segment — of course, mine was the longest, although Grandma and Daniel made a creditable effort.

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.

David and Sarah hauling trees
David and Sarah were very helpful planting each tree and marking them with little orange flags.

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.

We couldn't find the elders, so we laid hands on it ourselves.
It turns out that playing with the tractor was a lot more fun than pulling Oregon Grape out of a hillside.

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.

Buried Treasure
Chaplain Ted shows the proper way to plant a tree.

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.

Main Refuge Lodge
Grandpa claims that logs will cover up the unsightly blue and yellow, but we’re not fooled.

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.

A rainbow on the way home
This is not the rainbow that we saw … it was another rather pathetic one … but I was determined to have SOME kind of picture of a rainbow.

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.

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11 thoughts on “P365 – Day 104”

  1. Thanks for writing, dear Tim! I love the rainbow- even a substitute. Jerry and I saw a huge one out our hotel window in Portland last week. IT was very tall! Lovely!!

    I’m anxious to see all of you in June! But I get to see Cindy/Mamie TODAY.

    Love you kids, Aunt Kate

  2. Whew – you were all busy!!! As always, I love to see and hear about the Duckabush. The Refuge is making great progress…..

  3. We must be a bit homesick, working outside on the Duckabush looked like such fun to us! A bit of cool drizzle, refreshing breeze, the sight of slug or two, or three, or more. And gasp, jackets! We would have happily joined you! We do agree, the decor on the outside of the Refuge certainly needs some rethinking. It is exciting to see it coming along, and progressing.

  4. Thanks for helping Kathy keep up, Tim, even if you had the little computer and the hard little chair. :)

    A few years ago, a new outdoor mall was built nearby. We still refer to it as “The Yellow Mall,” because of the yellow papered stuff that was used for part of the building, lol.

    It looks like you had a wonderful day!

  5. Kristine – that’s hysterical! I love The Yellow Mall. I do hope the Refuge can move past it’s current decor. Isn’t Tim a gem to suffer while blogging in the sad chair.

    I think he got tired of hearing me call home.

    “Hi Honey! How are the kids? Oh good, did you blog for me?????”

    I probably asked that more than details about the children. Oh dear, the blogging obsession runs deep these days.

  6. Tina – don’t even get me started on wanting you to come home!!! I laughed and laughed to hear the longing in your comment/voice about the cool WA weather. Only someone suffering in the Thailand heat would want to come and be in the drizzily, grey rainforest.

    Love you!

  7. Great entry, Tim! Thanks for pitch hitting for Kathy. I so enjoy your blog! The refuge looks great. I don’t know the history of it, but it sure looks like a family endeavor. Great job, kids!

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