Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wilderness Girl

This weekend I had my very first ever camping experience! My friend Mary and I went down to Cumberland Gap schlepping a cheapo tent (we didn't know it was cheap until later - it was borrowed) and a carload of sleeping bags, duffel bags, food, and all sorts of truck rolling around in the back of my jeep. The first day we got there and set up the tent. We forgot a mallet and so substituted my car jack which worked great, and we forgot rope so we used safety pins and knots to attached our gigantic piece of plastic to the tent to keep out the rain. (Side note: when packing I kept thinking about those safety pins, getting the feeling that they might be handy for something. Finally I tossed them in my bag. I can't help feeling that God got me to do that.) I will also add that the tent we were borrowing had been wet in its bag for I don't know how long. When I went inside I felt like I was inside of a dog's mouth -- it stank!!! Thankfully Mary had been forewarned about the dampness and had brought some spray bleach and (this cracks me up) floral-scented spray air freshener. Surprisingly those two pretty much took care of the initial odors! Later, it began to rain. And rain, and rain, and rain! That first night was a really wet one, and I ended up spending the night from about 5am-on in the back of good old jeepy. Brave Mary toughed it out in the tent. You know, the whole rainstorm thing wasn't really FUN at the time, but the whole time I was glad I was doing it for the sake of the experience. The second night they were still calling for rain, and the poor tent wasn't holding out very well, so we decided to hole up at a Holiday Inn Express for the last night. We left our tent up at the campsite because we'd already prepaid for two nights at the campground. When we got back the next day to take it down, it had puddles in it! One corner had accumulated about an inch or so of water, not to mention the little creatures that took advantage of the shelter (nothing furry, just bugs...one of which decided to ride all the way home with us and surprise me when I was putting blankets in the washer). Simply put, I was very glad we had been surrounded by sturdy walls and had soft beds that last night. You are probably thinking "my word, it sounds like she hated it!". That is absolutely not true! I did have my cringing moments, but I also had a really good time. We rolled with the punches and didn't freak out when plans had to change. I got to sit by a stream as it gushed and tumbled, winding its way over and under rocks as it flowed down the mountain. I was more relaxed than I've been in a while. Would I go back? Absolutely! Would I go back and sleep in a tent? Um... we'll cross that bridge when we come to it :-).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I love to write. That isn't to say that I often write, or even that I excel. I just love it when I begin to type and stuff just starts to come out and flow onto the screen. I was introduced to something called free writing in my college career. How liberating! The way you start is... just start! Just scribble or type about whatever you may be thinking on. Write about the way the icing looked on the cupcake you just ate - how it was piped on with a pastry tip and had little colored sugar flowers stuck here and there. Write about those little white-blond hairs that grow at your niece's temples - how fine and pure they are. Write about the walk you took yesterday, and how you got to thinking about the piece of grass you plucked and the way the tender new baby grass leaves grow up through the tough outer layers. Maybe you're thinking about the way your heart jumped when you watched that skinny cowboy at the rodeo fall off the bull last Saturday. Just lay it all out. The point is to get down the thoughts, whatever crawls across your consciousness at that moment. The time to pare it down and cut out the unnecessary stuff is later. Once you've exhausted the flow of thoughts, you can put it down and come back later. You've got this big messy chunk of stuff and it might hold something really wonderful! Read through and latch onto something that really shines. Maybe you really like the way your thoughts came out about the walk you took. Cut, paste, backspace, whatever you need to do - until you've got something coherent. Add to it if needed. It's your stuff, and you may not have even thought to write about that walk if you had sat down and forced yourself only to write on the subject of _____ in three paragraphs or less. Get all the stuff tumbled out onto the page. Let it live and breathe and give it a chance before you subconsciously whack it. It's great fun.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Feelin' fine and bonding with ole' Jeepy

Saturday again, and what a delightful day! The weather is in the 60's-70's with a soft breeze. It feels like Fall! This morning I woke up feeling blessedly WELL! Yesterday I had a serious headache most of the day, but by the time I went to bed it had abated and I slept fine and woke up feeling rested and ready to enjoy Saturday. So far today I've tried (emphasis on "tried") to clean the carpets in my car. They used to be bluish gray. Then they were bluish gray with dirt and stains, and now they are bluish gray with a few less noticeable stains. I also took out the floor mats (poor tired things) and scrubbed them with our tub scrubby. Say that five times fast! I think I'm going to save up for a car. The good old jeep still runs and gets me where I wanna go (which something in the back of my mind tells me I should be content with...), but I wouldn't mind having a nice little car again that doesn't shudder and refuse to start on the first attempt. I'll say this for ole' Jeepy - it always starts on the second try!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Fun Day of Pictures!

Last Friday my photographer friend Abigail Martin took my pics. It was great fun and the photos turned out wonderfully! Check out Abby's group on Facebook for details on her photography (Anna Abigail Martin on Facebook) or email her directly (praisehim201@juno.com).