Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vacation Recap :: Summer at the Cabin

I wrote up a whole long rambling post last night, but I was kinda inebriated because of the crazy Belgian beer I bought for myself. I spent last night alone, Tim is off in the wilderness with our dog, camping and shooting pictures. It is the first time he has been alone in many many years. And the first time in awhile that we will be apart for more than a day. Not to sound terribly codependent, it is just that he is not that guy that needs to escape with his man crew for deep sea fishing, I am not a girly girl with a group of girls wanting to get away and he and I are pretty good friends. But, uh, this post was going to be about our trip. I just really hate re-writing things…I feel like I already wrote it and put it out there, but instead I let the computer battery die and it ate my writing. Might be a good thing as I am speculating that it was highly sentimental and drunk sounding.

So, the Cabin. What can I say? I write these posts so that in a year or two I can click on an archive link and find something like this. That post is a record of the first time we brought the boys to the Cabin and reading it brings back the moments with a rush of emotion so strong. This blog has become my link to their lives and our lives as they run their courses…my memory has never been a strong point and I always jumble people and experiences and events up into a mixed mash of mistakes. But here, with this, I remember. Better than ever before anyway. As long as there is a server and Google is around I can find those memories recorded here. Hmmm, thought it was the drunkenness that made me all sentimental. Such a character flaw.

This trip was exceptional for me. Exceptionally wonderful in so many ways, but also exceptionally challenging. There is always an easiness to our trips up, we never really plan anything, just knowing the Lake and the place will bring us what we need. This time the garage held a pair of kayaks and a small portable grill. And so our plan became all lakeside for the most part.
The boys are getting better at not drowning themselves voluntarily at the shore edge, we had PFDs for them, lots of sand toys and sunscreen. It was a joy to watch their first kayaking experience, they sat so still and just observed. In and out we went, ride after ride, not easy work on my arms but worth every stroke. Owen and I witnessed an osprey dive for fish 10 feet from us…he missed his prey and I think he gave us a dirty look for disturbing his fishing area.

The boys made their first real Cabin hike, going almost a mile into one of our favorite trails. I am pretty sure it was a mile because we had to carry them shoulder style all the way out.
riding home
his ride home
But their determination on the uphills, hearing their little bodies breath and strain to make it, their joy when they did. Awesome. It was the same trail we once took them on in their Bjorns, weighing in at no more than 8 or 9 pounds. Now we marvel as they hold our hands, charge ahead or lag behind to pick up some sticks to tap out a beat. Really just awesome.

We had our first lakeside BBQ too with some hot dogs and hastily eaten ‘gourmet’ hamburgers for the grown ups. That did not go over too well, but at least we tried. And the Smores were a total failure, completely rejected by our guys who do not seem to be advocates of the assembled dessert. They will come around, I am sure.

A trip to the giant Sequoias. Here they are last they are more sure of foot but they still look minuscule next to these tress. i have seen these trees so many times but the awe never diminishes, never lessens. They make me feel tiny but not insignificant, and so so young.

At twilight pond-side every night we tried to spot the loud bullfrogs that croak out their greetings. We were having no luck, the skittish frogs jumping in before we could spot them. The boys were manic about it, demanding to see ‘froggies’ ‘froggies please’ to no avail, we just could not get close enough. Then we went out mid morning, our last short pond walk before heading home and there they all were, sunning themselves in lazy fashion, floating just offshore and going nowhere despite our approach. The boys had no idea what they were looking at until I explained that those were the frogs. Then the excitement came and they chanted ‘bye froggies bye froggies’ all the way back to the Cabin.

It was far from idyllic, there were the evening meltdowns and endless requests that accompany toddlerhood. And yes, they watched more Thomas DVDs than they ever do at home and had a tough time getting to sleep due to the lack of ‘blackout’ conditions in our shared bedroom (yep, we are those parents, the ones that blot any bit of light out to persuade them to sleep). I truly love our time when it is the four of us, but also realize how I much I need our shared home. There is always a willing adult to shunt them to when dinner needs making or we just need some breathing room. Not so at the Cabin, and it reminds me to be grateful for the ability to experience both sides of parenting.
me after 45 minutes car screaming
(Me after quite some time in the car whilst they begged to 'go home' 'have cookies' or 'dot-chaaaaa' Mace's whine for his paci...argggg).

But this leads me to anticipatory excitement because in August we are having our first official Bout reunion, all siblings will be present with spouses and partners, the three grand kids, everyone. This has not happened since our wedding day in ’03 and I am so very glad it is happening in my most favorite place on earth. Nothing like 20 of your closest most beloved gathered in one spot to grill, swim, dance and sing the time away.

Until then, I will just hold onto the images from this trip. It always amazes me when those earlier elusive imaginings come true. So many things about this trip brought me fulfilling joy.
Watching Mace swim in his fashion, belly down and chin up in the shallow water as he furiously kicked. Watching them navigate the once dangerous stairs, now taking them step over step without help, legs sturdy and confidant. The new does not replace the old, just layers and layers and layers are starting to be created, odd moments of near deja vu when I think this was yesterday, was it not? And now he runs down grantie rock faces. Huh?

You might have noticed I am video heavy here. Tim has the SLR and we broke down and bought a point and shoot with video. Love the video and having a hard time with the camera aspects. Not bad, just not mine.


LauraC said...

So glad you had a great trip!

I did want to say that we have found travel at 3 to be so ridiculously easy and wonderful. (Btw we also use blackout shades, we need all the help we can get!) We just accept that we will lay with the boys until they fall asleep at nap and then they will be up with us until we go to bed at 10-11. When they get too cranky, we let them wind down with some of their shows.

Anyway there was this huge leap where 2 still felt like work and 3 felt like we were all truly vacationing. And I hope this holds because we are about to leave for a week at Jon's mom's lake cabin in the woods for a week on Friday!

Claroux said...

I love this post. You vacation looks HEAVENLY. I love that you and Tim keep the boys so in touch with nature. One day - if life ever allows it again - I hope to take vacations with all the kiddos to Maine and teach them to love the outdoors as well! I can barely make it to the beach with them now and the beach is only 10 minutes away!

BUT...looks like you had a WONDERFUL time! Beautiful photos and i love all the video clips!

Carrie said...

wow, this sounds like an amazing trip. and your upcoming family reunion sounds awesome too! thanks for sharing all the pics!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, looks like you guys had a blast! And that reunion sounds AMAZING. It's funny how as you get older it becomes such a treat to have everyone in one place--it was very much something I took for granted ten years ago.

Tom's away for the next two weeks and I'm doing such crap sleeping, which makes me feel weirdly codependent, too. Oh well. Soldier on. Belgian beer always helps :)

kat said...

sounds really good. meltdowns and all! I love that you are hiking in your skirt.

Preeti said...

I enjoyed catching up on all the posts I missed. It looks like you and your sweet family are really enjoying the summer. I loved each vid:)