Search This Blog

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Great Outdoors

Me and our little Figgy up in Maine. One Christmas, H.'s brother John very generously gave us a gift certificate for a sunset sailboat cruise out of Camden.
H. got back from Maine last night [in time for the 9 p.m. movie]. The next plan he hatched was a one-night camping trip with Punchy and Sug on the Appalachian Trail near Lake Tiorati. [I think under an hour from here? I've been there, just forget.]

He and Punch really wanted me to go, but after six days on my own with her, I craved time alone. And also, I somehow pulled my calf muscle pretty badly and have been unable to get into a comfortable position for sleep. Last night, I took pain medication, an anxiety pill and maybe an inch of Grand Marnier on ice [had it in my baking cabinet for chocolate cake recipe]. I finally feel asleep for about 6 hours. But the thought of tossing and turning in a rustic lean-to in the wilderness did not appeal--though I would have loved the stars.

H. has been eager to take Punch camping for a while. When Figgy was little, we camped with her up in Camden and Moosehead, Maine and also down near the Pine Barrens in NJ, if I remember correctly. And that doesn't count Girl Scout camping. So today was a scramble as H. loaded an enormous backpack bigger than Punch--it was the one Figgy used when she hiked the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire and Maine with a group one summer. He packed hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, food [including raw eggs and potatoes for tomorrow's breakfast], condiments, flashlights, sleeping pad, etc. etc. Little Punch was expected to carry a smaller pack with their clothing. I got them a nice new mess kit on the drive back from Montreal, when my friend Anne and I stopped in a great country store in New York State.

I started fretting a bit just around the time darkness fell, visualizing slithering black snakes and hungry bears. I hope H. remembered to put the food outside the lean-to. The first time I camped with him, on my first trip to Maine to meet his family, it was pouring rain, the food was in our tent and a raccoon was clawing at the flaps a lot of the night, trying to get in. Thank God the flaps were zippered.

They left about 4:30; I texted to check in with them.
Me: Are you guys ok? It's 7:10 p.m. Call me to let me know you're safe or text. Thanks. Love Ali/Alison  [It's a long story--H. calls me Ali for real and Punch calls me Alison for a joke. It's not my name.]

[at 8:24 p.m.] H: All good. She had two dogs with ketchup. I had veggie burger. Heated up your apple thing. Delicious. Now sitting at fire and looking at stars. Gonna turn off phone. Good night, xoxox

I hope the three of them are safe tonight. Good night.

P.S. I tried to scan a really cute photo of H. and Fig camping when she was little, but alas, our scanner wouldn't work.

  1. Had some avocado and used multigrain tortillas to make quesadillas for me and Punch.
  2. Walked Sug with Punch and our friend Obie and her cute son.
  3. Hot bath.
  4. Good dental and skin care.


  1. This is brilliant! A wonderful trip for H. and Punchy to bond over and time alone for you. Love it! Sometimes divide and conquer really is best.

  2. and yay on the good dental and skin care!

  3. Hi Kim. Sitting here with my clean teeth and clean face :) you are inspiring. I agree, divide and conquer. We do it a lot as older foster parents; we just don't have the energy to both go full force all the time. Sometimes I fear we do it too much, but it seems to work ok. I guess I feel a little bad that I didn't go with them, because those are happy memories, you know? Oh well, I will be better rested for it. Love alice

  4. Yay for the Great Outdoors! And for alone time. This is the balance I have had a really hard time with. After I was suddenly thrust into parenthood (as you were) I mourned my time alone, so was happy when my brother-in-law took the kids for a week to the beach with other friends. But I missed them, more than I would have thought possible! I missed sharing the healing power of the beach with them. It's a balance that is never stable - we are always wobbling back and forth.

    I wrote about where I get my clothes on my blog - in response to a question you posted in the comments.

  5. Thanks Nan. Yes the balancing act is hard to master...I checked your site again ad loved the clothing post. Thanks again . Xo Alice