Friday, July 29, 2022

Glamping Part II - Happy July 4th and 5th!

Monday July 4th

It rained all night long, but everyone was warm and dry and by 7 am it had stopped. The boys came over again for breakfast, actually everyone did, eventually. We had almost all 8 of us in the RV at one point, more or less!

Then we went into town to go fishing. I felt bad leaving the dogs so I said I would be responsible for them. So while everyone else fished from the town dock I took the dogs on a walk around the town.

When we got back they had had success. Leo caught 2 fish and Lee caught some as well. Kirby doesn’t quite get the concept.

We came back to the resort for lunch. We ate sandwiches and various snack things in the screen tent. It started to rain a little again, so the boys headed off to their tent to nap and everyone else headed to their tents and RVs for quiet time. 

I went into town for coffee but the little coffee wagon was closed, so I got coffee ice cream at Granny’s Pantry instead. It was pretty good. Later when the boys woke up everyone else went into town for ice cream too. I stayed back and kept the dogs company. I’m feeling a little sorry for them, they can see us, but we’re mostly hanging out a little apart from them and they like to be with their people!

When they got back Daniel had poppers and he showed the little boys how to do them. They tried throwing them but they mostly couldn’t throw them hard enough in the grass. Stomping on them worked; so did throwing them against trees. He had also bought a couple strobes. They set one of them off and Leo jumped up and down with excitement. 

Then Lee had another treat for them. He had bought water toys that’s were imitation fire equipment. One had water tanks in a backpack and a hose, the other was a pump action water gun. The pump was kind of hard for Kirby to do, also he liked to spray Leo but cried if he got sprayed. Poor kid, he was pretty tired.

It was Sarah and Erik’s turn to make dinner. The sun finally came out and it suddenly got hot. We tried putting up a sheet to block the sun in the screen tent but because the sheet was dark it absorbed the heat and made it even hotter. We ended up setting up a buffet in the screen tent and moving another picnic table into the shade to eat.

Sarah and Erik decided to drive back that night. The tents were hot and Erik needed to work a little tomorrow. Then Daniel and Kelsey decided to do the same thing. We stayed, but we turned on the aircon in the RV.

Tuesday July 5.

Time to go home, but first I need to run 6 miles. This time I ran on the trail toward town. This way the trail goes through corn fields and past a small air field, and then along the shore of the lake. I ran as far as the public beach and then turned around.

It was crazy humid, enough that running into the wind actually felt good. I finished, took my shower and we were packed up and on our way home by 9:30. 

It was a nice trip, in spite of the weather. If we could get everyone on board I think it would be fun to get a cabin on the north shore of Lake Superior next year. Only thing, you have to book them 6 months to a year in advance. That might be more planning than some people could stand!

Wednesday July 6

We had one more day with Daniel and Kelsey before they headed out on further adventures. We took the boat over to Wayzata for dinner. It was a beautiful night, calm and peaceful on the lake. We're sorry to see them go but we'll see them in just a few weeks in San Francisco!

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Dan and Kelsey Visit / Glamping at The Grove at Battle Lake Minnesota - Part I

Wednesday, June 29th

Tomorrow Dan and Kelsey arrive for a short visit. On Saturday we’re all going to Battle Lake Minnesota with Sarah and crew to go glamping. We’re bringing the RV because we’re old and its cheaper and that way we have aircon and a stove and fridge and a sink and a toilet etc etc. Although the  shower facilities are supposed to be very nice, and since they only have water and electricity we’ll probably use them and only use our toilet at night. 

I’m looking forward to seeing D and K. I’m chronically tired right now from marathon training but that’s the way it is when you do Hanson’s Marathon Method and you’re in week 15! 3 more weeks and we’ll be in San Francisco and I’ll run the SF marathon for my 70th birthday. I’ve really been working on elevation, yet even my hilliest routes have nothing on the SF marathon. So we’ll see. I’m definitely feeling strong, if tired, but the chances of blowing up if I don’t manage thing properly are pretty high. Either that or I’m too conservative and give up before I really get started. No point worrying but that’s easier said than done.

Our yard just looks so beautiful this year. This is our third summer here and the work (and $$) we’ve put in are really starting to pay off. Yesterday Chris, our landscaper, came by, and gave me a lesson on fertilizing. I finally got the evergreens straight in my head, which ones are pines, which spruces, which junipers and which are arborvitae! And now I know which ones get acidic fertilizer and which ones don’t. I can do it myself this year and save a lot of money.

I just really love our combination of natives and non-native plants. Natives are interesting. The first year you plant a lot of them they don’t bloom because they are busy developing root systems. But the second year, watch out! and sometimes they end up not being happy where I initially put them and I have to move them around. I put some lance leaf coreopsis down by the rain garden and initially I didn’t think it survived. But I was patient where it was planted and only pulled things that I was absolutely sure were weeds, and now, here and there they are blooming! Sometimes gardening is exciting!

Friday, July 1st

Yesterday Dan and Kelsey arrived around noon. I ran my 8 miles in the morning. That afternoon we just hung out. They were going out with Sarah and Erik that night so Suzanne babysit Kirby and we took Leo for an overnight because we have him this Friday anyway. He was VERY excited! He wanted to put his pjs on right away, even though it was only 5 pm!

We had a salad and spaghetti for dinner, and watched a movie. We watched Encanto, the new Disney flick. I was busy so I didn’t get to just sit down and watch it but it looked pretty good. I’m going to watch it on my iPad sometime.

I had to go to bed early because I had to get up and run my last 16 miler this morning. I got it done but I was pretty tired by the end. And my stomach was upset this morning so I couldn’t take in all my nutrition. 

We went to the playground and then to Adele’s for lunch. Leo fell asleep in the car after lunch so I don’t know how good of a nap he had. He fell asleep in the car again on the way home. Poor kid! He was ready for the camping trip to start and was disappointed that he had to go home for the night before it would get started. Tomorrow!

We had carry out Korean for dinner and ate out on the porch. It’s nice out!

Sunday July 3

Yesterday we finished packing up the RV and drove to Battle Lake, MN. This place is called The Grove. It’s in a grove of oak trees. It’s small, only 4 glamping tents and a space for an RV which is where we are. Water and electricity but no sewer for the RV, but that’s fine. There are nice bathrooms. 

We put up the screen tent and the dog fence for the dogs. No dogs are allowed in the tents. It was a beautiful night, sunny and a perfect temp. The bugs weren’t bad either. Dan and Kelsey made tacos and we ate in the screen tent. It was fun, but the sun shone right into the tent so it got a little warm.

The little boys had taken good naps in the car and were FULL OF ENERGY. They ran all over the glamping area, from the chairs we had set up in front of the RV, to the hammocks down by glamping tents and back, again and again. They wore me out just looking at them. We let them play in the RV for awhile but they wouldn’t stop playing with the screen door so we kicked them out.

After dinner we all sat in the hammocks for awhile. The boys put on a fireworks “show”, and pretended to be ninja turtles and then transformers. As usual by 8 I was ready for bed.

Because no dogs in tents Mika slept with us so 2 adults and 4 Westies in a queen "short" bed. Off in the distance someone was setting off real fireworks; Mika was the only dog that was a little upset.

Earlier I had put out some treats for the dogs for later on the table while we were down at the hammocks and the dogs were inside the RV. When I came back to the RV they were gone. “Oh yeah,” Lee said, “Heather was on the table”. That little dog ate 4 little mother Hubbard dog bones and 3 Milk Bones! No more treats for her!

This morning I slept til 6. Yay! Got up and was on my 2nd cup of coffee when the little boys showed up. They are hanging out with us while their parents get to sleep a little bit more. Kind of nice all around.

I was just getting ready to run when it started to thunder, lightning, and pour down rain. Not unexpected so I’m waiting til it eases up. What can you do? No treadmill in the RV!

Sunday evening.

It was a nice day. The rain was soon over and I went for a run. My gps went a little crazy and thought I ran an 8 minute mile for the first mile. No. So I went by time. There is a very nice paved trail in the state park that goes around the lakes and is only a tenth of a mile from the glamping resort. I went all the way around, which was a little over 5 miles, and then went a little farther to get to what was probably 6 miles or close enough. Daniel was running too, he is training for the SF half, but of course much faster than me. We saw each other briefly on the trail however.

After running I took a shower and then ate some waffles that Lee had made. Then we basically hung out for the rest of the day. We were looking at the weather. There were more T storms coming, but when? Would we be able to have dinner or would we get rained out? 

By 1 I was ready for a short nap. Leo was hanging out with us because Kirby was napping in their tent. When I said I was going to lay down he decided that he would too. We both slept for about 45 minutes. It felt very good, and then I needed coffee. I went into Battle Lake to get some coffee and some more chips. It seems like a nice little town, maybe we will explore it tomorrow.

We sat around in the sunshine.

Erik and Daniel decided to try to make a fire. It took awhile, but once they used some toilet paper as kindling they got it going.

 Lee got out the fishing tackle he had bought the boys, and they decided they needed to put on their new life jackets too. He taught them to cast. It was too much for Kirby but Leo kept trying and he eventually got it. I was impressed; I didn’t think he’d be able to do it yet. He practiced for a good hour, maybe more.

The weather held off, so Lee went ahead and bbq’d pork chops and we had them plus watermelon and potato salad for dinner. It was delicious! As we finished dinner it started rumbling, and rumbling, and rumbling. “Thunder!” Said Kirby, “I go home!” We could see a small T storm heading our way on the radar, but it waited until we were finished and even until the dishes were washed and put away. Then it poured hard for 20 minutes. Now at 7:30 the rain is gone and the sun is shining.

But the rain put out the fire, so no s’mores tonight.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Me and So Many Others

 I’ve had two abortions. They have been on my mind lately, for obvious reasons. What would I do if I was a young woman in Missouri, or Tennessee now? 

So how did I end up with not one, but two terminated pregnancies? I wasn’t raped, it wasn’t incest. My health wasn’t an issue, and it was too early to know if there was anything wrong with the fetus. It was pretty simple and straightforward. At 25, and again at 27, I did not want a baby. I was pretty sure I wanted children, someday, but not yet.

So why did I get pregnant? Did my birth control fail? Again, no. It’s kind of hard to explain 45 years later, but I was an inconsistent user of birth control. Was I irresponsible? Oh yes. But why? Well I was born in 1952. I was raised on a steady diet of romantic opera, musicals, and Disney movies (Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc). I was supposed to fall madly in love, get married, and THEN have sex. Then along came the sixties and make love not war. Part of me was more than happy to enjoy my sexual freedom, but part of me was reluctant to admit that I was having sex, so planning for it, by using birth control, would be admitting that I was having sex. So sometimes I did, but others times I did not.

So, I got pregnant. I was sleeping with a few different guys and couldn’t even say for sure who the father was. There was no question about carrying this baby to term, so in 1976 I got an abortion at Planned Parenthood No muss no fuss. I was sad, and annoyed with myself for being so irresponsible, but there was no regret, no guilt.

Now, some people would have continued that pregnancy and carried that baby to term. But not me. Cause here’s the other thing. When and if I did have kids, I was going to be ready, and I was going to do it right, and be the best parent I could possibly be. My parents were very young when they got married. My mother was only 23 when I was born. My father was mentally ill, and to put it mildly, portions of my childhood were pretty tough. I wasn’t going to repeat that scenario. No kids until I was ready, period.

After the first abortion I went on the pill. Problem solved, right? Well this was still the early days of the pill, and the amount of progesterone and estrogen in the pill was still pretty high. So I felt terrible, depressed, cranky, constantly PMSing. I went off the pill and I was back to the same problem.

So time passes, I grow up a little, Lee and I get serious, and we move in together. And once again, I get pregnant. This time, my sweet future husband volunteers to marry me and says we could keep the baby. Many things had changed, but one big thing had not. I still wasn’t ready to be a parent. I was pretty sure Lee and I would get married, eventually, but I never wanted there to be a question hanging over us about whether that was something we really wanted. And I want any future child to know they were wanted, and not something we just made the best of. So I said no, and had another abortion. This time I went to my Obgyn and again no muss no fuss no guilt.

After my second abortion I went on the pill again. The amount of hormones in the pill had been lowered by then and I felt much better. I stayed on the pill until we were married and ready to have children.

I know for sure my story, unglamorous, not traumatic, is very commonplace. But here’s the thing. It was my decision. I didn’t have to worry about government interference. I didn’t have to figure out complicated logistics.

And here’s the other thing. If I was living In Tennessee now, it wouldn’t change my decision. I would travel to another state, or I would get the pills and terminate it medically. I wasn’t going to carry those fetuses to term, and the law was not going to stop me. It might make me, or anyone one that helped me, a criminal, but those abortions were still going to happen.

So now that you’ve read this, judge away. I readily admit I was a foolish, irresponsible young woman. All the more reason not to have a child, in my opinion! 

They can’t stop abortion. They will just drive it underground and make it more dangerous. Lack of access will lead to more abandoned babies, more abused and neglected children, more women dying. But the people that applaud these laws have already shown how much they care about women, as in not at all. 

So I’m grateful that the laws and the atmosphere back then made my abortions simple, safe and legal. And I’m heartsick for the women and girls that won’t have the same freedom today. I don’t know if there is much I can do about it at this point except tell my story, so it is added to the voices of so many others. There are a lot of us and we are pretty angry right now. In fact we are very angry. Very angry indeed. Will that anger be enough? I don’t know, but it’s a start. 


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