Tuesday, July 12, 2011


What with the work on the house and preparing for company, we've been busy. While the workers shaped metal encasements for our window facings and other exterior wood, Mike has used the manlift and ladders to staple wire cages on the "knee braces" -- all 19 of them on this old house.

Nellie followed me yesterday on my bike ride. We went more than six miles and we both stood it just fine. When we got back to the yard, I found Mike on the ladder at the back of the house. Nellie could hear him talking but just couldn't find him. She chased all around the yard for five minutes, sniffing furtively here and there. When she finally did see him, she was nonchalant. "I knew you were there all the time," she said.

Mike and Nellie have been practicing for the annual backpacking trip which is coming right up. The practice consists of donning their heavy packs (Nellie's weighs 10 pounds) and tramping over the fields for a while.

Why don't you want to go on the backpacking trip?" Mike asked me.

I replied that I just don't want to get that tired. No part of it appeals to me -- except maybe the scenery. What if I can't carry my pack? Either my food or my sleeping equipment would have to be left behind. Which would it be? What if I just can't take another step because I'm so tired? And what if we bought a pack for me and I just hate backpacking? Then we'd either have to get rid of the pack or I'd feel guilty the rest of my life. But what I said was -- and it's true -- I know I'd be tired when we got back and I would still have to cook -- and / or I'd have to plan and prepare food in advance. Really, I take a lot of pleasure in being the anchor person. Instead of resenting that others are in the shower while I labor over the stove, I can kindly say, "You take your shower now and you can have lasagna when you're ready." I feel so magnanimous; it's good for my soul.

The first chance we had for backpacking practice yesterday was after supper last night. I don't have many opportunities to take pictures in the evening, so I carried the camera along.

A storm built yesterday afternoon, cooling the temperature a bit. We heard that it rained quite a lot in the Lewis-Clark valley. It didn't rain here. In the picture to the left you can see that it's raining in the distance.

The picture of the barn was taken about 8:15 p.m. KW


Leah said...

Hurrah for lasagna. Do you make yours by cooking the noodles first or do you put dry noodles in the pan with sauce to bake?

Hallie said...

I don't see Nellie practicing with her pack.

I think there will come a time when I'm not as interested in backpacking. I like the challenge, the scenery, and the solitude when we've reached our destination. The down side is that the quality of sleep never matches a real bed and going to the bathroom is not so easy when you're female.

Chris said...

I like your thinking! Backpacking has never appealed to me, either, even when I was a big walker and hiker. Like Hallie, I like my bed, and I totally agree with the bathroom thing. I'm not even that crazy about outhouses, but they're better than the alternative. :-)

Meanwhile, I can hardly look at the picture of Mike on the ladder without getting woozy!! I hate it when Dan's on one and can't watch, but then I feel bad for not watching because what if he fell?? I have to remind myself that not everyone has my horrible balance and that they *can* climb and live to tell about it.