Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Old Man

Greg's birthday was Friday, so we headed up to the mountains for a weekend camping trip to celebrate his rapid decline into old age. We went to the Poudre Canyon, west of Fort Collins, and Greg spent the days fishing while the girls and I did nothing but relax. Daisy is getting too old for hikes, but we did take some nice strolls that left her thoroughly winded.

Saffron was happy for all the time outdoors, which offered unparalleled bug hunting opportunities. And, of course, that left her pretty pooped as well.

The canyon is really beautiful—lots of jagged rocks, a fast-flowing river that keeps kayakers and rafters busy, and tons of lush foliage. All this makes it a popular destination, and for a while we weren't sure we'd get a camping spot. I think we went to five or six campgrounds on Friday before finally finding an open spot. Next year we'll reserve ahead of time—I had forgotten we could do that.

Saturday afternoon, while Greg was out fishing, we were hit with an intense but quick storm. There was hail, close lightning, and gut-shaking thunder. The girls and I took it as an opportunity to retreat to the tent and worry about Greg. This photo (below) is from shortly after the storm passed. Apparently worrying is yet another thing that makes these dogs need a nap.

Before we left for the weekend, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to relax because I'd be thinking about all the stuff that needs to get done before we leave for Ethiopia. I'm happy to say I was wrong. I relaxed thoroughly, rarely thought about anything that needs doing, and read almost all of the book Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. I still have about 75 pages to go, so even though a recommendation may seem premature, I'm going to venture to make it. It's the first non-adoption and non-work book I've read in months, and I'm finding it to be completely captivating and so artfully written. Like this:

The good thing about complete darkness is you can lie there quietly and let the other person rethink the smart-alecky thing they have just said. With any luck they'll begin to regret it, or possibly they'll believe you have a magnificent rejoinder in mind but are too well-adjusted to use it.

That's not necessarily one of the more poetic passages, but it's such a simple and resonant observation said in just the right words. It's the kind of writing I wish I could muster.

In addition to the inspiring literature and scenery, we had some delicious meals (is anything tastier than a hard-won cup of campfire coffee in the morning?), good conversation (lots of it speculating about what our next camping trip will be like with little boy in tow), and successful fishing (Greg caught a lovely rainbow—either 9 inches or 9 pounds, depending on who's telling the story). Overall, a wonderful weekend with my overall wonderful old man.


cathy said...

When you get back from ET and things have settled down, I'd love to have a dinner/picnic/whatever with you and Vali and any other CHSFS families. We NEED to meet in person.

vali said...

Funny! I was just about to post the same thing, Cathy.

Have a good day, Deirdre.


Deirdre said...

That would be great, Cathy and Vali! We should plan something later in the summer.

sara-lou said...

Hi Dreya!!
I am so excited about your blog. Thank you for sharing it...
Happy (late) Birthday, Greg!