Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day

We had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. We didn't go with the crowds this time. We went at our own pace and that seemed to work out just fine.

I wanted to do something fun this weekend, but each suggested activity came with throngs of people recreating along with me. This holiday is the unofficial opening of summer and with the cold wet spring we have had here in Happy Valley, it was a chance for the masses to get out and stretch.

On Thursday I noticed a lot of campers heading out of the city. The news reported that some of the high country camp grounds were still buried in snow. Camping sounded like the makings for a congested fight for survival rather than a relaxing long weekend.

On Friday my brother invited us up to the land. That sounded nice. We would be away from the crowds and it was only a two hour ride, rather than the 4+ to Moab.

They couldn't arrive until Sunday afternoon and we wanted to get back Monday so we decided to go up Saturday evening. We arrived about 9 pm, the roads were surprisingly clear of travel trailers and overloaded mini-vans. We set up our sleeping arrangements in the cabin and fell asleep to the sound of the wind and the light show of billions of stars over our heads.

We got up Sunday and went for a walk and then returned to the cabin to lunch and a nap. There is nothing like a nap in the day when there is nothing else to do and no one to bother you. I drifted off to sleep dreaming of the creatures that share this land with us. We often see evidence of other inhabitants on the land but rarely see one. They must lurk just out of sight, being curious but afraid.

That afternoon the others arrived and we had dinner. It was good to spend some time with my brothers and family. The kids are getting so big and are really fun to hang out with.

Just before we set off for home we heard a pack of dogs/coyotes/wolves. I'm not sure what they were but they howled and barked and yelped. We usually hear them in the spring, but these seemed closer. My brother and I sent off to look for them. As soon as we crested the hill outside of camp they went quiet. It was dusk and the light was dim. We couldn't see them at all but we knew they were there. We wanted around for a while until my brother suggested we might not want to encounter them. We scurried back to camp before it got dark and we might accidentally stumble upon them.

The drive back Sunday night was uneventful just like the drive up Saturday night. You wouldn't know it was a major holiday weekend. It was a pleasure, not at all what I expected.

We awoke in our own beds Monday morning and went about the day gardening and cleaning house. Except for a parking lot jam at Home Depot we were left to our own devices and set our own pace.

This less hectic pace allowed me to think about the people who are no longer with us but that have left a huge imprint on my life. Two women stand out in particular; my mother and my grandmother. I had time to reflect on how thankful I was that they were part of my life and that they would always be a part of me.

I am also thankful for the service men and women that have given their talents, time and in some cases lives, so that we may continue to take for granted the liberties we have. Each day I enjoy their efforts without knowing them.

Here I am back at my desk on Tuesday morning, my hands are rough from the yard work, I am sleepy and achy from the physical exercise, but I am thankful. Thankful for the opportunity to have a slow weekend and thankful for those who, seen and unseen, have done so much for me.

God Bless You.

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