The Bay of Fundy

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While my parents and children were off exploring colonial America (and being Very Hot in the process), Adam and I took an alternate track and went up North to the Bay of Fundy.

I struggled quite a bit with what to do this vacation. I knew it would be happening, as it’s a crying shame not to go on vacation with your spouse when your parents are taking your children for a week. For a while I dabbled with the South of France, but after a very lovely month off and tropical island vacation between jobs, that seemed a touch financially irresponsible. (Tragically. Still saving it for next time.) So then I figured we’d go camping in Canada. You know – like the White Mountains only with Tim Hortons. I did not very much research, no prebooking, and very little planning. I knew I wanted to see the Joggins Cliffs. I knew the Bay of Fundy was internationally renowned for have the world’s largest tidal differences. I knew it was a Dark Sky preserve. And I knew it was in Canada. On this vast wealth of knowledge we went on vacation.

On Friday we went to a very swank French restaurant in Boston (the meal there may have cost us as much as the rest of the week put together) and walked across a glowing Boston back to where my car was parked at my office in Cambridge. Then Saturday we packed and headed north. The first night we spent in Bangor (which might be the first time I’ve ever used rewards miles for anything). The second day, we listened to podcasts and hit the Bay of Fundy National Park. We went to the middle of nowhere, took a right, and drove for another hour on mosquito-ridden roads to get to Point Wolfe Campground. I’d picked it because it seemed rural, tent-focused, and was right near the bay we’d come so far to see.

It wasn't bad when we were by ourselves, but a bit crowded when four other families were there.

You are seeing four campsites in this picture.

It was also, it turns out, crammed cheek-to-jowl and lit with obnoxious street lights. (Which seriously – National Park in a dark sky reserve with street lights?!?! What are you thinking, people?!) The sites were also often too small for us to pitch our (granted – enormous) tent on. We picked the least bad site and thought dark thoughts about switching campgrounds, although we were too lazy.

We thought it looked like Venus, or some other planet.

We thought it looked like Venus, or some other planet.

That first night we came in was beyond foggy. We kept driving past these viewpoints that claimed to be veiwpoints that were really fog-points. It started raining almost as soon as we entered Canada, and not a day on vacation was without its precipitation. But that first night was the foggiest. We went down the trail in the dying light to the Wolfe Point beach. We walked and walked on slick rocks and red clay and never found the ocean – it was too far out. Our shoes and pants were covered nearly to the knee in the reddest of clay. It was otherworldly in the mist, as we could not even hear the sound of waves and mountains appeared and disappeared to our right and left. As we slept that night, raindrops fell on our head through the thin cover of our tent-sides.

Rocks in the fog

Rocks in the fog

On Monday we went to Cape Enrage. With the timing that evinced my careful preparation and thought, we were there at high tide (which meant we couldn’t see very much). We opted not to do the zip line or rappelling, but we spent a long time sorting through rocks finding all manner of 320 million year old fossils. We thoroughly enjoyed the treasure hunt of finding the fossils. In fact, so much of my photography of this journey was fossil-related I have an entire album of fossils from Cape Enrage and Joggins Cliffs (penultimate day) which you can see here. We also got some dulse. Gamers beware.

Adam examines the cliff faces at Cape Enrage

Adam examines the cliff faces at Cape Enrage

It should be noted that someone (who would that be?) quite literally did not think for a minute about the well known fact that our cell coverage does not extend to Canada. We grabbed 15 minutes of wifi a day by parking outside of the National Park headquarters, and once or twice dining in establishments that offered free wifi. We navigated with actual paper maps and brochures. How very odd it was!

I handed the camera to Adam

Me, sea kayaking in the Bay of Fundy

Tuesday we went sea kayaking. Given that we’d come so far to see these cliffs and tides, this seemed like the thing to do. Fun fact: sea kayaking is quite a workout! We didn’t turn over (there are hardly any waves that we witnessed in the Bay of Fundy, although we saw dolphins twice). We did manage to keep up with all the appallingly energetic Quebecois couples with their teeny French-speaking children who went on the tour with us. Mostly. It was a really lovely trip on what we were assured was a “beautiful warm” day on the Bay of Fundy. By which they mean light rain and mid-60s. Man, those are some muscles I don’t use often. But it was a lot of fun!

The tilted strata were so very clear. Apparently further down the coast than we could go with the tides stand 320 million year old trees where they first grew.

The tilted strata were so very clear. Apparently further down the coast than we could go with the tides stand 320 million year old trees where they first grew.

Wednesday I thought far enough ahead to plan for a day that involved a lot of sitting. It also involved thunder as we drove through Moncton. We arrived at the Joggins Fossil Cliffs after a long drive and several outlandish theories about Nova Scotia (supported by too few data points – eg “Nova Scotia is primarily inhabited by cows”).

So here’s the thing about your Bay of Fundy vacation.
1) Be prepared for it to be cold, even during a heat wave in Boston in mid summer.
2) Be prepared for it to be soggy. See also #1.
3) Plan your trip around the tides.

This was my favorite of the fossils we found, with shells embedded throughout it.

This was my favorite of the fossils we found, with shells embedded throughout it.

But in this case, I tragically did not calculate the tides. One great thing I got out of this was a clearer understanding of how tides world. They go low to high every 6 hours and 18 minutes – based on where the moon is as the earth turns plus the fact that the moon is also in motion (that’s the 18 minutes). We got to Joggins 2 hours before high tide, just as the water was getting high enough to prevent us from getting to the coolest stuff. And four hours before it would be any lower than it was that very moment (at 3 pm, a 3 hour drive from our tent). We hunted the shore for neat fossils and found very many indeed – but I was really sad that we’d come so far in order to NOT see the famed standing trees which have stood where they took root for well over 300 million years. Trees that helped Darwin understand evolution. And they remained past a spit of land that the high tide kept from us. So close!

That night, for the first time, we truly enjoyed the dark skies afforded us by being 100 miles from the nearest Starbucks. The Milky Way was as clear as though it was painted across the sky. The stars were close, glorious, beguiling, beloved. We stayed out, necks crooked, enjoying the brilliance of the archaic night sky.

It's quite literally a beach of priceless fossils, where at any moment a rock might fall and our understanding of early life on earth might change.

It’s quite literally a beach of priceless fossils, where at any moment a rock might fall and our understanding of early life on earth might change.

By this time, we’d pretty much exhausted the entertainment options within a 2 mile drive. I mean, there were hiking trails. And, um, er… the Hopewell Rocks. We didn’t see those. It was a beautiful, lovely, restful place. But the combination of an inhospitable campground and not much else to do encouraged us to go home a wee bit earlier than originally planned. On Thursday, we awoke to a novelty. Sunshine.

Point Wolfe, at near low tide

Point Wolfe, at near low tide

We grabbed the advantage to go on a hike. Now, Adam was nervous because the hike said “difficult”. When you take a “difficult” hike in the White Mountains (or even a “moderate”) you’re well advised to name your next-of-kin and carry a body brace in for the very likely event you break a leg falling off a cliff after being struck by lightening. I trusted this was more a “difficult” hike the way every other place I’ve been rated difficult and my confidence was rewarded. We hiked up these rain-forest hills along a bluff and to a spectacular lookout of the Bay. It looks almost cheery in the sunshine!

LOOK! We even vacationed together!

LOOK! We even vacationed together!

Then we crawled in the car and began the 10 hour drive home.

It was a good vacation. It was restful. It opened the clogged arteries of the soul. We had a really good time being together, as we so often do. I crossed off a few bucket list items: sea kayaking, Joggins Cliffs, dulse, dragging my husband to Canada. But it was not a transcendently wonderful vacation in the way the Wonderland Trail, Istanbul, or even Ashland have been.

Next time, I do more research.


I did take many pictures!

1) Pictures of us hitting the beach before Camp Gramp kicked off
2) Pictures of our time in New Brunswick (with narrative comments)
3) Many many pictures of the cool fossils we found (and left behind)

Camp Gramp: A farewell to moms

My folks pulled out of Boston early this morning, heading towards Minnesota. Once they get headed homeward, they find it harder and harder to stop!

Boston! Here is the Camp Gramp report.

I am no journalist. Pictures are few and far between. We were too busy having fun! I will use that excuse anyway. There will be a few to publish, when I get a cord for my camera. It is at home on my computer.

I lost two towels. Sorry Brenda. I think one of them is at the pool at Yogi Bear. The other, who knows.

Movie evening is Jurassic Park. No wonder everyone found that terrifying. It is the music, I am sure! Scary movies require much popcorn. Poor floor.

Brenda and Adam are tired of rain and cold (there is no justice), so they are coming home tonight! It will be good to see them.

This was a great Camp Gramp. The children were wonderful. We are looking forward to coming back sometime when it is not lobster season and spending a lot more time in history land! 

Camp Gramp: flashback to the summer of ’82

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I remember that roadtrip, but I don’t remember Jellystone! I do remember the profound disappointment in Chicago.

Summer of 1982, we left Georgia with all our worldly goods packed in a mid sized U-Haul trailer and our camping gear loaded in the unnamed blue station wagon. Heidi and Brenda were in the back. We bought them a ream of paper and crayons and decided to muck out the car when we got to Washington. It was a great trip. The girls were really looking forward to Chicago. They had spent the year watching cartoons and listening to “Kids in Chicago are having a good time, they’re all watching, Chanel 9.” Heidi and Brenda could hardly wait to get to Chicago and join the kids there — great time. Chicago was a monumental traffic jam. One the freeway, we were passed by a man on a bicycle! So much for that.

But in Wisconsin we stopped at the Yogi Bear Campground. I don’t remember much about it, just that the girls loved it. There was play equipment and stuff for kids to do! We pitched our tent a little early and let the girls play.

Perhaps that is why we pulled off a little early on Tuesday night, our last night to camp, at a Yogi Bear Campground. After the military’s $25 camp sites, it was a bit of a shock, but the stuff to do — my oh my. There was a water park style swimming area, goofy golf, gaga ball court, laser tag, and a campfire pit. Obviously families come there for the week and stay in camp. Daddy rented a golf cart so he was really mobile. It was a nice stop.

We had spent the middle of that day at Monticello. Lovely. What an amazing view! It used to take 3 hours by carriage to make it up there. What an amazing house. We thought the tour was one of the best we had. We would like to go back with more time.

Read here, we would like to go back to almost everything with more time. We think Yorktown alone is worth 2 days. They have amazing driving tours there, but it was getting dark and the rain was threatening. It bucketed on our way back. Williamsburg is worth a multi-day pass also. Sadly, it was so hot we didn’t even get a whole day.

Wednesday was a driving day. The kids were amazing. They did role playing activities for most of the time in the van. They read and talked and played on their DSs. They were cranky that they couldn’t have their computers out when we drove, but sometimes I needed to stop fast, and then things flew. Un-anchored computers seemed like a bad idea. What wonderful children. They were just awesome!

Tomorrow is muck out the RV day — and return it washed and starched. Then there is laundry, etc. Baz bought a Wii game which the children didn’t get to play due to a lack of a monitor and a power cable. We will try to remedy that problem. And there will be some vegging.

We are very lucky grandparents. We have awesome grandchildren!

Tonight, we are in the Flynn household. It looked to clean when we walked in, I am feeling a little guilty, but not a lot! I sent the kids up to bed about 10:15 — after a bedtime snack of grapes. When I went up about 10:55, Grey and Thane were both awake and reading.

And now, I think I may be able to go to sleep.

Camp Gramp – the beginning of the end

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In half an hour Adam and I will be kayaking in the high tides of the Bay of Fundy. Through sheer chance, here on my third day, I’ve come to realize we’re an hour ahead of my watch. This is good to find out BEFORE I’m late! It’s hard to believe mom and dad are so meltingly hot when we have yet to see temperatures above the mid 60s here.

It is a sad day when you don’t learn anything. Today we learned something. Do NOT come to Virginia in July! Oh the hotness. It was only 92, but the heat index was up on the 110 range.

Colonial Williamsburg is wonderful. The houses are amazing. The staff is such fun. They really so well with their roles. They have a spy challenge for all who want to be spies. Kay, Grey, and Thane joined me in the spy game. We had ciphers, clues, loyalists, secret passwords, the whole 9 yards. Unfortunately, we were all beet red with heat and didn’t get the whole thing finished. I was really pleased with how the kids worked on it.

It was also a comedy of errors with uncharged cell phones, etc. Papapa just couldn’t handle the heat and I was thankful to be out of the heat. I think even the intrepid children had had it. They didn’t complain when we had to bail. We came back to the camp and booted up the air conditioner. We had dessert first (you can do that at Camp Gramp) ice cream, then waited until about 8:00 p.m. when I was willing to go out and grill the hamburgers. They were really good. Everyone went to take a shower. Whether everyone took a shower or not remains a topic for debate. Let’s just say that one of the towels came back dry. (We tried, didn’t we).

Now the crew is supposed to be settling down. We will see. We have decided to go home on 81. It is a little ways out of the way, but has the advantage of mostly ruralness. I do aspire to get this thing home in one piece. It is possible we will be in Thursday night. I hope the Flynns won’t mind if we park at their house. Then the Wii game can get its outing. According to Google, we are only just over 9 hours from home. We don’t believe it! Why did it take us three days to get here?

The kids have done an extraordinary job so far. We had our first little melt down tonight and it was so well handled. They are learning to take care of themselves.

I am sitting on the floor of the RV waiting for Don to return so I can take my shower. I can hardly wait. The showers rooms are really cool!

Ah, the patter of little feet. “Gramama, somewhere in the middle of my chest there is a needle and it is exploding.” Editor’s note: That’s Grey’s latest thing. I wonder what’s up with it?! I think we need to sleep!

What a lucky grandmother I am!

Camp Gramp Sunday

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We have found wifi in a local little cafe, after a visit to 325 million years ago in the fossil cliffs near Cape Enrage. With that access, I bring you the latest missive from Camp Gramp!

Sunday. We did our own Sunday school. The church down the road was quarter something Baptist and we were not appropriately dressed. Don didn’t bring his black suit, shoes, and tie. About 1 p.m., we did the brave thing. We went to water world.

First, 3/4 of the world was there. Maybe 10,000 people. It was soooo crowded! I consider it a victory worthy of the vicinity of Yorktown. We arrived and left with 4 children, and they were the same ones! Baz likes the wave pool, and the water slides. Kay does not like the wave pool, or the water slides. Grey likes everything. Thane double likes everything that isn’t too baby for him. Actually, the three younger ones spent 90 minutes or so in the lazy river. They had a great time. They don’t look too red — except for Thane’s eyes. He loves to put his head under water and leap up. Clearly, he doesn’t close them.

When we got finished, we headed to Red Robin (thanks, Baz, for navigating). It is so quiet in the RV now, you wouldn’t believe it. Tiredest of the campers is Papapa.

Now we just have to decide which of the children to sell to pay off the debt. Thanks to the military for lovely discounts, in addition to a great place to stay.

This camp has huge shower/restrooms. They air condition them to truly cold.

Tomorrow, Colonial Williamsburg. We are excited. Then we turn our heads home! The kids are doing an amazing job of getting along. Grey and Kay are especially enjoying make believe games. 

Camp Gramp: the hot days

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Here’s the latest update from my mom Camp Gramp!

(exclamation inappropriate to a pastor) it is hot. Hot! Hot! Hot! Even the locals are complaining. I gave a lady my place in line at the grocery store just to stay in the cool longer.

This morning was Jamestown — at one end of the Colonial Parkway. We are about a mile from the entrance, so no problem, except perhaps the vast quantity of low arch bridges which are not marked — to mention the 300′ long tunnel which I drove in the middle of and prayed for no oncoming traffic.

We went to the the visitor’s center, then out across the intriguingly named tar swamp bridge to the site of the original fort. Did I mention it was hot? We sat in the shade and fanned ourselves, discussing the wisdom of going to Yorktown, at the other end of the Colonial Parkway (see the bridges) in the heat of the afternoon. We ate lunch in the parking lot, thanking the wisdom of the Cruise America people who make it possible to boot the generator and use the air conditioner. Then we made the wise choice. Don and the children went to Minions and I went grocery shopping. Is Grey growing or something? He is hungry all the time. He was hungry 45 minutes after dinner tonight.

The evening was devoted to Yorktown. They have a lovely driving tour — did I mention the 33′ vehicle? As we started the tour the storm was about 30 miles away. As we finished, it broke over our little heads. What an interesting noise the rain makes on the roof of the RV. Carolyn says it keeps her awake.

FUNNIEST MOMENT OF THE DAY. We were driving on the Colonial Parkway and the newly literate Thane shouted, “Grandmama, it says No Passing!” Well, yes, it does say “No Passing.” But it doesn’t exactly mean we can’t pass the sign right now. He read the road signs most of the trip tonight. He also did an excellent job on one of the interpretive signs. That boy is a reader.

The children are enjoying playing imagination games together. Don and I are lost in the midst of imaginary animals and shields, but the cousins are really enjoying themselves!

I am currently suffering the fate of women everywhere, I am doing the laundry. I have been here about 90 minutes and not a single man has darkened the door. Hmmm..

Tomorrow that fine historical landmark, the water park. Wish us luck

Camp Gramp 2015: The first days

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Many of you are familiar with Camp Gramp – a beloved annual institution where my folks take all four of their grandchildren for a week of hijinks and adventures. My mom usually emails us updates on what they’re up to, and I often pass those along to the myriad Camp Gramp fans out there! This year’s adventure is an RV tour down the East Coast, focused on Colonial history and codes. Here’s my mom’s first update!


A keyboard! Of course, the hazard is that everyone can see this since it is a public network. Guess I better not mention the NSA!

Day one — Camp Gramp — was hectic. We couldn’t get the RV until 1 p.m., then we drove it back to the house and tossed in the collection from the porch. Hit the road, Jack, for West Point. They have the most beautiful camp ground there. Finding it only involved turning around one time — a task with the 33′ RV. (Did I mention 10′ wide — 10’? And 12.5′ tall which cost us an extra 100 miles today. The campground was very primitive — electricity and water, but it was carved out of the hillside around a beautiful little lake. I would like to go back there and sit for a week. Of course, we didn’t get there until about 10 p.m. so finding a spot was a challenge, but we parked and slept, and marveled at the lake the next morning.

And, we discovered our first forget — sleeping bags for the Flynn kids. It was a cold night for Papapa and I! It is true! It was really cold.

Day two — after organizing the RV, we spent a little time enjoying the lake. Then we took off for Annapolis. I have to say, I am admiring the truck drivers. It is scary to do the freeways with all those people buzzing around us. And the traffic jams, oh my! Also, the East coast has more than its share of freeways. We were late in at Annapolis. We would have been in time if it were for the two turn around we had to do. Did I mention 33’? I thought I did.

The historical adventure of the day was Valley Forge. We thought it was a little self—— well I don’t know what the word is I want, but everyone was a little too enamored of the site. Obviously we are in Washington territory! Every other place is Washington’s birthplace, headquarters, crossing, etc.

All this time, the kids have been doing an excellent job. They have used many more screens than their parents would like, but they have played happily in the back of the RV. They like the variety of seating arrangements. Kay and Thane sleep above the cab, the boys on the couch and table beds. We have a palatial queen sized bed in the back.

Today was the SPY MUSEUM. It was awesome. Actually a Museum of Cryptology. The kids got a treasure hunt when they came in. They had to use a spinner to decode messages. All but Thane got it done and they all received cool prizes. Kay a cool pen. Thane and Baz a puzzle, and Grey a collapsible Frisbee which they promptly threw on top of the RV. I had to drive around the parking lot faster than I liked until it flew off! Grey was intrigued with the Enigma machines you actually got to use! He has several translated messages. We ate in our air conditioned palace — Mac and Cheese made in the microwave. I can turn on the generator.

Then we headed across Virginia to a Naval supply facility. They collect and redistribute supplies for ships. They have a very modern camping facility. Rows of cement pads with full hook-ups. It will be great for what we are doing, but it is not the most beautiful facility. There is a game the kids like. It is hard to explain — it is a circle of oval pods which you have to touch in different order. They got quite a workout! We are in a triangle with Yorktown, Jamestown, and Colonial Williamsburg. We will do Yorktown and Jamestown tomorrow, Sunday will be the waterpark. Monday will be Williamsburg. We stay here Tuesday night, for a record 4 nights, then off home.

I am sorry, Brenda and Heidi, the children, possibly accepting Thane, have fallen in love with the RV. Grey has decided to live in one. I, on the other hand, am not in love with the RV. Too unforgiving in the area of navigation. A missed turn is a disaster. And huge to put down the road. My brother-in-law, Ray, who is a truck driver, said you get used to it. when I asked him how long it takes, he said 12 years of so. I don’t have 12 years — my heart won’t last that long.

And now for the confessions. Today we were in the commissary — these are hungry children. Grey said, “We should get some mints! We haven’t brushed our teeth.” “You haven’t what?” Not a single one of them had brushed their teeth. Tonight was showers and teeth brushing! We forget how much reminding needs to happen.

Well, I think I will take a walk. The evening is beautiful, just a little cool breeze.

Brenda, you would have loved it. There were two bugle calls tonight at sunset. I don’t know if they were live or canned, but they were really nice.

Goodnight all. We are still safe!

4000 hertz

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I'm gonna get you little fishie!

I’m gonna get you little fishie!

Two months ago, I swam in the warm waters of the Caribbean. With my beloved husband, we explored the fine snorkeling and swimming along the interior of Cozumel’s coral reefs. The water was warm. The fish were colorful and plentiful. The place was peaceful. It was bliss.

I had the cheap, disposable underwater camera with me. I dove down to capture a lionfish in the dark of the coral. Perhaps it was this picture I took:

Cozumel reefs

Cozumel reefs

When I came back up, my ear felt full of water. Since I was in the middle of the ocean, I took no notice. But when I got out, later, and toweled off… it still felt full of water. Dinner passed with an earful of water. I googled how to clear my ear before bed, and laid on that side that night expecting to wake with a wet pillow and clear ear. I did not.

I googled more. Barotrauma seemed the most likely option. It clears up on it’s own after a few weeks. I slept again on my left side and resolved to see my PCP when I got back if it was no better. By the time I hit cold New England, the sense of water in my ear was gone, but the ringing and deafness remained. I saw my PCP. She shrugged. “Here’s a referral for a specialist if it doesn’t clear up in the next six to eight weeks.” Given permission to ignore it, I ignored the tinnitus and ringing as much as possible – a discordant chord always in my ear. It sounded as though I was always under water. I couldn’t hear very well through my left ear. But the internet and my own doctor agreed it would likely clear up with time.

Spoiler alert - my PCP was WRONG.

Spoiler alert – my PCP was WRONG.

As spring relented into summer, and I hear the loon calls on the shores of White Lake only over that constant hiss, I decided it was time to call the specialist. After confirming no visual structural damage, no pressure issues, no swelling… I was sent into a tiny padded bunker for a hearing test. “Raise your hand when you hear a sound, even if it’s faint.” My right hand ended up raised more than my left. My left ear test ended earlier. I was running late to a meeting when the doctor sat me down. “You have lost all your hearing in your left ear above 4000 hz. (She showed me a graph.) Blah blah blah very unlikely from snorkeling blah blah blah permanent. Blah blah blah probably not but might be a tumor so we’re sending you for an MRI.”

Well. Who knew that snorkeling was so dangerous? Or so safe that you think this hearing loss that I can trace to the moment I emerged from those sparkling waters might be correlation, not causation? The loss I had was permanent, she said. Maybe, if I’d come to her right away, they could’ve treated with steroids. With a few months distance, all she could do was make sure there was no underlying cause that might lead to more hearing loss.

I have lost all my hearing above 4000 hz in my left ear. I have trouble, now, hearing a conversation in a crowd – like an old woman. At least the discordant ringing will likely slowly slowly over great time fade and disappear, she says. Likely. Who needs 4000 hz anyway? That’s higher than a piccolo. Few sounds I want to hear are in that range. And my right ear can still hear it if I’m determined to listen to dog whistles. It chirps sometimes, like a little bird in my ear.

I decided to comply and go in for the MRI. I confess to being slightly non-plussed that they saw me within a week. I prefer to think of this as a little thing. A mild inconvenience. I went into the same MRI tube – not two blocks from my house – that diagnosed my left knee as appallingly damaged instead of sprained. Knowing they were taking pictures of my brain in that dark tube, I walked last summer’s Wonderland Trail trip in my mind’s eye as the beeps and tones of the MRI watched my brain light up.

This is your brain on the Wonderland Trail

This is your brain on the Wonderland Trail

I haven’t heard from my ear doctor yet. I suppose that complaining about how soon they got me in for the MRI I should be relieved at how long it’s taken them to call me back. But, surprisingly, it’s a wee bit stressful when someone MIGHT at any moment call and tell you that you have brain cancer. Usually that call is impossible, but right now… it could happen. (Even though it really won’t happen.) So I wait for them to tell me what I already know – I sacrificed 4000+ hz in my left ear to Neptune, leaving it as an offering among the swirling schools in the bright corals of the bright island of Cozumel.


Here are the pictures from the underwater cameras that urged me to go deeper into the water to capture the glory.

The Living is Easy

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Decoding the Camp Gramp welcome letter, with Feline Oversight.

As the sparks from the fire ran high to the trees, bathing my beloved and I in a warm glow, and the loons called mournfully from the lake, I declared, “I’m not sure life gets much better than this.”

I’ve felt that way a lot, lately. Thane is about to lose his two front teeth. He’s sweet and loving and full of the wonder of childhood (and fart jokes, since nothing can be too perfect without being sickly sweet). Grey is growing every day in the places I most yearn for him to grow, showing grit and determination and resilience I’d once despaired of ever seeing from him. My beloved husband is kind and funny and loving, and I’m going to get to spend 10 whole days with him alone, focused on him.

My parents have just arrived to kick off Camp Gramp. My evenings and weekends are filled with friends and adventures. I even have time to read.

All this happiness is bad for blogging, I tell you. I spent the time I should’ve spent writing this post this weekend reading fantasy novels in the back yard. It’s hard to regret! But no time needs more loving documentation than the happy times you will look back on when the road grows rougher.

So … I’m going to try to get a bunch of posts up in the next two weeks. Those of you who know Camp Gramp of old know I usually post my mom’s updates. She has quite a curriculum developed for the campers this year! I also have no fewer than three blog ideas lurking and ready to go. I’ll try to execute, instead of reading more novels, but… no promises.

Soon to be toothless

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