Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Girls Camping Trip: The Day I Spent Alone

While the dinner was excellent, and s'mores even better on Monday night - my head wasn't as great.  I knew when I went in to the tent that I wasn't doing good and the meds that I was taking weren't conquering.    It was not a fun night for me - trying to keep my pain on the down-low so my family didn't get bummed out, and trying to keep something cold enough next to my head to keep the pain from spreading.   The whole time I kept thinking, "How many days am I going to lose?".  The last major one lasted 50 hours - would it be Wednesday or Thursday before I could even function again?  So, I prayed and sang songs of praise in my head, and tried to leave it all to God to heal me sooner than later.  

In the morning, I let the family know I wasn't doing good, and pleaded and insisted they do a day of adventuring without me.  They ventured off to Redding and the Shasta Lake area with my blessing and I went back to sleep.  

At 11am, I woke up again, this time - PAIN FREE!!!  This is, at least lately, a virtually unheard of scenario to recover so fast - particularly when it feels like the pain has already begun its migration course (it begins in the neck on one side, moves up into the sinuses on that side, moves into the top of the head, and goes down the other side....)    PRAISE THE LORD!!!!

Michele and the girls had literally only left about an hour prior - I just missed them...but, I was totally okay with being left behind knowing I wouldn't be for the rest of the week.  And, really, I wasn't alone - I had blue jays, chipmunks, deer, grouse, robins, and chickadees to keep me company.  (Did I mention I had absolutely no cell service here - and without a vehicle - I really was alone).  

So, I chilled.  And rejoiced - there's nothing like coming out of a pain episode early to make me so full of gratitude.  I snacked on the few remaining treats hanging around the campground (most were stored in the car to avoid bears coming to the camp) - and shared with the wildlife.  And I read from my Kindle.

Eventually, I hiked down to the entrance of the campground and took in the lake. 

And found more reasons to be full of praise. 

Listening to worship music with this kind of view - having some total-forced solitude....SO GOOD!

Around 4pm, I returned home to find our suspended garbage sack wasn't as critter-proof as we thought.  (Get outta there chipmunk!)  I also started to worry just a bit.  I figured the girls would be home by 5:00, but I had no way of knowing - and it doesn't take much thought process at all to realize just how many things could go wrong with them - and how useless I was in my scenario. 

But, just around 5:00, my van pulled up and I raced to greet them.  I think they knew I was past my headache when I was jumping up and down at the car. 

Before dinner, I walked the girls to the lake for them to get an opportunity to swim a bit -

While the day didn't turn out in any way like we'd planned, it turned out to be a glorious one nonetheless. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Girls' Camping Trip - The First Two Days

And, we're off!  En route for Lassen National Forest in California, with two moms, three daughters, and a car load of stuff - with absolutely no room for more to shove in.  

As we've done in the past, we opted to leave on the afternoon of a Sunday, and then we pit-stopped in Medford for the evening to allow a faster arrival at the campgrounds on Monday. 

So, it was kick-back and relax time - complete with everyone's favorite, KFC, for dinner. 

This was our hotel room view.

The pool was also hit for the evening - though it was so warm, we didn't end up staying that long.

The next day, en route to Lassen, traffic was stopped for road construction on Highway 89.  The vehicle in front of us had Beaver stickers, so we sent the girls up to say 'Hi" and let them know that at least half of our carload supported the Beavers.  ;)  The folks were very friendly.  =)

After checking out a few other campsites in Lassen - and striking out in terms of any place we'd want to stay - we found South Summit Lake Campground and a site that seemed made just for us.   We knew we'd hit gold when we met the neighbors there to greet us...

This sweet deer....

And this little grouse. 

Car unloaded and tent set-up = Check! 

Then, it was off to do a hike that began just steps from our campsite. 

We actually didn't end up making it all the way to our destination.  Given it was just a meadow we were headed to - after doing so much hills with kids still working off travel medicine - we were losing steam.  Given the way back was mostly uphill, I'm very glad we turned around when we did.  The scenery was gorgeous though.

Back at camp, while we prepared dinner, the girls pulled out the cards.

And, on the menu - chicken enchiladas.  How I love our camp oven!  So easy, and so delicious - especially when calories don't count when camping. 

And since they don't count - these were definitely in order.  It's only taken me 43 years to figure out "My Perfect S'mores" - and the key ingredient is a Mounds Bar.  SO DELICIOUS!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

We Are in the Presence of a Real "Ironman" (Ironwoman!)

On June 28th, this happened.

Melissa Meyer, a friend Michele has known since her early days of high school ministry (nearly 20 years) - successfully completed the IRONMAN.  She battled the highest temps ever in an Ironman competition (106 degrees), with the temperatures soaring all the way to 140 degrees when pounding the hot pavement.  It had the highest fall-out rate of any IRONMAN with 21% unable to finish because of the conditions.  

But, Melissa persevered,  2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles biking, and 26.2 miles running.  She is a ROCKSTAR!!  And what makes it even more awesome, is just the kind of person Melissa is.  Off the charts humble, funny, chill, sweet....I mean, the smiles that girl had every portion of the way of the race were remarkable and inspiring.  

So, now that that's over, and her life is now her own again - Melissa decided a trip to her home of Oregon (from Austin, Texas, where she normally lives) - was due.  Michele thought a day on the boat would be a good way to celebrate, so we spent the day with Melissa yesterday out at Cottage Grove Lake with the Schillings and Whites.

Our high temp was about 100 degrees yesterday - so there was lots of time spent doing this yesterday.  As you can tell - Whitley was ONE HAPPY CAMPER!!!!!!!!  She lives to spend time in the water.  And to be able to do it with her "Everybody" - oh, even better!!!!!

Of course, it took no time at all for Melissa to be considered one of her "favorite people".  

After Michele did her best with the choppy water for a run of slalom skiing, Traig showed us how its supposed to be done wake surfing.  What a stud.  He made it looks so easy, and fun.  

Travis took his turn next - he's still trying to figure out how to stay in that sweet spot (as are the rest of us adults) - but, definitely had a lot of fun!

Then, Melissa gave it a try - and of course, with her athleticism, she was a pro from the start.    Nati tried it after that - she managed to get up, but the size of the wave was a little intimidating to her to keep going. 

After another swim session,  (what's up with that wig it looks like I'm wearing?)

I took a turn at surfing.  It has been since the first time we got the board that I had tried it, so I figure it was time to get past the intimidation factor and play.  OMIGOODNESS....so much fun.  I feel like we've all placed such a priority on getting to a place where we can drop the rope and surf on our own, but on the final run I took, I held on to it and just played and maneuvered along the wake - trying to just get a feel for all you could do.  Yup, that's the way to go....

Then, Michael took a turn and had a blast as well....

More swim time.  

Lovely ladies...

It was a long, hot day - so there was some of this going on too.

Gotta make a pic like this happen about every other trip we got out. 

Uncle Michael is the best. =)

And, then, finally (as far as the girls and Brayden were concerned), the tubes got blown up.  As you can imagine, Whitley felt pretty special to be included this time. 

A few more random glimpses of the day, courtesy of Michele's cell phone.  

With Melissa's birthday on the 11th, ours on the 22nd, and Travis' on the 24th - we kind of billed this as a birthday boat run.  With Red Robin Take-Out to complete the day for dinner, it was definitely a day well celebrated!