25 August 2011

Fairy Houses and Blue Angels.

I’ve had a bit of Blogger’s Block.  It’s not that there haven’t been things to write about, just the lack of motivation to do so.  I’ve been spending my work days on an intense project that requires me to sit at the computer all day, every day.  By 5pm, my eyes are ready to pop out of their sockets, and every part of me is cramped because I’ve been focused and determined.  So the last thing I feel like doing at night is, of course, sitting in front of the computer to bang out an entry.

With daycare on vacation this week, Terry and I have had to get creative with our schedules.  He’s been going in later and I’ve been coming home earlier.   On Tuesday, G spent the day with Auntie A and buddy N, and today I took the day off.  

I started out the morning a bit bummed due to the low hanging frothy clouds and clingy dampness in the air. By late morning, the sun was starting to poke through.  We were getting out of the house.  I loaded the two G’s into the car, and off we went, my eyes constantly to the sky wondering how far we’d get before the rain would come.  Arriving at my favorite local hike in Harpswell, it was blustery, cloudy, and almost downright chilly.  We were still in August?   But again, I was determined.  I released Gabs while I got G situated comfortably in the backpack carrier.  You would think that the heart-stopping cardio would start sometime halfway through the 2 ½ mile hike, as I’m climbing what feels like straight up hill with this 25 lb kid on my back.   Actually it started the second I stepped out of the car, when the popular Naval dare devil pilots known as “Blue Angels” went soaring by, perilously close, mind-boggling fast, and disturbingly loud.  I seriously considered diving back into the safety of my car and hightailing it back home, but I had already driven this far and was determined to do this hike.   Then I look at G, amazed that I hadn’t yet heard a wail of protest, and find him staring wide-eyed at the sky, showing that goofy gap-toothed grin, and practically cheering them on.  

Off we go.  One of the things I love about this hike is that Gabby can be off-leash and sniff to her hearts content.  She’s always been a good hiking companion.  She stays behind, sniff, snort, snuff, waiting til we’re almost out of view, then comes barreling at us, only to do it all over again.  Midway through the hike, she starts to get ahead of me….and won’t let us get out of sight.  She leads the way, guiding the path, and waits for us if we’re lagging behind.

Despite the four or five cars that were parked at the entrance, we encountered no one except a teenage boy who frantically came running around a corner.  He had a vulnerable panic etched on his face and immediately asked if I knew what those noises were.  By noises, he meant the thundering, bomb-like sounds that made us feel like the forest was going to explode any second.  I reassured him it was just the air-show practicing, he nodded in relief and kept running.  We kept going.

This hike reminds me a lot of the scenery from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The forest has a quiet serenity, dotted with clever fairy houses, but it’s almost too quiet.  There’s also a point where you’re walking high along the water, and it reminds me of the scene in Fellowship of the Ring when they’re in canoes, cutting through the river, and Legolas keeps listening and searching the forest that lies parallel, and is riddled with Orcs within.  I think of that every time I get to this particular spot.

Gabs and I push our way through.  G and I are chatting.  I’m pointing out everything around us, singing “The Ants Go Marching One by One” and “99 Bottles of Juice on the Wall, 99 bottles of Juice…” and he’s squealing in various octaves that seem to pierce the silence of the forest floor.  We haven’t escaped the sounds of the massive planes, but the deeper we go into the hike, the less I seem to focus on them.  I realize how out of shape I am when we get to that point where I have to hike straight up and hope I don’t tip backwards with the weight of this kid on my back.  Gabs looks back at me to make sure we’re all right, though I’m not sure what she’d do if we weren’t.   She hasn’t yet mastered the skill of dialing 911.

Just before getting to the spot that I’ve been waiting for, the apex of the hike, where I thought we’d really be seeing the faces of those pilots, G loses it.  It’s like he all of a sudden realized that he did NOT want to be strapped in this pack any longer and that it was past his nap time.  If I thought his squeals disturbed the forest calm, his shrieks and cries seemed to echo. Loudly. Gabs sensed it was time to go, and we veered off the trail, hitting one that would take us reluctantly back to the parking lot.  He was no longer interested in chatting, singing, or having things pointed out to him.  He was interested in the wagon wheel snacks I smartly packed in anticipation. 

Back at the car, I loaded them in, and took off toward home.  Timing was everything.  No sooner did we get ½  a mile down the road when a heavy sprinkle started.  By the time we got home, it was a full-fledge pour and I found myself almost grateful for the meltdown.   Maybe he was like the National Zoo animals that foreshadowed the earthquake.  Maybe he knew the rain was a’comin’ and it was his way of letting me know we had to leave.  Pretty smart. 

Terry came home, and the two relaxed while I made dinner.  It was a clam chowder, grilled cheese and brownie kind of night.  Now the day is winding down, G happily in dreamland, and me mentally preparing to spend Friday glued to my computer and the mind-numbing project.  It can’t be Saturday soon enough.

One of the impressive Fairy Houses we came across.

Chillaxing with daddy, post-nap.

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