hiking without happy meals; a modern paradigm chronicling the struggles, pitfalls,
& successes of life, running, writing, urban farming,
& home schooling in these crazy modern days.
Life is our classroom.
To me belief is elusive. Common phases 'really?' 'how do you know?' 'is that true?' 'how do they know?' 'prove it' & 'does this bounce?' My doubt leaves behind a trail of puzzlement & broken objects which, as it turn out do not bounce.And yet I spend most of time chasing a fairy tale.A fairy tale titled very simply "Childhood".
Topaz Mt. 2011
From the back of the van loaded with dirty camp supplies & even dirtier dogs & people Beach asks a question as the desert behind us disappears under a fast moving rain storm.“Did your parents take you into the desert when you were little?”The answer for both of us is ‘No’.
Mom's Day Simpson Range 2007
Colby was raised in New England.From there Africa, back to New England, & then off to Japan.His ‘No’ has an asters because he eventually admits he did get to got to the Gobi desert... little oversight in your answer dude.
My mom w/ Beach
I tell Beach about boating at LakePowell. Technically we were in the desert but my parents did everything within their power to make it seem otherwise.Coolers of soda pop, cans of chocolate pudding (yes, I am that old that pudding came in cans), AC on high, a nice boat with a kitchen, a bathroom, and wall to wall carpeting in the cubby.Nature was the enemy.It was the seventies, the age of the almighty wood sided Buick Station Wagon, 8 track tapes, & shag carpets.Happiness could be purchased through the check out line used and replaced with more, greater, cheaper happiness from the next isle down.
my kids plus my nephew
at Disneyland family trip
hosted by grandma & grandpa
My childhood goes against everything I believe in and has left me with a wood toy fetish.Wait that wouldn’t make sense I don’t believe in anything AND to make it worse I’m going on record saying it was the BEST childhood anyone could ever have had, perfect down to every detail.Every agonizing second in church, every cheap plastic toy, the pool, the boat, the swing set, Disneyland, McDonald's, every moment utterly priceless, a time & feeling I desperate chase hoping to pass even one ounce of it on to my own children.
My parents & I are nothing alike.Our political, spiritual, and life philosophies aren’t even from the same planet.I disagree with everything they did raising us.No doubt they cringe at our choices in raising their grand-kids.And yet the sum is greater than the whole of the parts because it is the magic my mother (and father) wove into my life that I find myself seeking to create with my family.
Every once in awhile between novels & chickens, leaf hikes & rock hounding, I see the golden threads of what connects us little things my mother used to do for me and my sisters sneaking in.A Happy Meal after a trip to the doctor, pie crust with cinnamon & sugar, a book purchased with money meant for groceries, daffodils, & lilacs.
Before we left for camping in the desert we put away four flats of strawberries while listening to NPR over the constant ‘Mom, I had a dream that I had a magic plastic pony.’ ‘Mom, did I have a bottle when I was a baby?’ ‘Mom, oh I forgot what I was going to say.’ ‘Mom, when are leaving for the desert?’ ‘Mom,…’ A lilac in a cup on the table I had Beach pick for me. It all reminds me of my mother canning grapes listing to LDS conference over the noise of air conditioner and the kids playing in the backyard pool.
Lava Hot Springs
Mom, Happy Mother’s day’ from a faithless daughter who will be unnecessarily 200 miles away in the desert doing everything you wouldn’t want her to be doing like hiking on unstable mountains, sitting in hot springs at night w/ a drunken strange cowboy, drinking coffee (& beer), wandering dirt roads without sunscreen or cell service, when she should be telling you in person how lucky her kids are to have you as their grandma but not half as lucky as she was to have you as her mom.
"Mom, when we get home can we watch the Muppet Show?"
"Sure. When I was little I had to run home from church to watch it because it started the same time church ended."
"Oh, that is why you run so fast you had lots of practice running away from church."
"Beach, mom runs from lots of things but you need to remember what you are running TO is far more important than what you are running from."