The article’s author is brilliant (clearly!!) so I’ve decided to follow her lead and tell a few stories this week. (Surprise…not!)
Old news first….Grace’s pig….Oh my lands!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who responded with pig advice. You all are wonderful in multiple ways: wonderful because you cared, wonderful because you shared, and wonderful because you helped. Your suggestions led us to supplement her food and to cool her at mid-day and offer her a snack. It turns out she is a picky pig; she does not like whole milk (8 grams of fat/cup) or hash browns (31 g fat/cup) but she loves doughnuts (11 g fat/doughnut), facts we learned thanks to Koni’s potato and pastry delivery. Carlene’s suggestion sent us to Kent’s Market to ask for day-old doughnuts, which they generously donated. The pig ate five last night. She is not out-of-the-pig-pen-and-into-the-auction-arena yet but her chances are improving. Keep praying and we’ll keep pastry-ing.
New news now. Last weekend Lance, his brother Chris, Chris’ son Cooper and Miles backpacked to Long Lake (Uintah National Forest) for an overnight fishing expedition. The four of them together caught 41 fish; Lance caught 20 by himself. For Lance the fishing was fabulous; the backpacking not so much. He described the outing as “the best horrible experience I have ever had.”
Lance went fishing again (but not backpacking) this weekend with Miles and my sister’s sons. The fishing was not as good but the backpacking (actually the complete lack thereof) was much better.
My sister Marjorie Watkins, her six children, and their two dogs came to Utah for our almost-annual Women and Children’s Camp. Monday we pulled into North Fork Campground and found the place completely deserted—not another camper in sight—so we had our pick of spots. Our site was nearly perfect—three generous tent sites, an open area for croquet, plenty of parking space, lots of shade, enough trees to hang three hammocks, a fabulous view of the mountains, close to flushing toilets and the water spout, and, best of all, no neighbors. Only a bordering stream could have made it better.
After lunch we went water hunting and discovered why our campground was deserted. Only a mile or so up the road, in Cold Water Canyon, there were also campsites and those campsites bordered a stream. Ah ha!
I had another “Ah ha” as we hiked the Ben Lomond Peak Trail Tuesday. I put myself at the back of the line and found myself with four very-NOT-enthusiastic-about-hiking boys. The whining started almost before the hike started. “I hate hiking.” “Why did we have to come?” “Can we just go back to camp?” “My legs hurt.” “I can’t do this.” “This is stupid.” And on and on and on…..
I endured the blasphemy for as long as I could and then started telling them the story of Elijah. The cacophony ceased most instantly. I love the story of Elijah—it is so dramatic—and so did they. “…..The widow fed Elijah with her last cup of meal. Can you imagine?......Her son died, her only child. What do you think she said to Elijah?...............Elijah challenged the priests of Baal to a contest. Everybody loves a good contest, right? ………..The priests cried to Baal and nothing happened so Elijah suggested they call a little louder and taunted them, telling them that perhaps Baal was napping or maybe out for a stroll. Funny, huh?……….Elijah poured water all over the altar, soaking everything, and then prayed to our God and asked him to light it on fire. What do you think happened?”
They guessed correctly what happened when Elijah asked God to burn the sacrifice and I guessed correctly what would happen when I told them stories. Ah the power of stories! When I finished Elijah’s story I told them Sampson’s, Ruth’s, Jonah’s, and Esther’s. Old Testament prophets propelled those boys up the mountain. Not a complaint, not even a whisper of a complaint, came out of their mouths. In fact, when the front hikers stopped to rest, my four boys chewed them out. At the start I ruled that I would only tell stories when we were moving; no hiking, no story. Rest breaks stopped hiking which stopped stories. “Who said to stop?” six year old Jacob asked, “Get moving! Let’s go!”
“Let’s go” is what my legs told me the first 9 miles of the Handcart Days Half Marathon I ran Thursday with Marjorie and her husband Jason. “Let’s STOP” is what they told me the next mile. In fact, they did not just tell me to stop, they screamed at me to stop. And it was not just my legs—my lungs, my arms, my earlobes, every body part demanded I stop. I questioned my ability to keep running. I questioned my sanity for attempting to run. I questioned a lot of things. The one thing I did not question was my future as a half marathon runner. Never again, I vowed, NEVER AGAIN would I run a half marathon.
I slowed WAY down and, somewhere between mile 11 and 12, fell into a plodding pace that I knew would take me to the finish line. Slow and steady finishes the race. Thirty minutes later, looking at the race results, I found that I was last in my age division—no surprise there—but that I would be in a different age division next year and, if I were to have the same time next year as I had this year, I would earn a medal. A medal. I always was a sucker for a medal. Almost immediately thoughts about next year’s half marathon raced through my mind. Maybe I will run another half marathon after all…………. Crazy!
Crazy describes this past week with Watkins….crazy, awesome, cool, fabulous, and glorious. Really we had a great time—hiking, camping, fishing, running (Miles, Tanah, Grace, Lanae, Aliza, and Spencer ran the 5K), a rodeo, a parade, fireworks, and a ReAL soccer game, shakes a Burger Bar, movies in the basement, and Pinochle in the living room….Everyone was quite sad to see the Watkins head south, everyone except Zorro. Our big, black hound was totally terrorized by their two tiny dogs. They barkd at him when he came in the kitchen so he hid out in the office. They hung out by his water dish so he used the toilet as his drinking fountain. They demanded their share of the scraps in his food dish so he backed off and let them have it all. He could have chomped them in half with one bite instead they cowered him with multiple yaps. Turns out that barks are worse than bites after all.