Watermelon and Women and Children’s were inseparable for years. Last year I forgot the watermelon. This year I remembered to purchase the watermelon…. I bought it at WinCo with the other groceries. When I arrived home I took the other groceries into the house and left the watermelon in the truck. My plan was to leave the watermelon outside on the picnic table; no sense bringing it into the house just to haul it out again when I packed for the trip.
Bless that beautiful watermelon! Apparently it decided not to wait for assistance and tried to make it to the picnic table on its own. Bad choice. Leaving the truck, it tumbled to the ground and split open. Consequently, it ended up coming into the house after all and did not end up going on Women and Children’s. No watermelon again this year.
Not having watermelon at Women and Children’s was regretful but that was the only thing regretful about the trip. Well, maybe not the only thing….having to call a tow truck was also regretful…. But it was, overall, an absolutely delightful four days..
My sister Marjorie, her two youngest (Clarise and Jacob), her oldest (Lanae) and her two grandchildren (Ella and Dallin) camped with my mother and I at Duck Creek Campground during the last week of July. My oldest daughter (Tanah) joined us for a day.
Tanah brought drama to Duck Creek. She had to jump start her car to leave Ogden. She had to jump start her car to leave Cedar City. She could not jump start her car at Duck Creek so we spent a morning waiting for a tow truck. “That’s the greatest welcome I’ve ever had,” the tow truck driver said in response to the cheers we vocalized when he arrived.
We visited Mammoth Cave. The main cavern was closed due to COVID (apparently people are not to be trusted to social distance in a cave) but we had a great time exploring several side caves. Jacob, 13 years, was my adventuring buddy. We duck-walked and army crawled through tunnels together, all the while discussing which 10 animals we would be if being an animal were an option. At one point I noticed a sprinkling of feces on the cave floor. Hum…. Knowing that feces has a maker, I looked up to find the source. There, in a cuddle-bundle, were about 30 small, blonde bats. SO COOL!
Also cool was our Duck Creek stroll. The joy was in the journey. We did not reach any spectacular destination or pass any spectacular landmarks but we did have a spectacular time crossing fallen logs, pulling our feet out of calf-deep, shoes-sucking mud, and avoiding ankle-biting rocks. The water was pleasantly cool and the company was completely cool.
We spent an afternoon hiking to Cascade Falls, a 1.2 out and back trail that skirts a canyon wall, offering stunning vistas of the pine and aspen covered hills, red rock cliffs, and blue mountains.. Zorro (the dog Tanah brought with her in case her car broke down and she had to spend the night on the freeway) led Clarisse most of the way, Ella (2 years old) led Marjorie most of the way, Lanae carried Dallin (9 months old) all of the way, and Mom hiked the whole way on her own steam..
My mother… OH MY LANDS! She is 82 years old. She slept in a tent, waded in the creek, and went on two hikes. The second hike was a 2.2 mile loop that included an 800+ meter steep incline. Not many 82 year old women go camping. Even fewer 82 year old women sleep in a tent when they go camping. And 2.2 mile hikes, up and around and down mountain slopes, are not even an option for most women her age. YEA MOM!
I loved sharing a tent with my mom; there is something about taking midnight potty trips together that is quite bonding. I loved spending time biking and chatting with my sister. She fills my cup in ways that nothing else--besides maybe frolicing lambs and flower-covered mountain meadows--does. And so fun to get to know Lanae. She is a great conversationalist, a deep thinker, and has an intuitive understanding of human nature. Mom said “I had not realized before this trip how much alike you and Lanae are”--a comment I took as a deep compliment.
On the last day we ate salted-caramel-chocolate-lavender and raspberry-rose ice cream and then it was over. The cream cream was gone, the watermelon never arrived, and the good times will never be forgotten.