My dears. I am back from the wilds of the California mountains. I took an old friend who was a mother to my girls when they were young. A lotta driving to get to the lodge on 100 acres, very private with a small lake off the porch. Uh-huh. Sheets on the bed, private bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a long dining table that seats about 50, flat screen TVs, a pool table, air hockey, etc, etc. Diane and I took a day to hike on Lassen, a beautiful park with alpine lakes and numerous peaks.
We cooked huge meals, scolded children, lay in the sun and swam, swam, swam. At night bullfrogs and bats and stars.
Ok, there was the child/adult ratio. 6 adults and 8 kids, two of whom were teenagers who snuck off to neck. And the little guy who is 4 (one of 'my' babies) who needed watching because he couldn't swim. Three 11 year old boys on the cusp of adolescence. By nightfall with dinner prep under way, we had Traci's 'patience juice', vodka with some sort of mixer, whatever the kids didn't devour and ice.
It was HOT AND DRY. Lizards. Vultures. Yellow grass.
Adele ( 15 yo) and I put together the best gawdawful jigsaw puzzle of a goofy dog with two hamsters on his/her head, a chinchilla (?), a scary kitten and two bunnies. A tableau. Oh, and a butterfly. And some daffodils. I want that job. Paint some unlikely scene-snow in the Everglades, an eagle cradling some baby mice and then turn it into a puzzle. Yeah! I promised Adele that next year I would bring something even better for us to work on. One puzzle piece was missing, so terrible. One bunny had no eye. Often the way with opened puzzles. If I can't find all the border pieces, I don't go farther. I have standards.
On the plane home, I was seated in the same row with two unaccompanied minors, ie, two kids about 6-8 years old. We were fine at first. Me with my trash mystery and ipod. The flight attendant gave them snack boxes. Why o why do people think it's ok to give kids sugar and expect them to be quiet? Anyway, then the unraveling began. Food was spilled, drinks (almost) knocked over, hair was pulled, arguments ensued. When the boy began poking his sister with a pencil, I grabbed it away from them and hid it. I was trapped by the window, crap. Kinda the flight from hell.
I wrote an indignant letter to the airlines when I got home. Maybe I'll get some miles or something. I don't usually complain. No really. I don't. I'm usually a good girl, nice and polite.
I slept for 12 hours after I got home. Vacations are exhausting.