Monday, May 30, 2011

Dangerous Minds

This post will take you to the realm of terror and back.  It may remind you of Halloween but not to worry, I know Halloween has long since past.  Today is Memorial Day.  Still scary nonetheless.  Read on if you dare! 

I woke up early this morning and when I couldn’t get back to sleep because I had crashed on the couch last night around 9:00 pm, after napping for a couple hours after church, sheesh so much sleeping!  Anyway, when I couldn’t sleep anymore I pulled out my book and read the chilling pages in the dim morning light.  I’m reading Cold as Ice by Stephanie Black.  It’s a murder/suspense novel and so far it has my attention. 

Meanwhile several hundred miles away an eerie suspense unfolded in real life.  The doorbell rang and my mom went to her gigantic peephole.  It looks like it was made for a blind old person but the idea is really a reverse fish eye lens.  One does not have to wink awkwardly to look through a tiny pinhole and attempt to decipher if it’s a friend or foe on the porch.  Instead one stands at the door and simply looks at the huge circle.  The only problem is that you still can’t tell who’s there.  You can see several feet in every direction, including the street in front of the house but the person at the door is still a mystery of fuzzy details compounded by bad angles.  So she opened the door.

A shady looking man was standing not even inches away from the door.  He took a step forward as she opened the door.  My mom was raised in the ghettos of Salt Lake City and is no idiot.  She held the door firmly at barely a crack opened.  The man said, “Do I have the right house?”  She replied, “No you don’t!” and quickly shut and deadbolted the door.  Her heart was in her throat.  When the man was gone she ran outside and locked the front gate that encloses the front porch.  Then she barricaded herself back inside.  Or simply locked the door.  Scary though right?  My heart was pounding as she told me the story!  And you wonder why I never open the door.  Ever.  But since she told me the story hours later it proves that she is safe and enjoying her cold, drizzly holiday. 

We had planned on going on a hike today.  Gwen and Parker kept thinking we were camping and wanted me to bring the giraffe tent!  No amount of talking on our part could convince them that a hike does not equal camping in a toy tent big enough for one and a half children to sleep uncomfortably.  Those two were not the problem though. 

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Gavin was.  Oh this kid!  This kid makes me so repentant of everything I ever did to my parents as a child.  In fact, I haven’t lifted my face to the sky and apologized out loud for being the child I was in a long time.  Today I did.  I’m getting my reward though.  I get to raise myself, which is not nearly as fun as that sounds.  Mr. Gavin whined and complained the entire way up then dramatically wailed all the way back that the fun was ending.  Oh heaven help me.  Please note in the above picture that the parking lot can be seen at the top of the picture and Gavin already looks like he is ready to kill over and die from dehydration and exposure to nature!  So outdoor adventures aren’t his strong suit.  I sure do love that boy for other reasons! 

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Parker was his typical self.  Always anticipating.  He loved being the leader because he thought he could get us to the end sooner!  I told him to enjoy the process of getting there.  We weren’t out there just for the finish line.  He was having fun and I think he did manage to enjoy the moment. 

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Gwen was hilarious.  She would ball up her fists as she walked with a lot of bounce in her step.  She kept going and going like the Energizer Bunny and would keep the resting periods as short as possible.  The second picture is her saying, “Let’s GO!”  This girl was loving every second of the hike until she pooped out.  When Gwen suggested we go back we knew it was time.  Good thing too since she then became the one sitting down and resting every 20 feet.  All stamina had leaked out of her by that point and we had to remember she is only 3 years old after all. 

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We saw a lot of evidence of animals on the trails.  There are mountain lions that live in these hills and thankfully only come out at night.  There are many other wild animals too.  Unfortunately we didn’t see any evidence of those animals.  We did see a lot of horseshoe prints in the dirt along with cow hoof prints.  And a lot of scat.  Cow poop that is. 

Funny story about poop.  Heath, my sister and I were all walking one day.  I was in the middle of one of my long stories and I wasn’t getting to a break soon enough for my sister to naturally interrupt.  The closer we got to something in the sidewalk the more her brain started to fry as she couldn’t find the words to warn us.  Soon she was yelling, “Danger!  Danger!”  Heath and I looked down and barely missed stepping in doggie doody in the middle of the sidewalk.  Every time I hear Ace of Base I think of that story – you know the song Living in Danger.  There was plenty of danger on our hike today.

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The kids were pretty excited to see a bunch of cows grazing while we hiked.  They enjoyed cupping their hands around their mouths to moo at the cows loudly.  The cows never responded.  Maybe they speak a different dialect.  My favorite part about the cows was when the boys suggested that the cow poop in the middle of the trail that we had carefully navigated around on our way up was new and that the cows must be waiting in the bushes for people to pass!  Oh I love kids and their take on the world around them.

One animal that was waiting in the bushes for people to pass but timed it wrong was an interesting moment.  So Parker was leading at a pretty good clip.  He walked right next to what looked like a large stick in the trail.  He was totally oblivious to what was happening but Heath and I both thought the scene we were seeing looked a little off about the same time.  Heath called out to Parker to watch out at the same moment I said a mildly naughty phrase.  The snake was at least 4 feet long and really thick.  I’m impressed that my immediate naughty word reaction to “danger” did not include a different word, the word I said when I saw a tiny shoelace sized snake in the bathroom in Santa Cruz.  Heath would have taken a picture of the snake but that snake was all business and was most the way in the tall grass before his hand touched the camera in his pocket.  Parker kept talking about how he just walked by a rattlesnake!  We told him over and over it wasn’t a rattlesnake.  It was the size of Gwen but it wasn’t a rattlesnake! 

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Well, this is as far as the kids would let us go.  We were so close to the top.  I don’t know how long those switchbacks were but the kids were done so we had to respect that or suffer the consequences. 

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It was just as adventurous going down as it was going up.  Check out all the rocks we found!  I love how Parker has this look on his face like he’s holding the most amazing thing in the world.  I also love how Gwen kept collecting rocks on the way and putting them in her jacket pocket.  She reminds me of my sister every time she keeps rocks. 

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Eventually we made it down in one piece despite all the unheeded warnings to not run downhill.  Gotta love selective hearing.  We tried to hold Slurpees over their heads to get them to listen but that didn’t work either.  When we got back to the van I tested my blood sugar.  It was 163 after I refused to bolus for lunch when my pre lunch reading was 101.  I get really nervous when I do something out of the norm away from food sources.  I made Heath carry my tester as well as a glucose drink and two packages of fruit snacks in case I dropped low on the hike.  He calls himself my personal pack horse.  Anyway, I was so happy with that 163 that I said the kids deserved a Slurpee.  They were thrilled with the rare treat. 

I figure it’s worth it.  I just finished my 6 week challenge with Steven where I had burned about 3,600 some odd calories so I was cool with bolusing for a regular Slurpee flavor instead of the sugar free one that didn’t sound good to me and I’m so ready for our grilled tri tip, grilled corn on the cob, and cheese bread dinner tonight with homemade ice cream!  My legs and my derriere sure felt the hike so I think I should splurge! 

2 thoughts:

Grandma W said...

Fun! A snake and whiny kids, what a day. I sure wish we could have shared it with you.

The Piquant Storyteller said...

I don't know, the story isn't as much fun in real life!