The small nature child perched on my right shoulder rolls her eyes and jabs me to make my standard rebuttal. “It’s more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. And it’s good for our health!”
“How do I connect a ‘b’ to an ‘e’?” Summer’s voice jars me back to the present, and I look up with vacant eyes.
“Can I just sit in the car while you walk?” Jared voices the very idea I’ve been hatching, and I frown.
I decompress by picking bits of lint and sticky pennies from the allergen host formerly known as my carpet.
This year I should get into the spirit. It’s our team — our moment! I try to muster some spunk, but instead, sense a yawn coming on.
Routine. It’s a word (and a reality) I typically dread. Although I know full well that certain rhythms keep life ticking smoothly along, most repetitive activities reduce me to agony.
Low clouds slink across the sky as we bounce toward Lost Lake Campground in the Okanogan National Forest. We’re all a little nervous about the prospect of rain, but it’s not often we get to convene a gathering of cousins and we’re not about to back down. The late-summer scenery looks tired and thirsty — the bright green of spring replaced with a dust-covered drab that tells me how welcome the moisture would be.
I’m wedged on one haunch between the turkey itself, a box of Thanksgiving decor and sundries, and my squirming daughter in the back of my mother-in-law’s sedan as it travels toward the Bar M Ranch near Adams, Ore.
Juniper Canyon welcomes us, its gentle slopes hung with a loose network of trails. The smell of sage fills the air, and I breathe deep.
A late-summer excursion to the Elkhorn Mountains and Summit Lake proves arduous, but worth the trek.
The Selway Crags in central Idaho, selected by my husband when he spotted them from the air on a business trip, stand like hidden statues on a massive estate — forgotten, but all the more regal for their obscurity.