Sunday, May 23, 2010

The A.T.

I've been listening to these books on tape lately about mountain men. Men who follow their Muse to the great mountains of Pakistan and Nepal. The first was Three Cups of Tea, which chronicles the life of Greg Mortenson. While attempting to summit K2 he came upon a village and fell in love with the people. They of course had no schools and the girls in particular were taught nothing. He told them he would build them a school and has committed the rest of his life to raising money and building schools all through out Pakistan. It is amazing the role he has had in educating people and doing more to attack the Taliban than any other single individual simply through abolishing ignorance. I then read John Krakauer's Into Thin Air which was an account of the 96' Everest expedition massacre. This of course had no moral lesson of committing your life to educate forgotten youth, it was a tale of the adventurer, which means who wants to be as close to the stars as they can be while on this Earth.
Needless to say I was day dreaming a lot. Fortunately, I have a great wife who let me go on a quick hike along the Appalachian Trail. The trail runs from Georgia all the way to Maine which is 2,175 miles. I hiked a small portion of this in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia. My hike allowed me to come into contact with several hikers who began the AT in March which is a typical start date for those who wish to hike through. The first encounter I had with one of these alter egos was a man named Ten Fitty, an electrical engineer, who after receiving his Masters and putting in a year of work in the rat race, cashed out and bought a pack. Of course his name is not Ten Fitty but those who hike the trail no longer go by their real name. They create trail names, which they think of themselves or have placed upon them by their fellow hikers. Ten Fitty looked burned, bitten, grizzled, and calm. I picked his brain for quite awhile, trying to find out what it would be like to have even 2 months, where the only concern was walking to the next camp site, setting up a tent, and then figuring out which crappy dehydrated meal you wanted to devour. That's it. Those are the extent of your worries. It takes most hikers who complete the trek 6 months. Not that it is continual bliss and you wouldn't miss the comforts of home, but I couldn't imagine the emancipation from the daily grind. Actually, I could.
Luckily for me there are stronger pulls than Sagarmatha, K2, or the Appalachian Trail. There are my 4 Muse below 5'4" who make me whole. Some day when we send off the June bug to school Darla and I will have to take a six month hiatus along the AT.


If any of you would like to check on Ten Fitty's status his web site is

Friday, May 21, 2010

I took the kids to an air show last Saturday up in Maryland (Geof. was on a backtrip on the Appalachian trail). The event was awesome! I'd been wanting to take Cole for years since he's loved airplanes, and even more, helicopters from a very young age. He was entranced and also overwhelmed by all there was to see. I say the "event" was awesome because the endless amount of lines we had to stand in was NOT. We stood in line for more than an hour just to go through security to get on a bus to take us to the base. Very high security (possibly because it's the closest air force/army base to D.C.??). We were not allowed to bring food in so once we arrived, the kids and I were starving and had to pay astronomical prices for a little pizza we could have bought in the frozen section of the grocery store. That was almost a 2 hour line. I'm serious. The girls slept in the covered stroller, thankfully.., and Cole was kept entertained by the air show above him. It was hot, hot, HOT and I forgot sunscreen, and although Cole and I were quite burnt when we got back on the bus, we were still very glad we went. Oh, and did I mention the line to get back on the bus was another 2 hours? Absolutely crazy. So, the show was just great, but I think next time we'll choose a smaller base for our air show thrills.

I got an email from Cole's teacher saying he did really well on the most recent reading test she gave him. That makes us so happy! He's really improved. Lately, Cole's been coming home from school, taking his shirt off, soaking it in the sink, and running out to the trampoline. He stays out there forever throwing his shirt high up in the air and catching it all while doing crazy flips and jumps. I'm so grateful for that trampoline, let me tell you..

Thursday, May 13, 2010


The girl who cuts our hair lives a skip, hop, and a jump from our house and only charges $5 for hair cuts. She's great!! She braided Dayne's hair after cutting it and said I really should learn how (I do know how..but it looks pretty sad when I try) so she won't get as many split ends. I took her hair out this morning and coudln't believe the results. Her hair is beautiful! I remember being in first, second, or third grade (gotta love my memory) and my mom would do braids on each side of my head and pull them under into a loop, like this. (Don't laugh. It's the only pic I could find!!). I had a huge crush on a boy named Brian Burns (I think that was his last name) and later on in the day I'd take my braids out and they'd be flowy and I thought. I was sure Brian was so in love with me. {;
We cut June's all short in the back (stacked?) and it turned out adorable! June still has baby fine hair and it'll need to stay short for a while. The curls do help.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

happy mother's day to you..

Since it's MY day too, I'll take that as an excuse not to write much. Here's the pics of our wonderful trip to the beach.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Taking after Grandpa George

A few weeks back Geof. and I went and played with our friends the Averetts in D.C. We had some wonderful friends that offered to take our kids. Cole (and June, but she didn't make the cut for the blog post) stayed with our friends (and Geof.'s boss), Seth and Emily. They were brave enough (and smart enough if you know my Cole) to take them camping! They went out to Seth's parent's property outside of Charlottesville and apparently had a great time. And the best part is, Cole got to go fishing (just for fun..they threw them back in)! He LOVES fishing and remembers clearly the last time we went fishing at Seth's parent's home when he was 5. Are these pics not the greatest? Look at Cole's sweet face and toothless grin?!