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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Early June 2010 update

Wow. I can't believe it is approaching mid-June already! Where has the time gone?

It's going to start blowing by now.

I leave for a week of scoring AP exams in Louisville in two days. Somehow, that week always seems to last 10 days, what with one day preparing to leave and two days decompressing after returning. It will be interesting to see how this year goes given my decrease in cognitive function, which seems to still be an issue with immediate recall and focus, and increase in fatigue, which doesn't seem to be decreasing at all and at times is quite debilitating.

The trip to L'ville comes right on the heels of our trip to Knoxville/Cumberland Gap. It would have been nice to have taken that particular trip for a happier reason. It almost seems wrong to have used the need to attend a funeral to take a short vacation, but it also seemed like the right thing to do.

The memorial service for Henry Granju was beautiful. The music was lovingly chosen. Dylan's "Forever Young" was very appropriate, and touching given that it was the lullaby I sang to my children and was also played at the memorial service for our babies. Hearing hundreds of voices sing "Let it Be" was also beautiful. Chris, Henry's father, wrote and delivered a very touching eulogy.

I was worried for a moment that the ground would open up when the Hubbell-Staeble clan went up for communion. It was nice to be back in an Episcopal Church. Genuflecting rocks my socks!

Later Saturday, after spending some time decompressing with Louis' cousin and her family, the kids and I loaded up and headed to the Cumberland Gap to camp. Given that we didn't really have a plan or know what we were getting into, it turned out rather well. We found a decent camp site, got set up, and set out for food. Little did we know that we chose the wrong direction on the highway, directly away from the nearest town with real eateries and options. Instead, we drove, and drove, and drove, and drove, and finally, a nice woman in a small gas station with what was called a "deli" said she'd make sandwiches for us. It appeared that nearly all gas stations had a "deli." They certainly use the term loosely: bologna sandwiches and chicken salad, all served up on either white bread or hamburger buns. For the vegetarians in our midst, the pickin's were mighty slim. Nathan ended up with American processed cheese food slices on a bun, and Patience opted for cold, undiluted Campbell's vegetable soup.

Sunday dawned waaaaay too early as far as Aidan and I were concerned, but Tynan, Patience, and Nathan went off for an early morning hike. Clearly these flat-landers, born and bred, were intrigued by the topography. We later all took a hike, stood in the middle of the Gap, etc. and then headed into a real town for lunch, during which it started to rain, so we then went to see a movie. Thank the goddess that matinees were $2. Marmaduke the movie was an ideal time for me to catch up on some sleep. When we came out, the sun was out, humidity was high, and we were happy to head back to the campground, where the kids all took another long hike and I lounged and read.

We managed a rip-roaring fire that night, turned in early, slept fairly well albeit a little damp. Nathan and Patience woke up and went running, which solidified in Patience's mind that she does NOT appreciate hills for much more than their beauty, then we packed up and got on the road.

It is so cool to have other drivers in the family. Nathan did most of the driving and I got to nap and read for most of the drive. I, of course, got the boring part, between Dayton and BG.

Camping after the funeral was a nice, healing experience. It was a trauma free trip, not counting the accelerated heart beats caused by the two Brown Recluse spiders we stumbled across and the Black Widow Spider that was on Nathan's leg. Other than that, the kids were very well behaved and enjoyable to be with. It was a nice way to kick off the summer and helped us all recover from the past year. It also gave Louis time at home, without us to get in his way, to scrub the carpets and work on grouting the shower stall....not exactly fun times, but necessary chores best done when others aren't around to bung them up.

One good thing about fatigue is that it enables one to sleep deeply and solidly in the middle of the woods, bear warnings be damned.

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