Thursday, October 05, 2023

Ain't No Sunshine When I'm Gone

 Nothing more terrifying than a blank page, people, which may be why I missed a September update. Or maybe it's because nothing happened here except more of the same, so why bother? Or maybe I just misplaced my sense of humor, for no particular reason. I mean, I misplace my phone and my glasses constantly, so it would make sense I could lose other things, too.

Also managed to lose one of the handknit mitts from this set 😢

Whatever, here's what's been going on, in no particular order:

Larry and I made our annual trek up to Acadia National Park in September. We dragooned Anna and Brian (self-sufficient adults who live in a different city, so obviously they were just humoring us) into going with us, promising beautiful views and magnificent sunsets and all that.

Or...maybe not

Please understand, Larry and I have been taking various members of the family up to Acadia for YEARS now, camping, staying in rental cottages, whatever, and it has ALWAYS been pretty much picture perfect weather, no matter when we go: August, September, October, maybe a rainy day here or there, but nothing to interfere with hiking and kayaking and biking.

Not that either of us was getting on a bike this year, but still...

This year, though, was true to form for 2023, I guess, as in not quite what we expected. Yup, it was cloudy and rainy almost the whole time we were up there. The rain was intermittent but frequent enough that anywhere we would want to climb to get to a view stayed wet and slippery (it's mostly granite there). 

Wait, did I say "view"? There was no view, it was all gray sky and gray water, blending into each other in a very monochromatic way. We slogged through one wet hike near the beginning of the week and tried to ooh and aah over the misty non-vistas, but our hearts weren't really in it. 

Yes, the rocks are pretty, but still...

Don't get me wrong, there was a lot to appreciate, but the mist and the drizzle just did not stop. I mean, you see one stand of pine trees shrouded in fog, you've seen them all, I guess.

Yeah, okay, this is pretty, too, I know

Midweek, in desperation, we took a shuttle bus to the top of Cadillac Mountain, thinking we could see something even if we didn't want to risk a hike on the still-wet rocks. But the only something(s) we saw were shadowy figures wandering around the ridge in the mist, looking for all the world like ghost hikers, haunting the foggy mountaintops and searching in vain for a view. 

Hike of the Damned, amirite?

Reader, we joined them. We marched around in the misty drizzle, pretending we were having fun until it started pouring rain again and we had to share the shuttle back down the mountain with 10 very soggy and sweaty people who had managed to hike up before the downpour. Zero stars, do not recommend.

And then? Friday dawned, heartbreakingly gorgeous, bright sun and cool air and bright blue water everywhere you looked, true Acadia weather:


But we couldn't take advantage of it, because we had to leave a day early to avoid 

....*checks notes*...


Yes, apparently a hurricane was heading straight for the distinctly nontropical little peninsula we were vacationing on, so that was that. Home we went.

And the above is probably why I couldn't write in September, I knew I would just whine about our vacation plans gone awry, which sounds so utterly spoiled, I know. Also, this is why I never want to spend money to fly all the way to Europe (which, judging from Facebook and Instagram, absolutely everyone else in the world has done in the past 6 months): what if the weather is bad, or I can't get over jetlag, or I JUST DON'T LIKE IT? 

Also, I want to go see interesting places, but I also want to sleep in my own bed at the same time. This attitude presents a major obstacle to travel, I know. I'm working on it.

Earlier, in August, we held a birthday party for Rachel (Remember? Stuffed-animal decapitating Rachel?), who was turning 21 and does not seem to have retained any of her youthful terrorist tendencies. She likes dinosaurs, so we celebrated in an appropriate manner:

Filled with air, not candy - I never did like the pinata scene

Look, we tried, okay?

And at some other point in August, I gained an entire closet, because Larry loaded up the van with all of Brian's Legos that we stored for him all through college and drove them up to Philadelphia, where he somewhat unceremoniously deposited the zillions of plastic bricks in Brian's new apartment, which is very modernist in an industrial sort of way (it's in a refurbished munitions factory) and looks for all the world like he's living in a Chipotle.

When I say  "entire closet," I am not exaggerating

I managed to stick the outdoor folding chairs and some bike equipment in my newly acquired storage space before Larry filled the rest with things like kayak and canoe paddles. I didn't really want to share, but I like staying married, and hey, at least they're not lying around my guest room or laundry room.

Also in August, Susie came home from her Americorps adventure (terrific FREE experience, highly recommend) and promptly moved into the basement guest room, so she could at least pretend she wasn't living with us this year while she does community college courses and plans her next steps. This worked out great for me, since she took all the junk Larry had been keeping in the guest room closet and unceremoniously dumped it onto the basement family room floor for him to deal with, something I never could have gotten away with (see above re staying married).

Susie also went back part time to Trader Joe's, so yay, we get to use her 20% discount once more. Happy days are here again, I hum softly to myself as I look upon our bounty of seasonal butternut squash mac-and-cheese and pumpkin biscotti. Combined with my 40% Container Store discount, we are living large, people, LIVING LARGE.

And, yay, I've gotten all the way through this post without whining about the boobapalooza I've been experiencing this summer! I feel almost normal, and I can twist lids off jars and pull out a heavily loaded dishwasher rack and do all the other things I never knew I needed my pectoral muscles for. No date set yet for removing the expanders and putting the implants in, but I've reconciled myself to the fact that, what with 2023 continuing to be 2023, the surgery is probably going to be messing up one major holiday or another.

Listen to me, being all zen about things! Maybe the surgeries this year have given me a fresh outlook on life, a new appreciation of the randomness of it all, a sense of carpe diem, as it were.

Or maybe I'm just prevaricating and am not zen about this at all

Yeah, that's it, that's definitely it.