When a setback meets good people

A recent adventure has lead me and my family to learn when a setback meets good people, that setback soon melts away and becomes a cherished memory.

Camping. You either love it or hate it. I don’t think there is any in between. I happen to love camping. I love primitive camping and I also like the little mini-homes-on-wheels all lined up in a park somewhere. Some piled in a small pop-up camper some in campers that are nicer than my home, complete with granite countertops and every size and shape in between.

When I was a child my family camped in tents primitive style. My parents woke up, started a fire and boiled water in a percolator pot for coffee, everything was cooked on an open fire, homemade treats were plenty. My husband’s family camped in a camper when he was young, mostly on the riverbank in the middle of nowhere. I used to make fun of him for his more cushioned style of camping, but I have since grown used to having a bed, refrigerator and everything you need all neatly packed up in the big white box we call a camper.

Our most recent trip started like most. I spent Friday baking up a storm. Blueberry muffins, apple hand pies, rice crispy treats and spaghetti for campfire spaghetti sandwiches. We were packed and ready when the kids arrived home from school. Soon my husband was home from work and we were on our way.

We made our way south and up a rather steep hill. My husband decided, since there was a passing lane, he would pass the slower moving camper in front of us. He jokingly asked if it was a Chevy or Ford as we began to speed up and move around it (we drive a Dodge truck). It was another Dodge.

As we reached the top of the hill something began spraying from the front of the truck. The truck began overheating. He found a place to pull off to accommodate our convoy. It was the parking lot of a hydraulics company. It also happened to be directly across the road from a good friend of mine.

As we pulled in and the truck engine resembled an old locomotive; steam rolled out from under the hood in a billowing cloud of antifreeze scented doom. My husband opened the hood to assess the damage. I did the only only natural thing any girl would do in these circumstances, I called my brother. He jumped into action immediately, went to pick up my vehicle incase we needed it to haul the kids to a better location, then he ran to the nearest auto parts store and picked up the new radiator we needed.

I texted my friend who lives across from where we broke down. The kids were worried we wouldn’t make our camping trip and were beginning to panic. I got them out of the truck and took them to an empty grassy lot and played dodge ball, ante over and jump the creek while my husband worked on getting the busted radiator out.

Several people stopped by to see if we were okay. My good friend from the paper, and photographer extraordinaire, stopped when she and her husband were coming back from a photoshoot. She caught me up on news from the newsroom and said I looked happier despite my current circumstances. I am. I’m so much more healthy, the stress headaches, panic attacks and anxiety are almost distant memories.

Soon, I saw my friend coming across the road with her husband, who also happened to have been a mechanic before he acquired a job with the county. We joked about her setting her phone down after my initial “Hello, what are you into?” text and me not just coming over and knocking on the door. Apparently, people still knock on doors, good to know. She kept me and the kids company as we ate our little roadside picnic of lunchables, rice crispy treats and pork rinds. My youngest son immediately made friends with her handing her one pork rind after another, then they played a riotous game of catch.

In no time the truck had a brand-new radiator and we were on our way. We arrived at the campground well after dark, tired and relieved the radiator decided to go out in such a perfect location.

Life is made better when good people come along and lend you a water jug or socket wrench, stop to check on you, keep you company or drive an extra 40 miles to pick up a radiator. I am blessed to have such people in my life.

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Another Glorious Morning

I admit it, I am one of those people. The ones that wake up early even on weekends – on purpose. I am ready to tackle the day after my first cup of coffee. I revel in the serenity the birth of a new day brings. I watch sunrises with a thankful heart for new chances and a clean slate. I can’t wait to wake up and know that yesterday is gone with all it’s sorrows, trouble and frustrations. Maybe if you saw a few of these every other morning you could become a morning person too. Maybe not. But this is (besides my family of course) what keeps me going, a clean slate written all over the sky and embodied in the jeweled grasses early everyday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fields of Lace

 

Little lacy flowers dancing in the breeze in nearly every meadow this time of year. Beware, there is a hidden danger in alluring meadows like the one you see. I have come to the conclusion that anytime you see someone carelessly strolling through a field brushing their hand across the grass and flowers, it is definitely NOT in Kentucky. If you are ignorant brave enough or just don’t know what you’re doing, you could walk through the tall grass to admire or pick these and other beautiful wildflowers but the dreaded menace of the south will be waiting for unsuspecting hosts. What is this menace I speak of? Chiggers. The tiny mites that wait on tall grasses and Queen Anne’s Lace (affectionately called Chigger Weed by anyone who has suffered from the little pests). I haven’t had them in years, mostly because I just don’t venture into meadows and fields for blackberry picking with a tank top, shorts and flip-flops. 😉

I admire Queen Anne’s Lace from a distance. Lucky you, though! You don’t even have to risk getting too close, you can look at my picture!

Camping

There’s nothing like unplugging from the rat race and taking a weekend to enjoy my family and the outdoors. Most of the time we camp primitive and by primitive I mean no electric. My husband was raised camping in a camper and I grew up camping in tents, in true primitive style. Alas, my love for roughing it has been put aside for the love of my husband. We have a small “cross over” camper (half pop up, half travel trailer). None the less we camp and as often as possible, the kids enjoy it and it is very relaxing to get away from the TV, Computer and cellphones.

This past weekend we went to Green River Lake State Park. This reservoir is not quite as impressive as some of the lakes out west, but we like it and it is close to home. We also camp on a local river on some property my husband’s family owns, where we swim, canoe, kayak and the kids attempt to relocate the gravel bar from the river bank to the furthest their little arms can hurl rocks into the river.  🙂

Here are some photos from our latest camping adventures.

It takes a while to get it just right. You can’t simply fill the pot with water and the basket with grounds and press a button and magically get good coffee in 5-10 minutes (depending on your coffee pot). But percolated coffee is some of the best tasting and well worth the wait.

 

 

These dump trucks are the BEST toy we’ve ever purchased. I’d be willing to bet there are nearly 100 miles on these things!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting at the Kids Outdoor Day while Dad learns more about Flintlock and Wheellock Rifles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite things about camping is I am always the first one up in the morning. Yes, I have to make the coffee, but it is worth it to relish in the beautiful sunrise, start my day off with quiet reflection and praise to the Almighty for a new day.

Do you camp? What are your favorite things about camping?

My Town Part II

We walked through the downtown area of Bardstown took some pictures of some of my favorite homes. Still haven’t taken a picture of the building named for my husband’s ancestor (it is undergoing repairs).

We went to My Old Kentucky Home State park. That’s where I became disappointed. It is a pretty park, everything is well maintained, and as you walk along the brick paths you hear this constant ringing of bells playing every song that Stephen Foster composed. Maybe it was, in part, due the the headache I was developing but stubbornly ignoring in attempt to limit my intake of tylenol, asprin or my all time favorite excedrin. But the bells that were trolling from outdoor speakers around every corner were nauseating.


I love old buildings, I love to look at them and imagine what it must have been like to live when they were new and opulent. But I just can’t get passed that music. Cheesy bells playing Camptown Races, My Old Kentucky Home, Oh Susannah, over and over, bells bells bells. Ugh. I came really close to saying something to one of the park officials, but my growing head ache urged me to press on and get it over with.

Other than that I love Federal Hill itself. It’s beautiful with it’s old brick, masonry stars, and Judge John Rowan’s spring house turned law office down the hill. The boys enjoyed the walking and the boys enjoyed running around the rotunda.

We ended our day out with a stop at the library, then some fun at the park.


Oh yeah, one more thing adding to my frustration with my experience with My Old Kentucky Home. There was a lady that offered to take my picture with the kids. I was thrilled, but in the back of my mind I knew that the picture—like any other that someone takes of me with my family—would be out of focus or I would have a goofy looking face or my eyes would be closed or look like they are ready to pop right out of my head. I was right. I don’t blame her for it, it wasn’t her fault the picture was crumby. I can barely master my new camera myself let alone trying to explain it to a well intentioned stranger. So there you have it, my latest experience attempting to show you my town. The next involves bourbon, hopefully that will be a little more fun! 😉