One time, about 2 years ago, Ken and Joe and I planned a bike trip with the girls. Joe had to work for the first two days, so we planned to ride on with the ladies to our first night, camp, then ride on with Joe catching up with us later.
We miscalculated. Hugely. We miscalculated in a way that was so big that if somebody was keeping a list of “miscalculations on bike trips with children” this day (and night) would be right at the top of the list with a star beside it that meant that we were a special kind of stupid.
We left in the morning, with the goal of ending up at Darlington (75k away). We left too late. We thought a nine year old could ride faster. We thought we could stop more often, we thought that we could (even though it was our first trip that combined camping and riding) set up camp swiftly and easily.
All of this was wrong. Big wrong.
What happened was that it took us a very long time to get to Darlington. We arrived in the dark, through the park’s back door, with exhausted, wild children who hated our guts. We got lost inside the park, the whole place was (even though this defies logic) uphill, and the whole time that we were riding these crabby, crying, exhausted kids through the park (in the dark) we were riding through masses of webs that fell all over you, leaving all of us with the absolutely hysteria creating belief that we were being blanketed with spiders. (I have since, being an arachnophobe of the highest order, managed to convince myself that it was not *actually* that we had arrived on the particular magic night in Darlington that every single spider nest hatches, releasing billions of tiny webby spider babies floating on guy-lines into the night air….but that they must have been some sort of caterpillar. For the sake of my sanity I need to entertain this delusion to this day)
We eventually found a park ranger who directed us to our campsite, where we somehow managed to do the bare minimum to erect two tents and collapsed, miserable, dirty and exhausted into sleeping bags.
Then it rained.
Ken and I listened to the thunder for a moment and then it hit us. We had to get up. We hadn’t staked the tents to keep from being flooded, we hadn’t covered our stuff with a tarp, we hadn’t covered the bikes. We took a deep breath, staggered from the tents and spent the next twenty minutes miserably limping around the campsite in the smashing rain and mud wearing nothing but underpants and a bereft visage. During the whole episode, while Ken and I were in the seventh circle of hades and the children lay warmly sleeping in their tent, we said nothing…until Ken exploded with “I hate being a grown up!”
That’s how I feel today. The kids are in camp, the house is blissfully quiet, it’s much, much too hot to really work and I want to do this.
Sit in the shade of the backyard with an icy cranberry and soda and the start of the Highland Triangle, enjoying the heat and the summer and the quiet and the knitting.
Or if I can’t do that, I would like to play with this…
a really yummy lincoln fleece from Carma, who assures me that it comes from a very happy ewe in Northeast Iowa. It looks happy, doesn’t it? I washed a lock yesterday and it came up snowy and white and soft and….
I am a grown up, with responsibilities and a job and an ability to understand that I have to suck it up, so I am doing this.
Having a home office makes it so tempting to be a slacker.
I hate being a grown up.
Luckily, I have the weekend to look forward to. I’ll be speaking and signing books at Needles and Pins in London, Ontario on Saturday at 1:00, I should be there ’til 4, knitting, signing and having a wonderful time. (If you don’t come for me, come because Ellen just got a big honking shipment of Fleece Artist.) I hope I see you there. I’m really excited at finally having some Canadian stuff planned. Have you seen the tour page? It does my patriotic little heart good I tell you. A world of good. If you are planning on coming, would you be so kind as to email Ellen at Needles and pins (That’s her email, ellenATneedlesandpins.ca, just replace the AT with @) and let her know you are coming? The more she knows, the better your chances at a chair to knit in.
As a bonus, Ellen is making the signing a drive for her local food bank, which could use a little help right now, so please bring something non-perishable to donate, will ya?