The Four Seasons of Tents

I know, I know, I’m not batting a very good average over the past six weeks.  Actually, this will be the third newsletter in six weeks which would put me at a .500 batting average, which is actually very good, but most of my readers aren’t from the north so you care very little about baseball and would not know that .500 is a good batting average.  I live in New York now and here I am supposed to care about sports like hockey and baseball, it’s all so foreign to me.  Nevertheless, three out of six is not a good time span for me… I’ll try better.

I’m still a little surprised with myself for not getting something written last week, especially considering that we had a very eventful Memorial Day Monday.  I spent the weekend, not barbecuing like I ought to have, but doing mundane outdoor tasks like sealing our pergola, mowing the lawn, and wondering how young is too young to let my sons operate a push mower.  Sunday evening I setup our latest outdoor recreational activity purchase, a tent.  Now before I go any further I should probably describe this tent.  For someone who has ever had to live in a tent this is like the Four Seasons of tents.  It is a new generation of tent called an instant tent and these types of tents practically set themselves up.  You get it out of the bag, shake it out, and throw it up in the air and if the wind catches it just right *poof* instant tent.  Ok, not quite, but now I know how this tent goes up it will legitimately only take Leslie and I about three minutes to get it set up.  In addition, this tent has a footprint that is 10’x20’; a three room tent equipped to sleep 12 people and has an awning.  This truly is an amazing feat of engineering (and ridiculously expensive for a tent).  That said, this is a far cry from the fifth wheel.  Our camper was never intended to be for camping experiences, but wow… I must say I’ve spent the past seven growing accustomed to a certain degree of comfort, it’s going to take some used to going back to a tent, even a really nice tent.  On the plus side, I could probably get a window unit AC installed on this new tent and at least make a couple of steps towards getting me where I should be.IMG_4494Anyway, I set the tent up in the yard Sunday night and I camped outside with the boys in this three room monstrosity.  Just my luck, it rained all night Sunday.  Fortunately the waterproofing in the tent held up.  Monday we got up and it promised to be a warm, steamy day, although not too warm since this is upstate New York that we are talking about.  Anyway, we lazed around for a bit and then made the decision to go hiking at a nature preserve not too far from the house.  Leslie was concerned about the mud since it had rained last night, after assuring her that everything would be fine, we packed a lunch, some spare clothes, a few bottles of water, diapers, and many other assorted items associated with children and got into the car.  It only took us about 15 minutes to get to the trailhead.  We got the boys unloaded; Ayla packed into the Baby Bjorn on my back and started our way down the trail to find the first set of waterfalls.  It was a good thing that I had spent all that time assuring Leslie we would be able to avoid most of the mud because we weren’t a quarter of a mile into the trail before we began hiking through a very swampy area with mud up to our ankles.  Leslie was not pleased but the boys loved it. IMG_4492We probably hiked about a mile or two before we found a place on the river where the boys could get in and splash around.  Seeing that this is a river flowing out of a larger river that, in a normal winter, would still have been frozen over a month before, I expected the water to be very cold and I expected that the boys would not get much deeper than their tennis shoes.  As it turns out, this very mild winter meant that the water was very warm (again, by upstate New York standards) and it was not too long before the boys were grabbing my hands and wanting to get chest deep into the water.  Needless to say, we all had a blast and Leslie and I were very impressed with the boys for being able to keep up and not having to be carried for any of the hike.  All told we probably hiked close to three miles over some very uneven terrain (for someone who has such short little legs).IMG_4493We have crossed the three month threshold in our adoption and I put a query in to our attorney to identify what the next steps were to finalize the adoption.  Disconcertingly, I was told that it is entirely up to the court now as they have to issue a letter requesting a final homestudy.  This is disconcerting because our experience with the court during the initial stages of the adoption did nothing to inspire confidence in their abilities.  I replied to our attorney’s email and asked at what point we (i.e. my attorney) should start reaching out to the court to check on the status of our filing, you know, just to make sure they had not lost our file or something.  I received a somewhat terse reply that, “no, the court had not lost my file.”  Apparently my question crossed some kind of line; I guess we’re not supposed to inquire about ineptitude within the court systems.  Hopefully everything will shake loose here very soon and I’ll start flooding my newsletters with pictures of my entire family, rather than just the subset you see above.  Until then, enjoy.


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