Wednesday, July 16, 2003


Retired people and people like me have many wonderful things in common... a tendency to spend the middle of the day napping, time for multiple coffee klatches, formidable penny-pinching skills, intimate knowledge of the per-pill cost of our allergy medicines...

And we also have one other advantage over the conventionally employed: We get to go camping in the middle of the week!

Which is what My Own Dear Personal Parents and I, along with our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Timber Beast, have been doing a lot of lately.

Though of course, despite the utter emptiness of our favorite campground, we shun same in favor of a meadow just beyond it. Yes, we're a few miles away from the outhouses, but the latest addition to the Sherrod family, The Bus, is more than adequately equipped (though alas, the door makes a bit of noise at dawn when Your Humble Blogger urgently emerges from her tent [the low woman on the totem pole, she hath not Bus sleeping privileges] to rid herself of the previous night's excess Paisano. Sorry, mom, sorry, dad).

We've been camping in that meadow for – I'm not exaggerating here – my entire life. It was there our campsite was invaded by a few hundred sheep when I was five and we camped in a tiny Red Dale trailer that would at best make a midday snack for The Bus, there where My Own Dear Personal Sister and I spent countless hours trying to push each other out of the high bunk in the eight-track-tape-playing Prowler with which we followed the Red Dale... there where we floated toy boats in the streamflow of Brush creek and tried, always, to dam it up so we'd have a bigger pond (we laugh now to hear our father muse the same musings, to create a better fishing hole)...

But now the sister is in Portland and it is only the Collie of Folly who wets her silky locks in the rushing waters... and wets... and wets... and wets... I don't think that dog spent a dry hour the whole trip, and yes, she did in fact share my tent at night. Sigh.

The best part of all, though, was the Hummingbird Wars; Mr. and Mrs. Timber Beast and My Own Dear Personal Parents had each set up hummingbird feeders in camp (making it necessary for me to keep a hat on my head at all times; my hair is just bright enough to make a favorite target for dive-bombing otherwise), giving occasion for a thoroughgoing and painstaking sociological study of what circumstances are necessary before two hummingbirds will consent to share the feeder (like signs of frost in Hades). We should have laid bets to make it more interesting, though we quickly learned that the Rufous males won every time, even if they weren't hungry.

Alas, no hot Rufous-on-Rufous action to be seen, but we saw Rufous on Black-Chinned, Black-Chinned on Broad-Tailed, etc.

And so passed a pretty stupid but highly agreeable few days at Camp Sherrod, background bickering between MODPD and TB over who was going to saw down the big dead tree right next to the fire pit notwithstanding. The debate there was so heated, so loaded with contumely and neologisms and just plain surreality, that I didn't even miss my coffee group!

Especially since the "cowboy" coffee, made over the course of hours in a sturdy iron pot shoved right down in the coals of the campfire, is the best coffee in the world.

We're all counting the hours until we can go back. Probably on Monday.

About the same time most of you are getting ready for work.