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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/callmetj/month/6-1-2023
Rated: 13+ · Book · Personal · #1921220
My thoughts released; a mind set free
These pages contain my thoughts, from meandering ideas and persuasions to deep cerebrations and serious mentations.

Why, for what purpose? To release my mind and set creativity free. Somewhere inside the constraints of my mind dwells a writer, a poet, an artist who paints with words. In here I release those constraints and set the artist free.

Perhaps, lost somewhere in the depths of thought, is a story or a poem, waiting to be written.

I'm docked at Talent Pond's Blog Harbor, a safe port for bloggers to connect.
June 30, 2023 at 11:52am
June 30, 2023 at 11:52am
Although this is our first camping trip of the current season, I should travel a short distance back in time before I tackle the present. My wife and I have enjoyed camping since we first met back in 2002 and survived our first camp-out early that spring. This is an interesting story, and I plan on writing about it one day, but that's not today.

It's enough, for now, to know we started out camping in a tent with my dog, and over time graduated to a larger tent and two dogs. As time passed, our simple camping gear increased, another dog joined us, and our enjoyment increased. We would travel to various parks and pitch our tent and screen tent, which we added for a lace to cook and hang out when inclement weather would strike. We would do a lot of hiking and were considering adding a canoe.

Some friends had kayaks and advised us against a canoe since two Golden Retrievers would be very challenging and said we would enjoy kayaks more. We tried theirs out while camping with them, and we were hooked, so we added kayaking to our adventures. With longer caping trips we needed more food along, more space for gear, and a lot of ice for coolers, so we invested in a small refrigerator that we would set up in the screen tent, which was now our kitchen, we also upgraded our six man tent to a cabin tent that I could stand up in, had two separate rooms if desired, a closet, and an actual door instead of two flaps. In time my back problems began to make it difficult to get up off the ground in the mornings, so we invested in a folding camp bed that we could fold up and take with us.

With all this added gear, we needed a bigger vehicle to pack it all in, so we invested in a pickup with a topper on it, installed kayak racks on it, and were all set. Well, until we adopted two grandchildren. At first, we did all right but needed even more food and soda for them, two more kayaks, and eventually our old tent, which was in terrific shape yet, for them. We now found that the pickup did not provide enough room for all our gear, four people, and one dog (our Golden's had departed but we had another dog at this time). So, we found ourselves driving both the pickup and the car anytime we went camping and also discovered that some of the parks (most of them) required us to have two camping spaces for two tents and a screen tent.

Things were getting more difficult and we would be up early, spend a few hours packing up gear, drive to our sites, and then spend hours unpacking and setting up. At the end of the trip, we would start packing things up the night before, then spend a few hours the last day trying to get everything back into the vehicles, drive home, unpack anything that couldn't be left in the vehicles, and then spend a few hours the following day putting everything away.

Since tent camping was getting to be more work than fun, and since the two girls didn't really enjoy camping very much, we decided to save up and purchase a camper. My wife and I still loved camping in a tent and spent a great deal of time deciding on what kind of camper we wanted, hardshell or tent-camper. In the end, we did not want to give up sleeping in a tent but needed the convenience of a camper, so we purchased a pop-up camper. The price was terrific, but it did need some work; nothing major, just little fixes I could do myself. This was perfect since the two kids we now had did not have the capacity to take care of anything; given if they messed something up we wouldn't feel we wasted a lot of money.

I spent most of last summer fixing it up and getting everything ready, and by fall we finally got to use it. It was so much easier, more enjoyable for all, and provided us with two wonderful adventures before the weather became too cold to go out. The only drawbacks were, it was cold out at night and we did not have access to power at the campground we went to (they were doing work and had shut down water and power to most of the camp). But, we did have battery power and a gas furnace, so we managed. The other problem was, space was limited in the camper, and the two girls needed to bring way too much stuff. Even so, we had a great time, made lasting memories, and still got to sleep in a tent that was heated, had running hot and cold water, and lights (no bathroom), but we were parked close to a vault toilet (no water for the showers or modern facilities).

Now back to the present which I will add in another entry soon~
June 22, 2023 at 1:16pm
June 22, 2023 at 1:16pm
A very good friend of ours sent us these little Keebler (gnome) figurines for us to set out on our patio table. Since my wife doesn't really care for gnomes, we decided to refer to them as dwarves, as in Snow White and her entourage.

We set them up after opening the gift, and an idea flooded my deranged mind. My wife has a small display shelf with little animal figurines, and there was a family of skunks on it. I, jokingly, took the skunk family and placed them around the dwarves.

She laughed and said, "I love it, they have to go with them. But, we need to put them on something so they don't fall or get lost.

I found a piece of wood in the garage and we set them up. My wife thought some green felt would make it look nicer, and maybe if I could cut the wood into a circle instead. I agreed a circle would work better, and the green felt would top it off. But, as we talked, another idea began to fester within my ever-active brain.

Soon, it manifest that we could add a napkin holder to the display. My wife thought it a great idea, and instead of keeping it on the patio, using it in the camper. So, we set about finding a better piece of wood for the base cutting it into a circle, and then making a napkin holder to attach to it.

We completed the work and she glued some green cloth to the base. We set up the figurines and added the salt and pepper shakers, but should we drill a place for them or not? Using aromatic cedar, I feared the wood would splinter and split if I tried to drill out indents for the salt and pepper, but maybe we could use some votive candle holders and attach them to the napkin holder. She loved that idea and said she wanted to get some brass ones she had seen.

We still need to get them and add them to the holder, but that will have to wait until after we return from camping. For now, this is how our little project turned out. It's difficult to see in the photographs, but one elf is lying down, passed out with a skunk sniffing his wine bottle, another is sitting in a drunken stupor with a skunk climbing onto his leg, and the third is getting ready to relieve himself and sees a skunk right in front of him getting ready to spay.

When I set the holder up to take a photograph of it, I notice the box of Keebler wafer cones in the background and thought these "dwarves looked a bit like the Keebler elves with beards. So I set the box next to the holder and took a couple of photographs.

Now, they are no longer gnomes. They are no longer dwarves/ They are Keebler elves out camping and drinking. The beards are there because who shaves while out camping? Apparently, elves grow facial hair quite quickly.

This should be a camping trip they will long remember~
June 12, 2023 at 4:03pm
June 12, 2023 at 4:03pm
This is written for "Note: June 18 is Father's Day. Repl..."

Years ago my dad purchased a used boat. None of us had much experience with boats at this time, including my dad, but we learned. Some lessons were learned the hard way.

Shortly after getting the boat, my dad, my next older brother, and I went out to do a bit of fishing on a local lake. We weren't having a lot of luck, so we moved often trying to find the elusive fish.

My dad had brought a big thermos of coffee and after a few cups discovered that he had to empty his bladder. By this time, we were fishing by a small stream that was flowing into the lake. My dad had the motor in neutral at the time and we were just drifting slowly with the current, close to shore.

We were about ten feet from the shoreline, which was somewhat hidden by very tall weeds. My dad told my older brother to steer the boat so he could relieve himself. He stepped up on the front of the boat and just as he began urinating, the tall weeds and grass vanished.

We had drifted in front of someone's home and it looked like there was a reunion taking place. Yes, the front of the boat was pointed towards at least fifty or more people engaged in volleyball, grilling, kids running in the sand, etc....

No one had yet noticed our boat quietly drifting past them with my dad peeing off the front in full view, but it was only a matter of time. Desperate not to be discovered, he turned to my brother and whispered, "Steer the boat."


A little louder, "Turn the boat around!"

"I can't hear you, those people are making too much noise."

My dad had quite a temper, and very few patients, and the first had now been fueled the second had run out. In a loud voice, "Turn the damn boat around!"

Everyone turned to look at our boat and the load yelling. Still about ten feet from shore, still facing them, and still peeing, my dad was turning bright red. My brother turned the steering wheel one way, then the other, but the boat did not respond.

"Damnit put the boat in reverse, turn the damned wheel and get me the hell out of here!"

My brother did just that, he pulled back on the shifter/throttle to put the boat in reverse, cranked the wheel to turn the boat, and in horror, watched as my dad, still standing in the front, still relieving himself, toppled right into the lake as we backed away.

Luckily, my brother stopped the boat, and being a good swimmer, my dad soon reached the side, clambered over, and was back in the boat. Bad luck had followed him, as he climbed over the side, his pants dropped and of course, that was the side facing the group of hysterically laughing people, some of whom now actually fell down because they were laughing so loud.

My dad quickly took control of the boat and we were soon speeding back across the lake to the boat landing. I had never seen him land, load, and leave a lake so quickly before or after that day. We never returned to that lake, and the next time we took the boat out, everyone had a lesson in driving the boat. Oh, and we always had a bucket in the boat after that dreadful day.

In my and my brother's defense, I should add that I was around twelve and he was around fourteen.

June 6, 2023 at 3:44pm
June 6, 2023 at 3:44pm
It's been a while so today seems like a good day to add an entry. Two months ago I was complaining of snow, cold winds, and being tired of shoveling. Now, although it's not a complaint, we have the bipolar opposite in our weather. It's been in the mid-nineties for a couple of weeks and Sunday hit a high of one hundred and six degrees!

I've been in climates with high temperatures and often it's accompanied by super-high humidity, but ours has stayed a bit on the low side, thankfully. Still, this is considered northern Minnesota, so these temperatures are very out of season. We should be hitting highs in the mid-seventies this month, and seldom see them in triple digits even by the end of July and August, our hottest months.

As I stated, I'm not complaining, I'd rather deal with the heat than suffer frostbite and shovel snow. But, with these kind of temperatures come wicked summer storms. Monday we had hail the size of golf balls drop on us, despite the forecast claiming an overcast but dry day. Luckily, we didn't have any damage, the frozen volley of sky-stones wasn't very hard and most shattered upon impact. Still, they hurt like a bugger when they hit.

Yes, I had to run out in the middle of my dinner and put the Yukon in the garage. I made it down the steps and then retreated from the barrage of icy chunks back into the house to grab my shield (umbrella). There was no wind so I stayed secure beneath my shield until I could enter the vehicle and back it into the garage. By this time, the clouds had ceased and desisted their assault of pounding us with inch-and-a-half-sized polar pellets so I made a quick dash to the house in the rain that followed the barrage. Even this icy assault and cold rain did little to lower Mother Nature's fever and soon it was not only hot but humid as well.

I have stuff I should be working on outside, in the garage, and in the camper, but it's just too damn hot. Hey, I said I wasn't complaining, but that doesn't mean I like it!

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/callmetj/month/6-1-2023