July 21, 2009

Velveteen House Again

Once again our Velveteen House ... As I write, young people are outside around the campfire cooking their breakfast.

Dawson went camping this weekend at the annual Bow Jamboree. We used to always go to this since 1982, camping with hundreds of other archery hunting families - lots of courses of targets to shoot at and fun activities. Monte hasn't been archery hunting for several years - until more testing is done on whether wasting disease in elk and deer, like mad cow disease, can transfer to humans. For probably more than twenty years our main meat we ate was elk, with some deer, and an occasional antelope, moose and bear (and I've eaten rattlesnake, mormon crickets, and I can't remember if I've shared lion, raccoon, and coyote with friends who've eaten them).

The kids here are from our church youth group who were camping all weekend. The graduating seniors finished the trip here last night and will leave today. Camping? I guess they all slept in the bunk house last night. It didn't rain here (it sounds like west Denver got zapped last night with horrid hail, wind and rain that broke tons of trees, windows, roofs, and windsheilds - and snowplows for some hail removal). Lots of cloud and lightening movement that Dawson captured with his camera on a tripod. And I'm posting their campfire pic at one point when they said they were creating a volcano.

Lots of activity around here these summer days. Always friends of Dawson's around working (whom I cook for and pay). Like yesterday, I was weed-eating the lower fruit and asparagus garden (because of excess rain this year the grass and weeds are as tall as me!) and I'd like to finish today, unless it rains soon - it looks like it and is cool. Gary has been coming and cutting down giant dead trees with Dawson and fixing the campfire amphitheater since the old log seating was rotting. Aaron and Connor cleaned out the old ferret house (putting the large fish tanks in the bunk house) and they all had fun figuring out how to get it down to the old chicken coop. It's now attached to the front of the coop and the coop cleaned out and painted and shelves are being built. Gary and Dawson moved the fish tanks and stuff down there yesterday, so the bunk house got cleaned out (Dawson saw and caught a rat - I didn't think we have rats in the mountains). Dawson's welded some frisbee catchers for his frisbee golf course. Connor helps Dawson finish the rock work with his artistic ability (he's the one who's always playing the piano, as he did again this morning). Nick is occasionally here, as he is now, working on more meticulous carpentry jobs. Girls have come and gone too, eating here and playing games and watching movies. The woods junk has been cleaned up with loads taken to the dump and the old dog kennel torn down. Once the playhouse/Dawson's museum of Natural History is cleaned out - Monte's rocks and Dawson's bone, nest ... collections - I'll go through organizing all the yard tools in there. Monte's been slowly going through all his geology stuff in the garage and throwing a ton of stuff away. Then it'll feel like most everything is done around here - ready for the next season of life with Monte and me as empty-nesters. But then grandchildren - and we'll need to rebuild a swing/play area again and get another dump-truck load of sand.

Bill is back in Iraq. We were laughing about them both blowing on their soup together, so I took a picture. The picture of Will was taken at the airport as they hung out together till Bill boarded the plane. Baby Will is getting so vocal and rolling over. As I cleaned the ashes from the cookstove and swept the great room floor this morning I was thinking of us probably needing to redo the wood floor for the grandkids. Like when Heather and Will return for the holidays, he's going to be crawling, and our floor is splintering! All the years of raising kids and Dawson having a sand-table in the greenhouse and tracking dirt all over has worn the floor out. People love it, but little hands and knees crawling about will not, and I rarely walk barefoot.

"What is REAL?" asks the Velveteen Rabbit of the Skin Horse.
"Real isn't how you are made" (they were looking at all the fancy toys surrounding them in the nursery). "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?"
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful, "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up, or bit by bit?"
"...You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

We sure do have tons of great memories bouncing off our very loved worn Real Velveteen House walls!
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