Over several states and through the woods

On our front lawn, there was a four-point whitetail buck this morning when I went out to turn the sprinkler on. That reminded me that for the whole time we were at Grammy’s, after computer camp, we didn’t see a single deer, moose, bear, snake or other critter.

The first week that computer camp was on, Mama and Jewel got 3B there and home, but on that Friday, they jetted out to Mama’s high school reunion, which was so large that it was held at the gazebo in the local park. I should write that they drove and jetted and drove to her reunion, because even after a one-hour drive to the airport and a two-hour flight, it’s still at least a three-hour drive to Mama’s childhood house, where Grammy lives.

After computer camp was over, 3B and I took the same journey together, although we got to wait on the runway for an additional two hours before takeoff while the pilots decided that they couldn’t boot up the navigation system and would navigate manually. Shouldn’t be that hard…fly north until you hear them speaking French, then land. Oh, you’re still in the U.S.

Barely, but still in.

And then, there we were, waking up with a view of potato fields out our window and woods across the lawn from the front porch. We spent the week relaxing with family. We visited with Grampa, where 3B learned Morse code and got to operate Grampa’s ham radio. We also went to Canada for Chinese food with Grampa, which involved driving maybe 200 yards across a bridge over the river through town. It was a faster trip back, since we only had to drive maybe 200 meters and we didn’t using our metric speedometer, so we were going, like, 85 liters per hour or something.

Most of the rest of the week we spent hanging out at Grammy’s. Uncle A and Cousin S shot off fireworks one night while the kids watched from the playhouse. Cousin S schooled Mama in games of Horse–or so he says–and 3B shot many a hoop with his cousins. We hiked up a road behind the house where 3B and Cousin Z played in a mucky, clogged three-foot tall culvert under the road while Jewel coveted. We were able to mollify her with some fresh raspberries we picked along the roadside.

They were far smaller than the ones in the bowl on our counter this morning, but they were sweet, not sour. They could be eaten under a wide blue sky and didn’t need to be buried under a mountain of whis cream, as Jewel calls it, to be tolerable.

And by the time I’d reflected on all of that, the buck had clattered across the street to stand on our neighbor’s lawn and stare back over his flank at me. We regarded each other for a moment, then each of us went quietly back to the business of our day.