The Morels of Campgrounds

Against my better judgment I’m fixing to tell you a camping story. With details I’d prefer not to share. Go ahead and read, but I may need you to sign a waiver first promising you won’t share info. Reality check, Simply B, that can’t happen. They’re going to read it anyway. Well, okay, here goes.

Every single year the hubby and I take at least one camping trip to Colorado. Every year we are joined by at least one of our daughters and her family, often there are three families involved. This year our trip included seven (7!!) families from my branch of the family tree. For a full week in the mountains.

** Spoiler alert** we all love each other. No dysfunctional family drama involved. That’s not the forbidden info.

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The Eyes Have It

Again, I have been given the opportunity to reminisce about my mother. Several days ago I had cataract surgery. Soon I will have cataract surgery on my other eye. Just a short appointment, quick recovery, and voila, good eyesight. Maybe even no prescription eye glasses needed once my other eye is done. Just that simple.

Mom’s eyes developed cataracts at a pretty young age. I was ten when she had surgery, which would have made her 50 years old. 1965 was the year. This surgery wasn’t simple and my mom wasn’t particularly enthused about the whole process.

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Traveling south; Gene, Blake, and Olive Ann

Did you know there is a national park in south central Oklahoma? Well there is! Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

We decided to take a little four day camping trip to this park, sight unseen, no idea what to expect. Sense of adventure kicked in while googling Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Our trip was delayed one year because our initial reservation was in March of 2020. Need I say more? ‘Rona ruined that plan.

Fast forward to 2021 and life is kind of good-ish again. Things are opening up, so we rebooked some campsites and hit the road with my sister and brother-in-law.

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Shakedown Shakes

We camp in a fifth wheel. We winterize our 5th wheel late fall every stinking year. Always with a sad face. Because we love to camp and the winter feels like an eternity when we can’t go camping.

Our part of the world experienced record breaking cold temperatures this past winter. And they lasted for a record breaking fourteen day period. Why does this matter? Well, it can mean winterization fails. AKA, cracks and leaks. Ugh.

Thus, our annual spring shakedown camping trip was taken with trepidation. Actually, for more reasons than winterization fails.

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Significance

1963. If you were alive and above the age of 4 or so in 1963 you undoubtedly recall the day in November.

In February of last year we visited the 6th Floor Museum in Dallas. Dallas is huge, 7 million people live in the metro area. There are many buildings with six floors. But only one building houses the location where a gunman shot and killed President John Kennedy from a window on the sixth floor.

While walking through the museum and listening to the audio headphones tell the story I was taken back to that day in November. My 3rd grade classroom in Minneapolis Grade School. We listened to the news over the loudspeaker while our teacher, Mrs. Warren, wept. The only sound was the voice on the speaker and the weeping of our teacher. While a room full of eight year olds tried to process what was happening.

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Embracing embraces. And the number 28.

Are you a hugger? I wasn’t as a child. It wasn’t our family’s “thing”. That’s okay, I suppose. Pretty sure all you non-huggers are tolerating the COVID-19 restriction policies better than us huggers. Though I’ve grown into being a hugger (with a few limits), during these pandemic days I truly treasure all the human interaction I can get. Smiles (that you can actually see on an unmasked face), hugs, elbow bumps, conversation. Anything, I tell ya. Growl at me even.

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Purpose and Plans.

We’re retired. It’s been two years now. Since we love to travel and have a fifth wheel, we looked into ways we could incorporate both of those into our life plan. Doors opened for us to volunteer at faith based camps while living part-time in our fifth wheel and in the fall of 2019 we had our first stint in eastern Oklahoma. After the first month we loved it so much that we quickly signed up for another month.

And it seemed we’d found our purpose.

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Let go of my Legos

Fifteen years ago I became a grandmother.

About eleven years ago, I bought my first ever Lego set for the boy who made me a grandma.

About eleven years and one minute ago, I became just a little obsessed with the delightfulness of Legos. So did said grandboy. We spent many hours building one thing after another, as the coins rapidly left our bank account.

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Ebay lessons and Cabbage.

(Originally posted back in 2017….needed the recipe contained in this so I republished it. )

It’s been a week of education for Simply B in the fine art of using Ebay to purchase stuff.  I’m a relative newby, just mainly buying stuff outright and not bidding on it.  But this week I decided to bid on Castillian plates to add to the 2 that were given to me from my mom’s kitchen.   And I learned a vital lesson.   Once you place a bid on an Ebay item, you may well win that bid.  And once you win that bid….well….you pay for the item and it’s yours.  It’s a contract of sorts.  I guess I thought I’d win the bid then be able to decide if I really wanted them.  So far I have 10 Castillian plates.  There may be more on the way, who knows.  I kind of got carried away once the bidding started.  Wow.  No biggie.  I guess.  Haven’t checked our bank account balance.  Perhaps I should.  😅 Continue reading “Ebay lessons and Cabbage.”

Pep And Petrol

Small town America loves their school activities. That was certainly the case in my very small hometown high school during the 60’s and 70’s. Friday night football and Tues/Friday basketball would bring every loyal citizen who could still breathe and walk out to watch “their kids” play.

And for students, even if you weren’t part of the team, you were still part of the team. Some were in marching band. Some were cheerleaders. Some took turns working the concession stands. Some dressed up as the Lion Mascot. And the rest of us? Well we were part of the team too. Thanks to Pep Club.

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The rest of the story….

Percival and Augusta**.    Long ago they lived across the street from my family in a small super-modest old home with peeling paint and many many many cats.  And one little dog.   There was a front porch.  There was a back porch.  There’s no trace left of where Percival and Augusta spent their sad life.  But my mind will never lose the image of that home and the couple who lived there. Continue reading “The rest of the story….”

Through

I was the last chance.

My folks were the parents of three teenage daughters when, out of the blue (or pink?) I came along. Another stinking girl. I have mental pictures of my dad, age 47, going from the hope of hearing “it’s a boy!!” to “oh, well”.

I was the last chance for him to have a boy to hang out with and enjoy time together. A son, a kindred spirit, a little Benton. He had three teenage girls. Just wrap your brain around that fact for one moment. At least once a month you KNOW my dad wished he had sons.

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Rising numbers. Rrrrrrip.

My collection of numbers has become pretty large. Too many birthdays has added a ton of numbers to my age. And I seem to have an uncanny ability to add numbers to my weight. Though it’s tempting to blame COVID19 and the whole stay-at-home scene on the weight dealio, that would be a lie.

All these numbers have resulted in gravitational effects and odd changes to my already unfortunate configuration of body parts.

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Dear Younger Me

My breath was taken away and tears came to my eyes. Not gonna lie, they even rolled down my cheeks.

A friend of mine shared a photo with me. She’d found it in an old yearbook of her mom’s.

Me. Age fifteen. The one school picture that never made it to a frame on the top of the piano with the other pictures of me and my sisters. I had totally forgotten about this particular photograph. I doubt there are prints of it anywhere, except of course the old yearbook.

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Bunny, Bird, and Boo

Let me just preface this post with this statement: I love animals. Yes, I do. Now just plant that fact in your brain while you read the rest of this.

Our oldest daughter went off to college many years ago at Kansas State University and began dorm life. Our youngest daughter was four years younger, just a high school sophomore at the time.

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Mixed values; unexpected ho-hums

Got some time on my hands. You too? I refuse to use the C word or the P word though. If you’re reading this in say, 2030, and you have no clue what C and P words are, then you indeed are most fortunate. Be deeply thankful. And just go ahead and search for “historic events in the year 2020” if curiosity has the best of ya.

So while roaming about the house during the past week or so, organizing, cleaning, avoiding stir craziness, I came across a few items with stories to tell.

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