though my memory rusts, I will always see the icicle tusk.

So we were supposed to have this life-threatening winter snowstorm deep freeze thing today… but at the moment, it’s just extremely cold. Which is bad enough, okay, but seriously….?

People’s obsessions with weather used to annoy me, but then I got obsessed too. Or at least mildly interested, maybe because of my interest, always, in the atmosphere of everything. Some of the most lovely and interesting weather I have seen happens very late at night when Oliver has to drive me home and try not to crash. Fog, mist, rain, sleet, snow– movie-set snow, snow like moon dust or sand, and last night’s snow that seemed to hang in the air like fog, casting everything mysterious and white.

I don’t very much appreciate the atmosphere of danger that ice imparts, though.

Darn! I wanted a snow day, an excuse to drink excessive hot chocolate and lie around listening to records and reading books and maybe finally topping off the candles I made with Bug and Marie, which have been sitting in a box waiting patiently while I gallivant around in everyone’s Christmas break. “Yeah, you really need a break from… nothing,” Oliver said.

But it wasn’t a break! Actually, I think my brain has been more active lately than it’s been in ages. I’ve been reading every day, chewing my way through alleged classics and The Secret History (yum); I’ve been researching and gathering materials constantly for my current “Robots” story; I’ve been absorbing my surroundings better than ever, remembering more conversations, getting better at character sketches.

This probably still sounds like a break, actually, and I’m not saying that this was super difficult for me, or that any of this felt like work. But lately I keep remembering what someone in my writer’s group once said to me. She was talking about the advantages of keeping a journal as a writer, and she said that you start out just writing things down when you’re looking for inspiration, or when you’re waiting for the “grist”, as she called it. But then after a while you realize that you’re not writing stuff down while you’re waiting for the grist anymore; that stuff has become the grist. For me this isn’t all totally intentional, gathering grist– but thinking about that advice, I have become more aware of (and hopefully better at) the practice.

This probably also sounds like I’m all, “I’m taking time to focus on my Art” [*adjusts tortoiseshell glasses*], but… I did lie around a lot, too. Whatever.

oranges and lemons

So, our yearly migration ended last weekend (finally) and now I’m back in the comfort (um, relative comfort, I might say instead– as I survey the disarrayed dishes hither and everywhere) of home.

Poncho: “I want a man-sized hobbit house. Like, to legitly live in.”
Me: “Legitly? Legitly is not a word. ‘Legit’ comes from legitimate, so you’d say ‘legitimately’.”
Poncho: *blank stare*
Me: “Yeah, I know, no one cares.”
Poncho: “Nope.”

So now I am trying to think of all the things I wanted to write a blog about since Thanksgiving– but yep, the ideas have flitted into my brain and right back out again. Or, as Dad said tonight to me (as he demonstrated proper shoe-shining technique), “You have all these good ideas, and you end up dead.”
Me: “Thanks for that inspirational quote, there.”
Dodge: “That’s how he always ends his stories. ‘…Well, that guy’s dead now.'”
Dad: “It happens to everyone, eventually.”

A never-ending fount of optimism, my dad is.

Last night we ate dinner with the grandparents, and Mom started reminiscing about staying over there during the Migration.
Me: “I liked how when Poncho started watching Dr. Who over here, Grandpa said, ‘This is the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen’.”
Dodge: “And it’s not even a movie.”
Grandpa: “What movie?”
Me: “TV show. Dr. Who.”
Grandpa: “Dr. Who?”
Everyone burst out laughing.
Grandpa: “Well, what’s his name?”
Poncho: “That is the name! That is the point of the show!”
Grandpa: “I dunno. That’s some weird kinda movie.”

And then there’s “Dr. Nope”, the phrase that Dodge coined and has now become somewhat infamous among people who hear me say it too much. Any time that Dodge or I use this phrase, Mom is bound to ask what we mean. Francis always says, “I don’t get this Dr. Nope.”
The other day was no different, except that the fabulous Marie was there to explain it all.
Francis: “What does this ‘Dr. Nope’ mean? I just don’t get this Dr Nope.”
Marie: “It’s an expression. Right? It means, like, something’s just not gonna happen. Dr. Nope.”
When I told this to Dodge, he said, “Finally! Someone understands me!”

What? I don’t count as someone? Lest it be forgotten, I was the first adopter of “Dr. Nope” (and everyone smacks me upside the head and asks me why I follow in Dodge’s annoying footsteps). (Although, I might add that Dodge has started calling me “Nachos”, which I don’t think I will ever understand.)

Something else I allegedly don’t understand: 1984. I finally read it, gave it another shot… And I’m glad I did. Not because it’s my new favorite book or anything, but it was interesting and it definitely made me think. Actually, you know what, I think I did understand it (mostly… I just finished it yesterday, so I’m still kind of mulling it over). The truth is, though, that both 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, in their own ways, made me vaguely depressed about life and about the future in general. Oh, not because of the state of the world, not because of the dystopian stuff– but because of the majorly messed-up relationships these characters have. I mean, come on, you guys! Some of us are young and trying to not panic.

I should go re-read Jane Eyre to cleanse my mind. Good grief.

But still. If a book has the power to draw me in to the point where, upon a big revelation, I repeatedly throw it against the couch, it must be pretty good.

One more thing… Snow! Glorious snow! And bad driving conditions, and scraping windshields, and that pale grime on everything, and cold hands while typing this. Yay, winter. (Oh, but outdoor skating! And ice! and salt and rolling in snow and every shade of brown and all the woods and soft as chalk and an excuse to drink excessive amounts of various hot beverages! Yay, winter!)

fire, flannel, frosty day

Dad is in the kitchen making dinner for us now. He is wearing a flannel shirt that saw better days approximately twenty years ago. It has a front pocket that is held on by safety pins. Another safety pin serves as a button. A huge rip in the side serves as another pocket. The elbow, cuffs, and collar are all worn down to the quilting.

And now…

Dad: “Whoo! My shirt caught on fire!”
He comes running into the room.
Mom: “Greeeaaaat.”
Dad: “Yeah, cause now this seam is melted back together.”

So, yep, it’s just a typical coldpocalypse day here at my house. (In the background, I hear Dad yelp, “OW! asdfghjkl”) All the weather people are freaking out about snow that’s as thin as Dad’s flannel, and about cold that’s… um… normal for this region.  Last winter was basically a prolonged fall, which threw off my internal clock (sometimes, if you’re very quiet, you can hear me ticking from across the lagoon) and made everyone else paranoid about anything below fifty degrees.

Uh, not that I’d like to be out there right now, but still. As Dad said last night admist the numerous rerun-interrupting alerts and warnings,
“Alert! Alert! It’s still winter!”

The good thing is, so far today I slept in, sewed and knitted, and wrote. I’m still hoping to write more. I’m also hoping that my window will un-freeze so that I can feed my poor, frozen sparrows. (My poor, frozen sparrows who probably just ate at someone else’s feeder today, the fickle little buggers.)

Tis all for now…

Yours till the cold snaps,
Pen

the snow’s coming down, I’m watching it fall

It’s snowing!!!!! YAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!

I was so excited when I woke up this morning and saw the flakes sliding past my window. I stood up on my bed and announced “It’s snowing!” to the world. Or, um, myself. Whatever.

Well, I’ve been sick with a cold for the past few days. (But poor Mom had the flu…) Of course that didn’t stop me from my volunteering job! This time I worked with a med student named Erin who was very nice, and also formed an… interesting… view of me.
Her: “So, are you a med student too?”
Me: “No. Well, I’m not really any kind of student.”
Her: “So what do you do when you’re not volunteering?”
Me: “I work at the library and I write.”
Her: “Oh, that’s really cool. So, did you go to school for English?”
Me: (stifled laughter) “Erm. No.”
Her: “You just started writing out of high school, then?”
Me: (thinking: holy cow, she thinks I’m in college or out of college…) “It’s kind of something I’ve always done, so yeah, even before high school. Yep.”
Later I overheard her telling someone I was a librarian(!) and, well, it was kind of a nice fairyland that I was experiencing there, where everyone pretty much assumed I was an adult. I didn’t confirm or deny. As Mom would say, “That would be true, and also, not a lie!”
It was also very fun giving her book-present suggestions. (Mom said, “Now look what you’ve done, she’ll give that to someone and say it was recommended by a librarian!” To which I replied, “It’s a classic, okay!?!”) (Because yeah, you guessed it: I recommended Alice.)

Hey, I know, let’s jump around in chronological order so that I can tell you about all the fun things that happened recently!

Like the…. JARS OF CLAY Christmas concert! They played Christmas music! They played “Closer”!!!! Aaaaaand we were the only ones dancing? (By we I mean: the DHFs, me, and Poncho the Awesomesauce, of course.)
DHFs: “I mean, how could you not dance to that?”
Me: “I think they drank the poison cool-aid, you guys. They were dead as doornails. Bumps on a log.”
Francis: “I don’t think the band could see us dancing way back there.”
Me: “Of course they could see us. We were the only things moving in the whole place!”
Oh, and did I mention that we all had to sing “The Twelve Days of Minecraft” (thank you, Youtube parodies, for killing my sanity) on the way there to cheer Poncho up? (“Fiiiiive gol-den blocks!”) It took PoorBill half the song to figure out that it was a Minecraft thing… Yeeeeeah.
The next morning (we slept over), we all discussed how apparently no one understands “The Long Fall Back to Earth” album even though it perfectly sums up a CHUNK OF MY SOUL.

And… The Hobbit! (I said this in a singsongy voice.) (In my head.) I had a more detailed critique,  but my main thoughts were:
Hi, Mr. Thornton.
The singing is lovely.
I want some dwarf friends.
Bilbo is awesome.
The end.
Oh, and Dodge came. :)

Speaking of movies, I finally watched “A Hard Day’s Night” yesterday while resting from my sickness. I had meant to watch Captain America, but my DVD was damaged (it looked all burned and weird. I blame HYDRA). So I found A Hard Day’s Night online and watched it, and wow, it was weird. It kind of reminded me of Alice in Wonderland (possibly the movie versions more than the actual book, due to disjointed-ness) because it was so nonsensical.

I also went last-minute Christmas shopping (mostly for craft supplies, as I made most of the presents this year, but also for some hard-to-find items) with Eliza and Bug. (I just realized that I do basically everything with Eliza and Bug.) (And they’re going to comment like, “What do you mean you just realized? This has been going on for years!”) Now I am almost done with all of my Christmas presents, even though I’m now going at a somewhat breakneck pace and will probably be finishing some on Christmas Eve. (Bug knitted through The Hobbit in order to finish a present! Now that is some dedication!) Or The Second Day of Christmas. Ironically, the ones I started the earliest are going to be the last done. My life in a nutshell, people. But oh well, they’re fun to make.

Then I shall commence with wrapping. Well, I have already commenced somewhat. I am really excited to wrap everyone’s differently and with much more creativity than in previous years. And we also have to finish decorating and tidying the house… Excitement! Anticipation!

(O come, O come, Emma-a-anuel…)

Yours from beautiful snow-land,
Pen

PS: As I wrote this, Mom and Poncho were wrapping presents at the table where I am working… Poncho said in a creepy robot voice, “I want to be the wrap-inator.”

It’s beginning to look a lot like… an utter failure on the part of nature to deliver an actual winter.

All I want for Christmas is SNOW.
I will aslo accept:
slush,
sleet,
brooding gray clouds,
marrow-clenching cold,
or a combination of the above.
So, yeah, hint-hint, you guys. Better get cracking on that, because so far it pretty much still looks like October. It’s already St. Nicholas Day, didn’t you know. (And I already snarfed the chocolate coins I found in my shoes this morning. I can’t control myself around those things. Shiny! Tasty! We must have the precious!) 

Hey, speaking of preciouses, I finally got my hands on Reached, the sequel to the fab book Matched (I am pretending Book Two never happened. Although it did help me learn something about myself: I can’t handle guys with issues. Sorry, I just don’t get the whole brooding + depressed = attractive thing. I mean, Rochester has issues, and he can be brooding sometimes– partly because that’s just his face– but he’s also teasing and independent and he doesn’t give in to melodrama. And seriously, if a guy in a GOTHIC NOVEL doesn’t do melodrama, then what the heck is your problem, Ky and that soldier guy and Arthur Clennam who I secretly love anyway?)

Ahem. Back to what I was saying… I finished Reached today after getting it last night. (Basically, I behave the same way around shiny new books as I do around shiny coin chocolate. Omnomnom.) It was not as good as Matched, which I obviously expected, but it was much more like Matched than book two was. So it made me happy.
It was also so good, good, good to sink my teeth into a book that’s not a classic, that’s not an “adult” book, that’s not something I want to nitpick or something I grabbed out of desperation. I just let myself enjoy this, you know? Classics can be enjoyable, but they require work to get through– I don’t mean “boo-hoo, they made me think!”, I mean “ouch my brain why why why are your sentences so wordy, Dickens?” Time and the evolution of the English language makes reading some classics hard. (To use Jane Eyre again, I initially rolled my eyes at that book every time it said “unclosed” instead of “opened”. But then I got into it, and I loved it so much, and also Eliza wrote a poem inspired by it that used the word “unclosing”, and I just couldn’t hate it after that.) I think some people believe that “easy reading” is for wimps or lazy consumers or the uneducated mass market or whatever. But you know what? Writers work so hard to write well, to make everything correct and clear and beautiful. They forge the same sentences over and over until it’s perfect. And then– they make it so you don’t see those words that they worked so hard over. They make it so that you see only the story. It’s hard to make it easy.
Plus, wouldn;t you rather puzzle about the meaning of the story– and by extension, the meaning of life!, says the hipster on my left shoulder– than the meaning of a sentence?

OK, well, I didn’t mean to go into a rant there… See what literature does to my brain?

Anyway. Hmm.

Oh, yes.

So, the other night we were watching “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” because it was on TV. By we, I mean: Dad, Poncho, and me. We were kind of sitting there in quiet bemusement, because the movie is so weird. I never noticed how weird when I was a kid (I always liked “The Little Drummer Boy” better, anyway), but, okay. Everyone in the movie is mean, especially Santa Claus, and Rudolph’s mom doesn’t even have a name. (Also the snowman is a Communist, according to Poor Bill.)
Then Mom came in towards the end of the movie, right when there’s a big snowstorm and they’re going to “cancel Christmas”.
Me: “So this is the movie that started that idiocy.”
Mom: “I don’t know if they started it, or just jumped on the bandwagon.”
Santa: “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”
Mom: “So basically, Santa’s a total jerk to you until you have something he needs.”
Rudolph: Of course” (or whatever he said to the affirmative)
Mom: “Jeez, Rudolph has some boundary issues. He should’ve been like, ‘Screw you, Santa!'”
Me: “BAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA”
Later…
Mom: “I’ve always felt that way about that movie, and I’ve never been able to express myself.”
Me: “Well, it’s true. I mean, Santa never has a change of heart in this movie. He gets fat, but he’s still mean. Also do you find it weird that Rudolph’s mom’s name is literally Mrs. Donner?”
Mom: “Yeah, kinda…”
Me: “And only the boy reindeer can fly, apparently? I mean, do not tell me that all of Santa’s reindeer are supposed to be boys. There’s girl names in the song. You know Dasher and Comet and Cupid and… uh…”
Dodge: “Well, they all have antlers.”
Mom: “Girl reindeer have antlers, too!”
Dodge: “No they don’t….”
Mom:
Dodge:
Me: “BAHAHAHAHAHAHA”
(Can you tell that “later” meant “after midnight”?)

Well, then I went to help “Saint Nick” get a certain present ready. It involved funneling fake snow into a glass ornament. The brand of artificial snow was called Rainbow Snow. But I mis-read it as “Raining Snow”.
Me: “Look, mommy, it’s raining snow outside! Ahahahahahahaha–”
Mom: “Har.”

Yeah, if only it were raining snow…

Yours till the snow flakes (DO YOU HEAR ME UP THERE! I SAID SNOW!!!),
Pen

I never saw a moor, I never saw the sea

but I know what heather looks like / and what a wave must be…

Actually, I do know what heather looks like, but I don’t know how it smells or how tall it would be if I stood in it or how it looks when it’s dead and snowed on or does it even get snowed on at all and if it’s soft and what noise it makes when wind or footsteps go over it. 

I have a little better knowledge of waves, as I have visited a particular Great Lake on several occasions, but it’s not the sea and it doesn’t smell like salt. It kind of smells like sweaty water and whatever fishing bait is being used nearby. Besides, it’s hard to smell when you’re being blinded by the glare of the sun off the lake and the concret you’re sitting on, and you’re distracted by herons that your brother is feeding heat-stroked minnows to.

It’s hard to reasearch things on this disorganized network of inaccurate information we fondly call the internet. And I keep having to look up things for White Funeral, like different types of sailboats and rowboats and docks and tides and… The list goes on.

But there are things I do know. I know the twenty-nine different types of snow, the feel of cold wind down the back of my neck,  months where the difference between day and night is just the sky changing shades of gray. The moon being so huge and orange and low on the horizon that it seems to be asking for someone to try and climb onto it. (Which is how it looked last night, and I wished I was out in an open field so I could chase after it, or just stare and stare without streetlights polluting my view).  

 Well, speaking of things never seen, I am leaving this weekend for… Kentucky! I will be surrounded by wilderness, and I will see mountains, and (best part) I’m going with the DHFs! I think it will be awesome as long as it doesn’t turn out like a cliche TV show, where the one character gets invited to go camping or something and they show up in a pretty dress with some technological device in hand. (Not that I don’t know how to pack; Eliza has given me a helpful list, and I’ve gone camping plenty of times. It’s just a weird phobia I have, I guess.)

In other news, today was like a giant time-warp because I had to go to the dentist and get my hair cut. And then it was like oh wait, the day is completely over. Sigh. I never want to sit in another waiting-room chair for as long as I live. (Unfortunately, some dreams really are unattainable.) Now I have to get some writer’s group stuff together, and go to bed. (Instead, I’m half-watching The Voice and writing this. I justify blogging because it’s already been some time since my last post and I assume I will not be back here until I’m home from Kentucky. How do I justify watching some lame singing show? Yeah. There’s really no excuse.)

Now we are Six(teen)

All right, Mom, your complaints have finally been heard. I’m writing something on here again. And, tagging your name under it.
Mom: “My name on your blog is getting very small. I check up on these things you know.”
(a few days later) “Look! You still haven’t posted anything! And my name just gets smaller and smaller every day….”

So, now, here I am. I guess several things have happened since you last heard from me, which is too bad, because I still feel I have brain-block over here. My mind keeps freezing up whenever I try to write anything, especially when I try to write about things that happened to me, even if they were entertaining. If I’ve already told the story then it loses its sparkle for me. But I’ll try.

First of all, my birthday. Shocking is all I have to say about it. I actually do feel older, which I almost never do, so that’s a nice change. I did 16 of my favorite things instead of a party and ate pie instead of cake and generally didn’t have the “normal” 16th birthday at all, which made it so much fun.

Well, in relation to the huge amount of snow we’re having….
Tuesday night, I went sledding with Dad, Dodge, and Poncho. It was the first time I’ve been sledding in AGES, maybe two years or something, and it was so fun!!! We went up and down the local sledding hill for about two hours. It was dark, and the moon was out… and it felt like being in a parallel world. The hill is right next to the road, but surrounded by a bit of the Metroparks, and the road is only visible from spaces in the trees. Standing at the top of the hill, there is orangey light from the streetlights and the gas station across the road, but then you fly down the hill and all you see is untouched snow stretching on toward the woods… And when you see the road it’s like some other world overlapping with yours, and you are invisible.
In less poetic terms, we played “missile” and Poncho even suggested we play “Santa Assassin”, but that did not sound fun to me because I don’t like crashing. I’m not afraid of hills, but I am afradi of knocking into someone, which almost happened a few times. Once Poncho and I almost crashed into some random brick thing but I saved us just in time.

Since that was so fun, the next day we played outside in the yard, and built a snow-wall, which was supposed to be a snow cave but then Dodge decided he didn’t feel like digging it out. Then we sledded down our front yard, which happens to be slightly inclined, and took turns pushing each other in the snow. I can’t wait for winter camp now!!

Hmmm…  I just got word that JPII is being beatified on May 1st, apparently, which is cool. And yesterday I had an interesting conversation with Eliza and Bug about St. Dismas, and how if you think about it he’s actually the first-ever, most-guaranteed saint.

What else? Oh, yes.
The other night, Mom and I answered questionnaires about each other. The questions were made up by me, and here are the most interesting ones:
~How would the applicant respond should she learn that a comet is about to crash into the earth? (I said Mom would probably Google it, and Mom said I might not actually find out because I would be reading a book.)
~What is the applicant’s favorite historical era and what does this say about them? (I said Mom’s was Now, which says she likes modern conveniences, and she loves having access to tons of information. Mom said mine was the 1930’s, which says I’m resourceful and thrifty, which is true if I do say so myself. I also love the clothes they wore in the 30’s… hats! and the roller skates! Dresses made from chicken feed bags! It was awesome!)
~If the applicant were lost in the forest, how would she react? (Mom said I would sit on a log and read, and I said “why would Mom be in the forest anyway?”)

So, that was pretty much my week. I shall go now, and read, most likely.

Mom just came in… “What are you blogging about?”
Me: “You.”
Mom: “Yay! Now my name will be big again!”

it’s Christmas time in the city…

and everywhere else too.

The final phases of putting up and decorating the tree are done. Pretty much everything is ready, though I am still trying to find a few presents for people. Etcetera, etcetera, ho ho ho.

Every time I see wrapping paper that says Ho Ho Ho I mistakenly think it says Ohio.

It is still snowing off and on. I love it, and today after Mass I saw a huge flock of Canada geese grazing in the field beside the church. They all raised their heads when I walked by, crunching ice. Then when I made goose noises at them they resumed ignoring me and allowed me to watch them eat, annoy each other, honk, and walk around. Their steps actually made noise on the frozen grass. Somehow, when I could hear them walking and hear their feathers flapping, it made them seem actually real and alive. Not that I didn’t know they were before, but it just struck me that way.

Hmmm. I don’t have much to say, but I am posting anyway because it’s been too long.

Oh. Well, a few adventures have occured:
Dodge pulled out one of his “mostly loose” molars yesterday and showed it to me;
We got season 2 of Dr Quinn Medicine Woman;
I taught myself weaving and am learning how to make patterns;
I am teaching myself a bit of guitar;
I had a halfway OK time at HSYM tonight;
I am currently reading a book called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society which is actually quite good;
and… I think that is all for now. I am in desperate need of some poem-writing…

Love,
Pen

the weatherman is sure there will be more

It’s been snowing here for about three days straight, I think. It’s perfectly wonderful, of course, since we won’t be sick of it until a month or two from now. Actually I don’t get sick of the snow, or the cold even, but the salt grime. And most of all the not-being-able-to-wear-skirts-that-drag-the-ground.

I took a walk yesterday as it was snowing. Just a few blocks. It was really nice, and quiet, and I love the whole atmosphere of mystery during winter. The long nights, the grey, silent days… maybe that’s why my novel is set in a kind of perpetually-wintry city. Unlike rain, when snow falls it makes no sound. Somehow it’s just cool to stand anywhere you’re alone, maybe with some bare trees nearby, and just watch the snow fall. Silence. It’s beautiful and kind of creepy at the same time, like you’re in this magical world but you’re also the only person inhabiting it.

Yep, you heard right, I have now declared my love for the season of winter. “Oh that I were a glove upon that hand”…. etc, etc. More like, “oh that I had a glove upon my hand”, but whatever.

So. The snow. Winter. Life is good, as those incredibly irritating t-shirts (and now bumper stickers, apparently) say. Man, I hate those. It’s like, yeah, life is good, but it’s not all cartoon inner tubes and smiley stick people. Geez.

Uh, what was I going to say before I went off on a tangent? Oh yeah. Life. Pshh. Never mind, I don’t feel like being all talkative anymore. I kind of feel like just sitting here listening to music and pretending to be a teenager. Is it possible to feel too young to be a teenager and too old at the same time but still simultaneously feel like a teenager is exactly what you are? 
If it’s not… I have achieved the impossible.

home again, home again, jiggety jog

Hey! I’m back from Atwood!!! It was such a great time. The weather was amazing (except for this morning it rained and I got soaked… but it made cool fog afterward so it was totally worth it. :) ) and I felt very energized just from being outside, moving around, running through the woods and hiking for two hours on Saturday (whew!), and having snowball fights, and all that. Ironically our Wii Fit is going to scold me for not doing exercise for three days. Ha on you, Wii Fit. I probably got more exercise this past weekend than in the past three months combined! Oh well.

I decided that I love winter because it’s here and it’s gorgeous and foggy and icy… ahhhh. Lake Atwood was so pretty in the mornings and evenings, because it was frozen but the 40 degree weather was making it melt a little, so the result was fog/mist. Lovely.

Ice fishing on Lake Atwood… I wasn’t really sure what those little huts were for (porta potties?) but then this morning I realized it was to shelter them from the wind. Ohhh. ;)

Hiking the trail to the Airfield took Dad and I two hours (there and back, five miles… we did stop to talk to a rabbit hunting farmer we met though, so probably we were actually walking for a shorter time.). But the airfield is pretty nifty, and the scenes along the hike are great.

Snowball fighting (dads against daughters) was another highlight. I didn’t get hit once, but I did hit a couple of the dads. I loved ducking and throwing and running using sleds as shields. Eventually Karen, Lisa, and Sam convinced me to sled down the hill. We raced each other and I totally wiped out and got soaking wet in the melting snow. I have no pictures of it, basically because if I did not keep moving I was going to get a snowball in the face. ;)

Dinnertime Saturday we all went to the Dellroy Community Center about two miles from camp. Some ladies from the little town made us a big dinner (with mashed potatoes that were soooooo good… and amazing cookies and pie…). Afterward we had a pig race with those walking Mr Bacon pigs. Every cabin gets a pig and they decorate the jockey (a little teddy bear of some sort) and name the pig. Our jockey was dressed as an angel so we named out pig Heavenly Ham. There was also a very clever person who named their pig “Senior Pigsesses”. LOL. Anyway, Heavenly Ham made it to the final round only to lose by a centimeter! Here he is valiantly crossing the finish line in the qualifying round, and then being comforted after his eventual defeat.

Late Saturday night I roasted marhsmallows with Lisa and Sam at the fire Fireman Jim made. Then we went back to their cabin and talked until about three in the morning, and had hot chocolate. Lisa about died laughing when we were talking about our hair, and I said, “Some of my hairs are grey”. They are because my hair is a mix of different shades of bonde and brown so some look kinda grey, so I was being completely serious but we cracked up because Lisa’s laugh is hilarious. I ended up just sleeping over at their cabin.

At the end Dad and I went on a hike around the mist-shrouded, thawing-out lake Atwood to say goodbye even though it was raining. Then we hung out with Lisa and Sam for a while before leaving…. sigh. Leaving camp is always sad, but at the same time I really wanted to take a shower. The roads were all foggy and cool and there was an awesome tree by this farmhouse. There was also a field full of black cows roaming around, and since they were so dark they popped up out of the mist very suddenly and flapped their ears at us.

Of course, the best part of camp was spending time with my dad. It always is. :)

Soooo…
that’s all. The End. As they say at the end of the Madeline movie, Fin.

Fishy Fishy Fins!!! Wow, hyperness. Haha, it made me think of the Salamader, “It’s a fish show!” LOL.

Peace,
Pen

PS did you know that haddocks are fish? I didn’t until today. So now I know what a haddock is from that poem in Through the Looking Glass, when the white knight meets Alice. “I search for haddock’s eyes/among the heather sweet/I make them into mutton pies/and sell them in the street…” sigh. That is next on my list for memorization…mwaha. ;)