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The boys are embarking today on a week-long backwoods canoeing adventure in the Northern Woods of Maine. Let’s put it this way – they will be 8 hours from here with no phones, no computers, no connection to the outside world for the better part of a week.

They have done this before, although on their own and not with an organized outfitter, so this will be different from their last trip two years ago in several different respects. All their equipment (canoes, paddles, etc.) will be provided to them when they arrive on base and they will finalize their actual route when they get there (depending on weather, conditions, etc.)

Basically, they are going to Maine to canoe, but they really don’t have a clue themselves exactly where they are going.

Being the mom, I’m nervous, happy and jealous — all rolled into one — I’m sure that they are going to have a wonderful trip — and we’re childless for a week.

 

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Today could be the day. Or tomorrow. We are still waiting to hear but folks in reality, what’s really the difference between 6 or 7 tonight and 5 am. tomorrow? Either way, by this afternoon, the boys all need to be packed, stacked and ready to roll into the great blue yonder.

This morning is the last trip to town. We are getting their snacks and any other last minute things that were missing from their lists. Later, it will be a last once over on the list and the packs to make sure that everyone has everything. Oh, and in there somewhere I have to wash and sew the final patches on the boys’ uniforms. I really, really hate that these patches change frequently — I think that they do it on purpose to make moms insane.

Another sunny day here in Vermont, which is good. It would be really nasty to be doing all of this in downpouring rain. Shhhh. I shouldn’t talk too loud I am sure.

Today we adults had our last committee planning meeting before the Big trip. Details were worked out, maps were strewn about the counter top and plans were discussed. There is some talk of an earlier departure than Saturday morning and we leave that in the capable hands of the two adults who will be driving. If they split the trip, they would camp at a Boyscout camp along the way, which in and of itself is pretty interesting.

Tomorrow is “Shakedown” night where the boys will have their dry bags and contents reviewed and approved by the adult leaders to make sure that everyone is on the same page and has the necessities for the trip.

This morning we spent an hour or so in EMS gathering some necessary equipment for the boys that will hopefully make their trip a little more enjoyable and drier. Then a trip to the bookstore to find a book for oldest son, who doesn’t want to bring his Diary of Miss Jane Pittman (which is reading for English class) with him. That and there was some discussion of putting together a poker game where they would use snacks as poker chips with the deck of cards that they are allowed to bring along. Each boy is permitted to bring a zipped gallon bag of snacks for their journey. We’re shopping for snacks and any last, last minute things that we forgot or absolutely must have, on Friday.

So far, I am still sane…….

In honor of the scheduled shuttle launch this evening, countdown to the canoe trip for the boys. This means that this week will be full of “Mom, where’s my….?” “Mom, I can’t find……” or my very favorite…. “I looked everywhere and it’s gone” (Translation – I am far too lazy to look anywhere, although I did pretend to walk from room to room, claiming that I looked for it, but I swear I honestly never moved or touched ANYTHING).

The boys are headed out, for those that don’t know, to a 6 day 50 mile canoe trip to the northern woods of Maine. 7 1/2 hours worth of driving from our corner of Vermont. They are being led by two fearless adult leaders (who are also evidently blessed with “the patience of a saint” as my grandmother would have said) and the mascot dog. Their journey will be over the river and through the woods and the lake and the reservoir and will undoubtedly be the trip of a lifetime for them. They are all (5 boys in all) going for their 50 mile merit badge for scouts.

My merit badge for this trip will come from not killing (or seriously maiming) any child of mine (3 total) that cannot locate the required stuff that I know that they own, but they somehow swear has been eaten by the house prior to departing. So, I will keep you posted. Everyone was armed today with a printout of their list of required “stuff” that they have to bring. They have been warned that they need it ready by Wednesday for a “shakedown” at their last meeting before the trip. I am sure that despite the fact that they have 2 days to do this, we will all be running around like lunatics, screaming and yelling, by Wednesday afternoon and I also swear that stuff will come out of that pack before Saturday morning – requiring more yelling and screaming and tears (did I mention that all of that will be from me?)

first_class_scout_emblemTonight was a night of accomplishments. The boys had Boards of       Review for Scouts. I am proud that they all passed their respective ranks. I am now the proud mama of 2 First Class Scouts and one Tenderfoot Scout. Tim was just too pooped and not feeling well to do the Board for Second Class, although he has all the requirements completed except for his Review. I felt sorry for the poor little guy, he is really miserable with this     cold. He came home and fell into bed.

Sometimes, one has to remember to slow down and savor life. In the rush of everyday life with a million and one things that all seem to need to be done yesterday it is admirable advice and not always easy to live by. For example, today we are both working and trying to get things together for a brief trip down to NJ. Veggies to collect from the garden to package up for my mom and inlaws, laundry to be done so we actually have clothes to wear and bags to pack. These excursions to NJ seem like a good idea when we plan them. But the closer it gets, and the reality of 90+ degrees heat and humidity (on a day when I was actually wearing a sweatshirt this morning because it was that cool), with the traffic and actually having to LEAVE here, makes it not seem like such a good idea the night before we leave. My friend came over to pick up her son who was here for a playdate and we got into a nice conversation which actually ended about 1/2 before everyone had to leave. Needless to say, dinner was not what was originally planned, but rather a “what can I throw together in 15 minutes” affair since the boys had a scout meeting at 7. In the middle of the chaos (geez, my life does involve a lot of chaos, doesn’t it?) of getting everyone fed and out the door, I thought about how nice it was to have that chat despite it throwing everything into a tailspin. Sometimes, life is not what is planned, but rather, what is unplanned and time with friends is always time well spent.

These last few days, well since last week, has been a series of rainy days interspersed with occasional sun. Great for the garden, not so good for psyche. We have all been battling colds of one variation or another. I have had a sore throat with that general cold, achy feeling and a maddening tickle in my throat. Tom and Timmy have been coughing and stuffy. Tyler and TJ are fighting it, but I think that they will too succumb. 

On the bright side, all of this rain has made things grow like mad, which is good. It saving watering, which is also good. Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer in the 80s and we are heading off for the boys to canoe in Maine for scouts. 

Evilwife on the move

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