Returning, After a Long Break

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I took a break. It felt good. We went on a trip. It was good. The days before leaving were hell. Preparing packing battening down the hatches of a native plant nursery and other self-employment related items. Hell. Hellish.

We were cranky. I was very cranky. Maybe it was only me that was cranky. Very cranky. Beren suggested leaving a day early. That would have been good. I felt like I had so many things I had to do. Some of them didn't get done. At this time, I cannot remember what those undone things were. Telling, no?

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My husband and I have known each other for 18 years. We've come a long, long way. I still really like him. I still trust him above all. I love him above all. I deeply crave spending time with him. I love kicking back and just talking. Eighteen years, that's a lot of talking. We've gotten better at being together. Better at talking. Better at understanding. Better at loving. [So, here's a steal from Kurt Vonnegut...I love when Kurts asks me to...] Listen:

"I hate packing. Hate it. Absolutely hate packing," I tell Jared. "It ruins the trip. I cannot relax." It's true. I am awful at planning. Awful at dates. Awful at packing. Awful at living through planning and packing. If I had a choice, I'd not plan nor pack.

Jared recently told Beren and I how he needed help unpacking the car after day trips. "Maybe everyone can bring just one thing back in the house," he said. He was hinting at our seven year old's tendency to hop out of the car empty handed.

Our day trips are epic. We leave with snacks, meals, water bottles, field guides, and extra clothes to see us through temperature shifts, precipitation, a jump in a creek, a trip through a swamp, or maybe the day's divergent second half which might be dinner with family or a consulting job. We return with wild edibles, rocks, debris, leftovers, soggy clothes, nice clothes, extra socks, and possibly the spoils of a shopping trip. We apply the permaculture principal of 'stacking functions' on travel -- we stack events, destinations, and goals into our daytrips.

A weekend away or a week's vacation is also epic. Packing for it is anyway. Jared has long taken the lead in packing the vehicle, as it seems many American men do. As of our most recent trip, I completely ceded trip packing as a whole to Jared with two exceptions: my clothes and the homeopathic remedies.

Remember, I hate packing. I think he hates unpacking. The deal was: he packs, I unpack. Let me say, this reduced my pre-trip flip out to about zero (excepting all the closing up a small business/plant business for 10 days stuff that is TMJ inspiring. For real.).

I chipped in on packing. He did the same with unpacking (thanks, babe...you got the tent off the lawn, vacuumed out, and packed up before that big thunderstorm).

It's so nice after all these years to figure out a new way. Can't wait 'til our next trip.

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Here are some pics from the first weekend of our recent trip to Maine. We went to the Dawnland Gathering hosted by the Wilder Waters Community. I made very few photographs. I was too busy making simple stone tools, a tinderbox with char cloth, flint and steel, learning natural movement, and bs'ing with some very cool people.

I have a couple great pics of Beren roasting hotdogs over the upper fire pit (he took up the role of fire tender), but I generally don't share photos of my child. So, this is all ya get:

 Parking lot. Full of sheep sh/t until a night of heavy rain and a day of heavy foot traffic.

Parking lot. Full of sheep sh/t until a night of heavy rain and a day of heavy foot traffic.

 The Gathering was held at the  Nezinscot Farm  in Turner, Maine. This part of the farm overlooked the Androscoggin River

The Gathering was held at the Nezinscot Farm in Turner, Maine. This part of the farm overlooked the Androscoggin River

 The pasture.

The pasture.

 A salted squirrel hide baking in the sun on the concrete pad adjacent to the dining area. Amusing.

A salted squirrel hide baking in the sun on the concrete pad adjacent to the dining area. Amusing.

 The weekend ended with a trading blanket. Jared traded copies of  The Puddle Garden  for soap and a wrought iron bracelet.

The weekend ended with a trading blanket. Jared traded copies of The Puddle Garden for soap and a wrought iron bracelet.