Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Grover 2012 (Thursday, May 17)

We spent the weekend camping in Grover, which is why I haven't blogged since last week. We're home now and have many stories to share. Andrew has, of course, left all the Grover-blogging up to me.

"Boy, you sure have a lot to blog about," he said last night.

"I sure do," I told him, "But not as much as you!"

Hopefully while I write about Grover he'll finish writing about Ghana.

After packing up the vehicles on Thursday morning, we departed for Grover. It's only a 3.5 hour drive but it definitely took us more than four hours to get there. Grandpa followed the van, which Grandma drove, all the way down so that he could stop whenever we had to go potty. And we had to stop to go potty so many times—we stopped three times in one hour just for Miriam, who had to go #1 (everybody out of the car, everybody goes—that's the rule, so that's what happened) and then twenty minutes later declared she had an urgent need to go #2 (this time we didn't make everyone get out because we'd just done that, right?) and then twenty minutes later she had to go #1 again (everybody out, everybody goes). She's going to have to work on coordinating her #1 with her BMs or that drive to North Carolina's going to be really long.

Eventually we made it to the cabin and started setting up camp. Aunt Dorothy warned us that we might find a few mouse carcasses about the cabin—we were the first ones to "use" the cabin this season, though Dorothy and Raymond went last weekend to make sure everything was working and to set out some mouse poison in order to evict their winter visitors.

We opened the door to the cabin and, lo:

A mouse carcass being feasted upon by little flies! What a wonderful way to be welcomed to the cabin.

Grandpa took care of the mouse.

That's the only mouse carcass we found though. The rest of the mice were alive and well and seemed to stay that way even after Andrew witnessed a mouse help himself to the mouse poison. The girls were rather frightened of the mice (who mostly seem to hang out in the kitchen and bathroom) so whenever we'd go to the bathroom we'd knock on the door and say, "Go away, mice!" so that they'd run away and hide because mice aren't scary if you can't see them.

This year Grandma made special arrangements to keep all the food in heavy duty tupperware bins because last year the mice got into our food a bit. This year we didn't find evidence of mice in any of the food, which was nice. 

Despite the mice, we decided to set up our beds in the cabin where it was guaranteed to be warm and dry. Besides, the mice don't seem to be very interested in the loft, which is where we were staying, and I had forgotten to pack flashlights anyway and didn't want to be trekking from a tent to the bathhouse in the dark should anyone need to visit the potty during the night.

There are so many mattresses in the cabin it's like The Princess and the Pea. We just had Grandpa stack the mattresses we didn't want to use on the floor, which left us with a nice bed.

So we set up our beds and then went outside to explore a little bit. The girls have always had trouble hiking the hill by the cabin in the past so they selected a spot on fairly level ground, within eyesight of the cabin, to build a new fort. There are a lot of forts higher up on the hill but they can't be seen from the cabin and are a little more difficult to get to.

We made some pretty good headway, though it's much more primitive than any of the forts higher up on the hill that have been used (and added to) for years and years. 

Rachel was excited to have her own fort. She told me that she intends to take her children camping here someday and show them the fort that she built (Daddy's fort is at the top of the hill and he likes to take her up to that one). That is exactly how I thought when I was her age; I'm excited that she's excited to be a mother.

Miriam eventually got bored of hiking around the hill and asked if we could "go camping" instead. I told her that we were camping. The whole experience was camping. She said, "No! I want to go into the camping!" and pointed at the cabin. It took her almost the whole trip to distinguish between "cabin" and "camping." Whenever we'd go off somewhere—hiking or whatever—we'd pile back in the car and she'd say, "Now we're going to go camping!" 

"This whole experience is camping," I'd remind her.

"I know. But now we're going to the camping!"

Not that we left the camp on Thursday. All we did was set up and explore the yard around the cabin. There's a sandbox and a swingset, which the girls enjoyed.

Just as Grandma turned on the stove for dinner the power went out and stayed out. No breakers had flipped, from what we could tell, so there wasn't anything we could do to fix it. Grandpa suggested we just wait and see if it came back on—it had been so windy that it was possible the power had been knocked out and someone would be fixing it while we spoke (we saw a semi-truck flipped over on its side in a ditch while we were driving; it was that windy).

So we postponed dinner and did a little more "hiking" around the cabin. The girls got really brave and hiked up to the top of the hill by themselves—Miriam was scrambling over everything.

Miriam was having a bit of trouble with this log, so Rachel climbed back over it to show Miriam how to go around it but by the time she did that Miriam had made it over.

Miriam tripped on a rock a couple of feet away from the log and went for a bit of a slide on her tummy. She didn't like that at all so I went and rescued her while Grandma went with Rachel to the very top of the hill (by Andrew's fort).

Miriam, meanwhile, cuddled with me and sucked her thumb.

Rachel was using a walking stick and Miriam decided that she wanted a walking stick, too, so after she'd recovered from her fall she went back up the hill a ways to find a stick while Grandma and Rachel made their way down.

Both girls were very pleased with their walking sticks, as you can plainly see:

Miriam told me (just now; she's perched on the arm of my chair), "I was smiler-ing 'cuz I was holding a stick! I like that stick!"

The driveway to the property can be difficult to find so Grandma made a sign that said HEISS with an arrow pointing to the drive so that the BYU kids would be able to find it easier. Miriam and Rachel walked out to the road with Grandma and Grandpa to find a place to put the sign and while they were securing it to some rocks, Miriam decided that she wanted to go back to the cabin to find me. She could see the cabin from where they were so she just took off. 

It looked like a straight shot...a five minute walk, but a straight she thought she'd be back in my arms in no time at all. Instead she ran into a ravine with a creek running through it, which she (thankfully) didn't try to cross. She was stuck! And not only that but when she turned around she couldn't see her grandparents because she's shorter than the sagebrush and it blocked her view. She was lost!

Miriam did what any logical child in her situation would do.... She started screaming like a banshee!

I heard her screaming from the cabin and assumed that she'd simply tripped and scraped up her knees. Grandma heard her screaming and set off in a panic to find her (it only took a few seconds because she wasn't really that far away, just out of sight) and carried her back to the cabin, screaming all the way.

Poor baby!

Later she recounted her experience, saying, "And then I sawed a creek that had water just *lots of arm waving* floating on it and I said, 'Waa! Waa!' And Grandma did found me!"

After that little adventure we set up a tent for Grandma and Grandpa but they couldn't blow up their air mattress because the power had gone out and the air mattress uses an electric pump.

It was getting late and we had things we needed to do, so Grandma went off in search of help. She first found the man at The Flute Shop, who happens to be the former bishop of the ward in Torrie/Teasdale. He came to look at our electrical set-up but couldn't find a problem with any of our breakers, either, so he gave us the number for the on-call electrical dude and Grandma drove into town to call him.

As it turns out, the transformer had blown. We're not sure if it was due to the wind or whether it was because we had accidentally turned one too many things on (the stove being the straw that broke the camel's back). The electrical company dude said he'd try giving the transformer a little tickle to see if he could get it to start up again. He got out a long pole and did something magical to the transformer and the power kicked on again and stayed on the whole time we were there.

We were grateful for the power. 

It ended up being so cold and windy that first night that we couldn't even get Grandma and Grandpa's tent to stay up. Grandma joined us in the cabin and Grandpa set up a bed in the van. We stayed up late waiting for the BYU kids to show up (one group didn't get there until just about midnight) and then had a terribly rough night.

Rachel had the sniffles and kept complaining that she couldn't breathe through her nose ("Then breathe through your mouth!" I kept reminding her). She (and I) also had to go to the bathroom a few times which meant climbing up and down the ladder to the loft in the middle of the night and using the mouse-ridden bathroom, which I don't think anyone would have enjoyed doing without electricity...yuck. 

We were up so much. At one point Rachel asked me how long it would be until we could just give up on sleeping and wake up already. That's how you know it was a painful night—when getting up after not sleeping all night sounds less painful than continuing to try to sleep.

"I'd say about four hours," I said.

"How do you know?" Rachel asked.

"I can see the sky out my window and it's kind of grey so it should be getting light in a few hours."

Terrified, Rachel asked, "What guy?!"

"The. Sky." I repeated. "I can see the sky."

"Oh," she sighed. "Just the sky."

Miriam, on the other hand slept beautifully. She was so excited to sleep in her "camping crib" and has been talking about it for weeks. She surprised me by climbing from my bed into the pack'n'play all by herself. She can climb out of it, too. I can't remember when the last time we used it was but I do know that the last time we used it she couldn't get in or out of it by herself!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post. It's amazing how much we rely on power. Sounds like campin with style!