Sunday, June 07, 2015

Uncle David's last day

We decided to spend Uncle David's last day at the Eno River. The kids love it and it's so beautiful and it doesn't even have to involve very much walking. Although we had planned to go on a little hike we didn't end up doing that and instead played in the water the whole time.

David asked if there were any fish in this river.

"Sure," I said. "And turtles and crawdads and snakes and all sorts of critters."

Last time we were here (back when I was pretty pregnant) we saw a turtle swimming around with us. This time we saw a snake—well, Rachel did. She was stuck on some rock and was too afraid to climb down so she decided to climb up. But then she saw the snake and got down from that rock faster than she could say the word "snake."

It was not this rock:

It was over by the logs. I didn't get a picture of that.

Andrew decided to go wading with Benjamin and by "decided" I mean I strongly hinted that somebody had to get in with our little boy and it wasn't going to be me. He tried to stay dry at first but ended up rather wet. I was worried about his cell phone the whole time he was out there. I kept calling out to him, "Where is your phone?" And he would just smile and wave back because my yelling voice doesn't carry well, apparently. But he left it on shore in the backpack (I just didn't know that) so I did all that worrying for nothing.

Here's Benjamin refusing to put his feet down, claiming the water is "too deep!"

Here's Benjamin sitting on a rock; he's given up on the river (it's too deep):

And here's Uncle David standing on a log (I couldn't convince him to get the tiniest bit wet):

And here's Benjamin back in the water because even though it's "too deep" for him it's still quite a lot of fun:

And here's Benjamin trying to convince Uncle David to join everyone else in the river:

He was not to be persuaded:

And this is what Zoë did the whole time:

The girls wanted to go to the far side of the swimming hole (and/or Andrew convinced them to try):

They picked their way along the rocks, too scared to swim across (though they could've reached the bottom the whole way):

Benjamin and Andrew followed, taking the same path. Andrew could have just walked right across carrying Benjamin but at this point he was still convinced he could play in the river without getting wet.

It was actually a pretty popular day for a swim in the river. We were not alone at all!

Here they are heading over to the dam:

And here's Uncle David with the dam behind him and Zoë in his arms:

And here are the girls trying to cross the ankle-deep water. At this point I started panicking again because where in the world was Benjamin?! Can you spot him?

The trait of being towheaded is apparently rather good camouflage if you're looking to hide out in the river bottoms. It's almost like the word has more than one meaning: (1) A head of white-blond hair resembling tow and (2) a sandbar or low-lying alluvial island in a river. Go figure.

The girls were rather terrified to be out there but as you can see the water was not deep.

Miriam was the only one of the kids to make it out to the rock, I believe (oh, and that tangle of logs in the foreground is where Rachel found the snake, but on the river side, not the bank side):

Miriam also climbed up the waterfall on the side:

And here's where Andrew gave up staying dry:

While Andrew was carefully stepping to avoid slipping, Benjamin decided he wanted "up" and so he lifted up his legs and tugged on Andrew's hand (which he had been holding to help him keep his balance). Andrew stepped down hard, slipped on a rock, and landed flat on his behind. He cut his foot up pretty bad and...he got rather wet.

Perhaps Uncle David was smart to stay out of the river after all.

Look at that stretch Zoë's doing—both legs straight out. S-T-R-E-T-C-H! I swear she did that in the womb. Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a pair of legs in my right rib cage if I lie (they are still sore).

Anyway, when Andrew brought Benjamin back over to me he told the girls to sit on this rock and wait for him. That's when Rachel got impatient and decided to climb up to me and then got stuck and saw the snake and scrambled back down rickety split. So she's not very happy to be stranded on this rock waiting for Daddy to come back for her:

Here's Benjamin, ready for his lunch (we had a picnic of PB&Js):

After everyone was back on solid ground and had a sandwich in their tummy, we went on a tour of the mill. Technically everyone else went on a tour of the mill while Zoë and I hung around outside the mill. I didn't want her breathing in all the dust that's created with the milling of the grain.

I'm a little paranoid about her getting sick, which is why we're home from church yet again. I'm feeling pretty good for having had a baby two weeks ago, so we could go to church but there are just so many people there and no where to hide away from them. People are disgusting, germ-ridden creatures (no offense, fellow humans) and our church building is tiny (like, you should see our Relief Society room—it's microscopic) and I just can't close my sweet baby up in a small room with so many people.

Or in a dusty old mill.

Being outside is fine, being in a large building surrounded by strangers who don't care about meeting my baby is fine. Small buildings with hundreds of adoring fans and dusty old mills are not fine.

Zoë wasn't too upset about missing out on the mill tour.

Here's everyone else in front of the mill:

Instead of going hiking (because Daddy didn't want to since his foot was all cut up) we went to Pelican's for a treat:

It was our first visit of the season (it opened the first day of April) because somebody was diabetic (I'm not going to name any names). The kids were super excited to get to go; they've been begging for weeks now. Every time we drove past the place they'd be like, "I think Pelican's is open...there are people there..." And we'd be like, "Really? Huh. I dunno..."

Here are the kids showing off their new tongue colours (Benjamin's is rather benign because we choose not-very-colourful flavors for him because even though the establishment claims their syrups won't stain we remain skeptical):

At home we played a few rounds of UNO Spin; Benjamin played on Uncle David's team.

Zoë stayed awake for much of the afternoon, though by this point she was questioning the wisdom of this...

"Why am I even awake?"
We took some obligatory farewell photos before leaving for the airport:

And that was it. Just like that my baby was two weeks old, my brother was going home, and we were on our own again.

Uncle David was a little worried about getting through security with the freshly-ground grits we bought at the mill and sent home for my dad. Because grits are so often confused for cocaine? He sent me a text message saying he made it through security just fine, as I figured he would.

It reminded me of that time Andrew's dad and brother flew out to visit us in Egypt (Grandma was already there helping because Miriam was a newborn) and, at our request, brought out some powdered sugar for us. When the TSA agent was sending Jacob's suitcase through the x-ray machine he said, "I swear there's no cocaine in my suitcase! It's powered sugar!"

The TSA agent just laughed at him.

Evidently packages of powdered sugar and grits aren't as suspect as one might suppose and/or we don't know the first thing about smuggling drugs onto airplanes and/or what drugs even look like...which is as it should be, I suppose.


  1. I'm with the girls on being nervous about the river. If you can't see the bottom because it is murky it is much more scary. Our friend fell once in a maybe six foot waterfall and even though the water was only two feet deep it probably took us a minute to find her. Worse day of my life. I kid you not.

  2. We said it was powdered sugar, but it was really....

    1. The icing on that cake was REALLY good....