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A Woman On The Verge

thoughts and musings of my mind

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Memories

Camping is a great memory, never a good reality

Let me tell you about camping.  I loved it when I was a kid. I loved going hiking up in the mountains, setting up the tent and cooking out in the open.  I still like those parts some, but the reality for me is I can not stand sleeping on the hard ground and being dirty much anymore.  The sad thing is I really came to realize this when I drove from Seattle to North Carolina and found that camping was just not so  pleasant.

Don’t get me wrong, I have great memories of camping all the way through my last year of college.  I remember the year people in my dorm went camping on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, we put up our tents on the sand for the weekend. It was great.  The sun was shining the whole time and it was just beautiful.  I didn’t mind that there was no running water, sand was in everything and that we had to pack in all that we brought with us.

I even remember week-long camping trips my dad and step-mom would take us on.  We would hike 5 or 10 miles into the Cascade Mountain back country and camp near a river or lake for the week.  I was ten, I thought it was great.  The woods were our playground. I didn’t bring books with me back then so I know whatever us kids were up to it was playing in the woods or swimming in the water.  Oh the water was wonderful, it was usually really cold because it was snow melt.  Although right now sitting in an 80 degree house a lake of snow melt water sounds glorious.

One of my favorite camping trips was with my friend Jeff.  We hiked up through this ridge full of fireweed, it felt like you walking through a Monet painting.  After coming down off the ridge we meandered up another trail to meet up with the Cascade Crest Trail for a short bit, before pitching our tents on a rock jutting out over a small glacial lake.  We spent four days up there and actually met some rather interesting people.  That was the penultimate camping trip for me.  The last one was when I was coming to North Carolina and I ended up giving up the tent for a hotel room about halfway through the trip because I just couldn’t stand sleeping on the hard cold ground anymore.  Now prefer cabins in the woods up above the bugs, snakes and cold ground. They must have beds, running water and screens on the windows, because I really hate the bugs out here in North Carolina.

Long Division: Torture or Higher Level thinking lessons?

Pinback, circa 1960

I was watching Leave It To Beaver today while I ate dinner, this was the episode where Beaver is struggling with math.  His dad is helping him with his homework and Beaver says in essence “Boy this Division is really hard and when am I going to use it real life?”  His dad replies back, “Well it isn’t really about the math, but the fact that it is teaching you to think.”  I laughed because I abhorred long division in grade school.  Growing up in the 70’s ages before computers ever entered our classroom everything hand to be done by hand, and while I think some of those skills are important, I still believe that anything beyond say 999 divided by 98 is just torturing a child.  I remember spending a week working a really complicated long division problem, it was something like 286,987 divided by 258 (okay really probably not that drastic, but you get my point).  I am not sure if I agree with Mr. Ward that it taught me critical thinking, what it really taught me was to hate, hate, hate math. I didn’t even like teaching math when I was a teacher because I wanted to spare my students the torture I went through.  So now maybe I need to reconsider the possibility that math can teach you thinking skills.

Smells I love…

lopez-island-2

  • I love the smell of fresh made coffee and ground beans.  I have actually always loved the smell, it just took me years to learn to like the beverage.
  •  Clothes when they come off the clothes line all crisp, sun warmed and air-dried.  While I don’t hang my clothes to dry outside I can still beckon the scent back at any time.  Maybe I should bribe someone to hang up a clothes line so I can dry my sheets outside.
  • Roses, they always remind me of growing up.
  •  Lemons so clean and crisp.
  •  Leaf Mold reminds me of college days and walking by Old Main to get to class.
  •  Creosote and salt water, reminds of summer days at my grandparent’s house and going to the beach.
  • Wet Sand reminds me of digging for clams early in the summer mornings on Lopez Island in the San Juans where we had a small place. (Miniscule trust me). I could spend hours down there with our dog digging clams and tossing driftwood for her to chase.
  • Fried Calamari always reminds of Christmas at my grandparent’s house. Days of innocence and happiness.

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