in the good ol’ summertime

i’ve lived in san francisco for 13 years now. so really, i should be prepared.

i should be understanding.

and yet, although it may be totally preposterous, and it may cinch the deal on me being a megalomaniac, i find myself completely insulted come june in this city. just when everyone else IN THE ENTIRE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE is fretting over swim suit options and broken air conditioners, what do i find myself contending with?

fog. muffereffing dangnabbit FOG. not cute-and-wispy fog. not romantic-evening-on-the-lake fog. like total-cloud-cover-what-the-heck-it’s-not-RAINING-is-it?-this-reminds-me-of-some-steven-king-story-and-whatever-shred-of-good-attitude-i-was-cultivating-is-gone-because-seasonal affective disorder-has-set-in-again-for-the-SECOND-time-this-year-and-WHO-do-i-file-a-complaint-with-because-the-magic-weather-man-sure-isn’t-listening-because-otherwise-i-would-be-wearing-a-tank-top-instead-of-a-turtleneck-and-every-once-in-a-while-wouldn’t-be-so-bad-but-i-know-i-won’t-be-breaking-a-sweat-until-august-and…

so, middle fingers raised in salute, we packed up our gear and our kid and our dog and left the ice burg for warmer climes.

shasta county and my home town was slated for the first 100 degree plus weather of the season. bring it on.

first stop, whiskeytown lake. fern went swimming for the first time.

you can see leo in the background. leo’s version of swimming is to stand in the water up to his chest and slurp.

saturday was spent yard sale-ing and visiting with my aunt and uncle. i found some real treasures, that i will share with you at a later date.

sunday was much anticipated and set aside for visiting the place i call my sacred center. hot springs, river, wilderness and magic.

the walk in.
getting to the springs requires trespassing on ranch land. years ago the owner tried to stop folks from using the springs. the local native tribes showed up in force and let him politely know that the waters are not to be owned and have been used for sacred purposes since time immemorial. these pools are featured in their creation stories.
june is butterfly season. swallowtails gather around puddles to enjoy the minerals, fluttering up in clouds when you pass by. enchanting.

a wet spring meant that there were more native wildflowers growing than i had ever seen before. i have yet to identify most of them. identified them!

stream orchid
leopard lily...over 10 feet tall, can you believe it? they seemed to be floating in the trees.
self heal-- so excited to meet this flower, as i had no idea what it looked like but have seen the flower essence many times. herro there.

a wet spring also means heavy snow pack on the surrounding mountains, and swollen beds with the runoff. come august i will spend half my time in the river, but right now it was perfect for jumping in and then jumping out, shrieking.

the pool is too cold in the winter time, and just right in the summer. on hot days, the sun beats down with no mercy, so some local put up an umbrella and we could pretend we were at club med. thanks, nice person.
to the right
to the left
across the river
fern's sleep schedule was messed up like woah, but the roar of the river was the perfect white noise for an afternoon snooze.
"i'm only here out of total loyalty and love. and because you tied me to this spot."

we used my parent’s empty house as base camp. it provided much needed down time, for sitting in grass, playing in sprinklers, petting toads and drinking beer. it also provided one of the weirder moments in my life as a parent so far.

sunday night, we put fern to bed (late, since she was over-stimulated and over-tired.), setting her down in the middle of our mattress in my childhood room. now, i should preface this by saying that we have the Incredible Non-Kinetic Baby. she isn’t crawling or walking yet, rarely rolls over unless we force her onto her stomach, and sleeps like a bump on a log. unless you breathe on her, or make so much as a squeak, and then she’s wide awake. after she went to sleep, we spent a few hours eating dinner, playing games, and generally unwinding. then we got ready for bed.

as i was brushing my teeth, jeff went into the room to check on her.

and she wasn’t on the bed.

nor was she on either side of the bed. jeff, trying to keep it cool, mused over possible explanations in what probably took a nano-second. maybe i had moved her? to another…room…when he wasn’t…looking….?

panic growing, he began searching under the pillows behind the bed, and then got on his stomach and felt around the sides of the bed. there was no sign of her, and then his fingers touched the top of her head.

she was under the bed. head facing in the opposite direction of the way he had put her down.

she was also still asleep.

jeff pulled her out and she woke up with a complain. after a very shaken mommy and daddy checked her for bruises and/ or signs of foul play or spider bites, it was determined that she was perfectly fine.

she remains perfectly fine. i, on the other hand, awoke at 4am to disturbing memories of the movie “poltergeist” and “paranormal activity”. i am so not prepared to tie a rope around my waist and walk into the underworld looking for my abducted daughter, only to emerge from the ceiling covered in orange jello. (if you don’t get that reference you are seriously under-educated in horror cinema. you also probably sleep better.)

all i can say is this confirms any lingering doubt as to the existence of monsters under my bed. i think we probably rescued her in the nick of time, right before she was eaten.

ok, ok! shake it off! here’s a picture of a cute kid and a dog!

i hope you all had a good pride weekend, and do tell me about your july fourth plans. please. i need something else to think about during my creep-induced insomnia.


5 thoughts on “in the good ol’ summertime

  1. Firstly, you have my total fog sympathy, we get sea mists here which basically annihilate anything like good weather for most of the days, leaving the nights clear and boiling. I don’t think it’s quite on a par with SF fog but it’s irritating none the less. Secondly, I want to be there in that water, wow. Your home countryside is very beautiful Mary! Finally, Fern is ridiculously cute, those dimples?! Here’s hoping for no more late night adventures under the bed. xxx

  2. Oh my! I love your storytelling. And your photos! Fern is so adorable. And if you find yourself hating the fog in SF but unable to get away for a trip home, there is plenty of sunshine in the South of Market area and some lovely parks in which to enjoy said sunshine. I would LOVE to meet you guys at a park some sunny SoMa afternoon!

  3. So I see Fern’s learned how to play hide and seek already. My nephew did a roughly the same thing only he ended up under a table. Yes, it a scary thing to have happen but the good part was she’s fine. Shasta is SO beautiful. I love to live there if I could. Fog, meh, double fingers to it!

  4. Mellie has done that, where she woke up, moved from where I had left her, then passed back out. She once climbed off the bed, crawled into my workroom, laid her head down on the couch near my desk, and was promptly out cold again (I know this because I witnessed most of it without her seeing me). I think they do it just to terrify us. Or maybe some babies sleep crawl?

    The photo of her napping in the forest is gorgeous and adorable! What a sweet baby!

  5. walter and jen, it would all make sense and i would tend to agree with you….except…FERN DOESN’T MOVE. doesn’t crawl, doesn’t roll, doesn’t scoot, wiggle or otherwise locomote. that’s why it’s SO DAMN CREEPY. 😀

    thanks for the comments all…charley, thank you for validating my hatred of cold winters, and maybe next time you find yourself in my neck of the woods i can take you to the hotsprings.

    betty, i would love that too!!

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