Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Take Me To The River
One of the things my kids remember most about the first time they visited their grandparents in Florida (hubby's parents) was one of those singing fish mounted on the wall like a trophy fish. It sang "Don't Worry, Be Happy" and "Take Me To the River". They loved it so much that years later, when they found one at a garage sale, they jumped around with elation and immediately bought it. I have to admit I was more than a bit glad when the darned thing finally quit working. It was funny at first, but the 30,000th rendition of snippets of those songs by a singing fish, well let's just say it wears a bit thin.
But "Take Me To the River" was certainly our theme for this last week. As hot weather moved in, we moved out to camp on the Rogue River with my mom. The idea was to meet up at the river, camp for a couple of days, and then Asa, my little Asa, my baby girl (well, okay, she's almost nine, but I can still think of her that way) was going to go and spend an entire week at grandma's house without us! You see, my mom has been telling us for a couple of years about the Missoula Children's Theatre, an organization that travels to various towns during the summer, setting up shop for a week. They bring a principal cast as well as sets and costumes for a full-scale children's theatre production, then audition local kids for the supporting roles. So Asa (of course!) wanted to audition. But the kicker is that it's hard for us to go South for a whole week, so she decided she could go on her own.
Also this weekend was the Bluegrass Festival in Prospect, just a few miles from our campground. My mom took Asa there for the entire day, and Asa ended up borrowing a fiddle and joining in a "band scramble", where various bands are put together ad hoc from the musicians at the festival. They had half an hour to rehearse, and then she played on the big stage. Her band played Old Joe Clark, which she has played before, and Cripple Creek which she hadn't. I guess she sang in both songs too, just ponying right up to that microphone. Her band won 3rd place, too!
I'm telling you, this girl is counting down the days until she is old enough to go on American Idol....
So now she's 160 miles away from us for the whole week, and she got a part in the children's theatre production (which is Rumpelstiltskin this year), despite over a hundred kids turning up to audition. We'll go see her performance this Saturday and then bring her home.
In the meanwhile, Mackenzie and I got plenty of time to hike together and then we spent Sunday and Monday camping together as well. We took a gorgeous seven mile hike along the Rogue River to the Natural Bridge and back, a place where the entire rushing river disappears into a lava tube and goes underground for a couple of hundred feet. It's hard to capture this phenomenon in photos, but it's very impressive in person. Then we decamped to Crescent Lake where we spent the next evening and day. All the boaters were clearing out from the weekend and we had the place almost to ourselves.
He's such a fun kid to hang out with, and I have to say that the great benefit to parenting mindfully and positively all those previous years is having an almost teenage kid that you really enjoy being with. We were walking along the lakeshore when we spotted a small shore bird, we think it was a mountain plover, tending a nest. I cautioned Mackenzie to be very careful, because their nests are often in shallow scrapes in the ground and very well camouflaged, we wanted to avoid stepping on it. Well, Mr. Eagle Eyes himself spotted the nest, with three eggs and one absolutely adorable fluffy baby bird:
This little birdie is about the size of my thumb, and the eggs not much bigger than my thumbnail, I can't believe he spotted them. By the time we left, we rechecked the nest and all four babies had hatched. What a wonderful end to the week's adventures!