Woah. We packed it in last month! Life was at times overwhelmingly busy, but looking back I can’t think of one experience I would take off the table!
It all started Labor Day weekend with an overnight excursion to our friend’s Bonnie Lake cabin. Boating, bonfires, and orienteering made for happy kids. Fresh air and fetch games made for happy dogs. And all of the above made for happy grown ups!
I spent the following weekend with my book club buddies at a remote cabin on Agosti Lake. The trip entailed 43 planning emails, a 2 hour drive, a 30 minute Talkeetna River charter, and a 4 mile hike through bear country. Our packs would have been impossibly heavy without the help of Bill, our savior and sherpa who lives in those woods year round and hauled some of our food and drinks on his four wheeler. We conquered Sonofabitch Hill, forded Overflow Creek, and bushwacked the last quarter mile in the dark before finally arriving at the cabin. Saturday was gloriously sunny, and we spent a good part of it lounging on the deck. There’s a good chance our raucous laughter is still reverberating through those woods! The wood stove kept us warm through a fondue dinner, and we played dominoes late into the night. Sunday brought rain, so the hike out was chilly and wet. Our shortcut through a swamp didn’t save us any time because it was arduous terrain, but we still arrived at our pickup location in plenty of time. It was a relief when Rhett, our charter captain, zipped up the river 15 minutes earlier than expected.
While I was off with the girls, Clark loaded up (and I do mean loaded up) his truck for a Denali Highway hunting excursion. He took both kids, the dog, the ATV, three bikes, a tent, and warm gear for all. The back of his pickup was so crammed that the dog got to ride in the cab, which thrilled the kids to no end. It was a 6 hour drive, and Clark declared every minute north of Glennallen “gadget free” time. The kids didn’t complain a bit! They had a blast camping, hiking, four wheeling, and subsisting on Mountain House meals for two straight days. They didn’t see any caribou, but did come home with seven ptarmigan.
After two weekends on the go, it was a minor miracle that we all had clean underwear to wear Monday morning. There wasn’t much time to catch up during the work week, because both kids are participating in cross-country running this season. Sam has practice for an hour and a half every day after school, with weekly meets. Maggie has practice twice a week, and of course both kids need to be picked up on opposite ends of town at the exact same time. Thank goodness for our wonderful network of friends who helped us navigate this schedule so both kids could participate!
Speaking of the workweek, it’s been hopping at the library this month. Banned Books Week is in September, so I’ve been extra busy with high school presentations. I also made these enormous banners from pages of old books that were damaged beyond repair. The idea came from Pinterest, but Clark gets all the credit for burning the bottom edges, and for stopping at the store when I ran out of spray paint!
When another the weekend rolled around, we headed out of town yet again. Our friends rented a VRBO in Seward for the Music & Arts Festival, and they invited us down for a night. How could we resist? I enjoyed the gorgeous drive, a late night with a dear friend, an early morning walk on the beach, and a Husker win. Thanks to modern technology, we were able to stream the football game on our computer!
Other highlights of the month included a paintball birthday party, a sleepover, Maggie’s new chocolate chip cookie baking obsession, finally harvesting our garden, and spending a ridiculous amount of time creating a cupcake bouquet for a friend’s baby shower:
We try to avoid overscheduling our life, so I’m not sure how September got so busy. Through it all no one missed a day of school or work, and the only thing that really suffered was the housework. Life will slow down this fall, and that will be a welcome change!