Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Story of Tye: June 2002 - March 2015

To tell of Tye’s death it seems fitting to first tell of his life.  We’re not exactly sure when Tye was born, but I always said his birthday was June 17th, 2002 though I think he was born a little earlier than that.  It was late August 2002 when he came into our lives.

It was a Saturday and I had had a yardsale that morning.  We’d known for about 3 weeks that I was pregnant with our first baby.  We’d also been wanting a puppy and Kevin had been watching ads.  He had decided on a Brittany Spaniel because they are great bird dogs, but also great family dogs.  During my yardsale he told me that he’d called on an ad he’d seen and wanted to go look.  The puppies were a bit older.  Closer to 3 months, which made them only $150, which was quite a bargain.  We always told Tye that we’d gotten him on sale.

As soon as my yardsale wrapped up we headed out.  I don’t remember exactly where the puppies were.  Possibly in West or South Jordan.  This older gentleman ran a hunting club and had at least 10 dogs in his backyard.  Tye’s mom had a litter and the man had sold all but three of the pups, which he’d planned to keep, but his neighbors complained so he decided he’d better sell those too if he could.  The puppies were a little older, their tails hadn’t been docked (as most Brittany’s are), and they weren’t papered.  They were, however, purebred Brittany Spaniels. 

We walked into the backyard and there seemed to be dogs everywhere.  There was a big empty swimming pool and the dogs were jumping in and out and running around.  The man separated the three puppies from the rest so we could really look at them.   There were 2 orange and white puppies and 1 liver and white.  They were all male.  Kev was looking for a puppy that wasn’t too bold, but wasn’t too timid either.  One of the orange and white puppies had the softest, most beautiful face and eyes that I’d ever seen.  I was immediately drawn to him. 

Kev and I had a deal that he’d choose the puppy and I’d choose the name.  Kev looked for a long time.  I remember him asking the owner, “Which one do you think is the very best?” to which the man wisely responded, “Whichever one you choose, will be the very best.” 

Finally, Kevin chose the liver and white.  He seemed to be right in the middle of the other two, temperament-wise.  Though I always denied it to Tye, I remember as I walked out to the car to get the money, my eyes watered up a little.  I’d had my heart set on the little one with the soft eyes and was a little sad about Kev’s decision.

As we left, I remember seeing Tye’s mother penned in a separate area of the yard.  I wish that I’d have gotten a picture of her.  She looked so much like what Tye would end up looking like.  She was liver and white also and her ears were all perked up, her fur crazy and unwashed.  She even had the same crazy tassel of hair on top of her head like Tye always had.

On the way home I held Tye on my lap, but had him sit on a box lid, which seems so funny now.  I guess I was afraid he’d pee pee on me. For years after that, we told Tye about how we rescued him from an old dirty swimming pool.

I remember we stopped at Smith’s Marketplace and Kev ran in for a little collar, a leash, and probably some dog food because we didn’t have anything.  The next day we drove into Salt Lake again and bought a small dog crate from a lady who was selling one on KSL so we could crate train him.

It’s hard to remember specifics of the first days.  I named him Jet, but for some reason that just never seemed right.  We called him that for about two days, but the name Tye kept coming to me and that’s what I kept wanting to call him.  It was the strangest thing.  Finally I asked Kev if it would be OK if we changed it to Tye, which he readily agreed to.

As I try to remember back, I do remember all the training Kevin did with him, but it seems so long ago.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe that Tye didn’t already come trained and ready to go.

Something I do remember from the first few days were all the things that were “new” to him and that he was nervous about.  He’d never seen stairs before and we had to show him how to climb up and down them.  That was adorable.  He’d never had a bath before, but decided he liked it after we added toys to it.  I remember he seemed a little lonely for the first couple of days, no doubt missing his brothers and the life he’d known for those first three months.  I guess that is to be expected though and didn’t last long.

Kev decided that he wanted Tye to ring a bell when he wanted to go outside.  He fastened a small bell on the door frame of the back door.  It didn’t take Tye long at all to master that.  It took him much longer to master his bladder though.  I remember him at the back door ringing that bell like crazy with pee pee leaking out all over the place.  The dining room had carpet then and got its fair share of dog marking before Tye finally “got” it.  Once he got it though that was it.  We never had any problems at all with him pee peeing or pooing in the house.  He was the master, even to the end.  He could hold it 12 or 14 hours.  I never worried.  Even when he would vomit it was always in the dining room by the back door.  I know he went in there trying to get out, but couldn’t so he’d throw up right on the tile where it was an easy clean-up.  He was a good, good boy.
Practice Hunt

The next year, Kevin signed him up with some guy in Salt Lake who helped teach Tye about finding birds.  Kev would go with him out to some fields in the west and they would plant birds and Tye would try to find them and point.  I remember riding out with him.  I’d wait and hold baby Brinkley and watch, while they practiced and learned.

Kevin did a TON of teaching just on his own too.  He’d hide pheasant scented dummies in the backyard and Tye would search them out.  Kev would shoot blanks while Tye was eating dinner, teaching him not to be gun shy.

With Cast
Tye’s first real bird hunt was in November 2003 and poor Tye had a cast on.  In October we’d been visiting Kevin’s parents, who lived in Spring City at the time and Kev was out running Tye.  Kev was driving the truck and Tye was running out in front of it.  They’d done this many times, but this time Tye veered over into the truck and Kevin caught his front, left leg.  It was the saddest thing.  We were so fortunate that a country vet lived about 2 miles down the road.  Kev scooped him up and took him there, Tye was crying the whole way.  The vet fixed him up, kept him over night, saw him for a follow-up visit, and also removed the cast, all for $126. 

As I said, the vet kept him over night that first night.  When Kev went the next day to pick him up he said that he and the vet were talking outside, right out the door from where the dogs were kenneled.  Tye couldn’t see Kevin, but all of a sudden he heard him and started crying like a baby.  The vet chuckled and said that Tye hadn’t made one peep the whole night, but as soon as he heard Kev’s voice he had to start telling Kev all about it.

Tye’s jaw was also damaged a little and I remember he couldn’t eat on his own and his tongue hung loose.  Kevin would hand feed him canned food and also pour water into his mouth from a water bottle for the first couple of days.

Luckily, Tye healed beautifully but he had the cast on for his first big hunt.  That didn’t slow him down though.  Kev said he tore through those fields like nothing doing and found the birds.  “He is a great bird dog”.  That’s what Kevin has always, always said.  When Tye got on a bird and told you about it, he was pretty reliable.  You could bet a bird was there.

Other things Kev taught him were sitting and staying, catching a milkbone from his nose, and going to his place.  Sometimes Kev would send Tye to his place.  We’d look over a few minutes later and he’d slowly started to inch off it.  He would always keep a leg on, but would inch off as far as he could so he was still on, but just barely.  Tye was extremely obedient when it came to   Kevin.  Tye would never run out the front door with Kevin around, never jump out of the truck, and would come back home even if he was on a full out run away from the house.  He would think he’d gotten away with it until he heard Kevin’s voice.  He’d lower his head in defeat and sulk back home.  He was this way until he got old.  Then he pretended he couldn’t hear Kevin.  Kevin always said he had selective hearing.  He couldn’t hear when Kev called him from 20 feet away, but he could hear his food hit his bowl from a mile away every time.

Tye trusted Kevin implicitly.  Kevin would make him do all kinds of things.  He would place him on top of concrete walls and make him walk the length of them, make him sit and stay while we walked a block away then would finally call him to come.   Tye would race towards us barking the whole way.  Kevin would even blindfold him in the living room and then call him over.  Tye would obediently and cautiously follow Kevin’s voice across the room until he reached him.  Kevin could make him sit and stay on a sled, and he would stay on the whole way down down the hill.  Once Tye got older, he didn’t like baths, and the entire time would want to shake his whole body.  He’d never dare do it though if Kev was there.  He’d wait until after was toweled down and given the OK.  Even worse, Tye hated getting clipped.  Twice a year Kevin would put him up on a pedestal and clip his hair short.  Tye would be miserable the whole time but wouldn’t move a bit.  Kevin would always find some creative way to leave a tuft of hair somewhere that would drive me crazy.  Wings, a Mohawk – you name it.  Kevin thought it was so funny.  He always said that Tye liked it but I knew better.  Tye  was super embarrassed about it.

When I asked the girls some of their favorite memories of Tye, Lily’s of course was the summer they got married.  A few years ago she decided that since Brinkley was born first and had claimed papa, Lily would have to claim Tye.  She decided that they would marry at Family Camp 2013.  She chose a flower girl and bridesmaids and we had a whole ceremony.  The best part was when the “preacher”, Kevin, asked Lily if she’d take Tye to be her lawfully wedded husband and she said “yes”.  Then he asked Tye if he would take Lily.  It was hot and Tye had been panting constantly so Kevin said, “If the answer is yes, then pant.”  At that very moment, Tye stopped panting.  Lily had lots of nicknames for him throughout the years, but her favorite and most recent was Soodie.  She probably pestered him the most out of anyone, but that also means that she gave him the most attention.  It was probably a love/hate for him, but mostly love.

For Brinkley her favorite memory was the time we put shoes on Tye.  Kevin had bought these booties for him that he was supposed to wear while he hunted to protect his feet.  One night we put them on him and it was the funniest thing ever.  He danced and pranced, high stepping as he tried to shake them off.  He had no idea how to walk in shoes.  He thought they were the most ridiculous things he’d ever seen.  Especially at the end, Tye loved Brinkley’s ear massages.  She could hit that sweet spot and he would just moan and groan over how good they felt.  I tried to do the same thing, but never could get it as good as Brinkley could.

I used to say many things about Tye.  One thing is that he was a lover not a fighter.  It used to aggravate Kevin some, but Tye was the nicest dog.  He never bit or nipped at anyone.  He cowered from other aggressive dogs.  But that was part of his goodness.  He was just a nice, happy dog.  He loved everyone and everyone was his friend.  I also said that he was the best dog . . .except when he was the worst dog.  He loved to run the neighborhood.  The old red suburban and I spent the best hours and miles of our lives driving around the neighborhood looking for him.  Sometimes it literally took hours.  Luckily he always turned up.  As he started to slow down he wasn’t nearly so anxious to sneak out, but every once in a while he still would.  Just last week, he snuck out an open door and I found him around on 75 North.  As soon as he saw me he came a running though.  That was a change from when he was younger and would run the other way as fast as he could.

We were joking last night that we were going to start referring to life as BT, DT, or AT - Before Tye, During Tye, or After Tye.  Honestly though, it’s hard to remember life Before Tye.  It seems like we always had him.  Even the early years are fuzzy.  It’s hard to believe that he was ever not potty-trained.  Or that he ever dug holes in Kev’s yard.  Or that we ever had to keep him outside while we were gone because he’d chew things up in the house.  It seems like he’s always just been part of the house, part of the couch.  That’s where we could always find him.  He loved that couch.  Several times I declared that I was going to ban him from the couch, but I always gave in.  If we’d have guests and they’d be sitting on the couch, he’d sit and stare at them, boring holes into them, until they’d finally move and let him have his spot back.

It was probably about 2 years ago that we started noticing signs of aging.  Just small, subtle things.  Sometimes he’d have all the energy that he ever had.  Sometimes he’d tire out more quickly.  He started getting a little stiffer and getting up and down was a bit harder.  Even last Spring though he was still running with Kev quite a bit as he trained for his marathon.

We’d taken such good care of him.  I honestly thought he’d last at least until he was 14.  I used to tell him that we wouldn’t even discuss death until he hit 14 years old.  He was so naughty.  He never did listen to me.

Tye passed away on Monday, March 30th, 2015 at 12 years and 9 ½ months old. It was quite unexpected and I'm still trying to grasp it.  Probably back in the fall he started panting a lot.  Then at the very beginning of March he had what we called a breathing episode.  He’d gotten excited about something and his panting turned into gasping.  He sat on his place and gasped for breath for about 15 minutes.  Kev and I were both a bit panicked.  We couldn’t get a hold of his vet and didn’t know if there was something we should be doing or if there was even anything we could do.  Everyone is a doctor with Google, so Kev went and searched around and decided that Tye had Laryngeal Paralysis, which is a paralyzed larynx.  A very dumbed down version is that if he would get excited or anxious the flap over his larynx wouldn't open and he'd end up trying to get air in through a hole the size of a tiny straw.  When Kev did talk to the vet, he confirmed that was probably what the problem was.  Over the next couple of weeks he had another few episodes, but they weren’t bad.  They were quite sad though.  Tye would lie there gasping for air. They didn't last too long though and he had always pulled out of them. We'd just been to the vet 2 weeks ago and he seemed to think that if we would keep him calm then Tye could very well live quite a while longer with it.

On Friday we left to go camping and he had quite a bad one on the way up. I don't know what happened, but something changed that afternoon. Friday morning he woke up totally normal (relatively speaking), but by Friday night he passed some point of no return. Saturday he had 5 episodes. Not all were bad ones, but still, that was more in one day than all the previous ones combined.  Sunday seemed better. He had one in the morning, but then not another one until Sunday night. 

Kev and I started discussing the fact that we might have to put him down but really thought that if we could get him home from camping it might make a difference. He's always loved camping with us, but it's still new and exciting and we thought that maybe once we got him home to same routine and normal surroundings we could keep him calm enough that he wouldn't have them daily. Kev was going home Tuesday night and had planned to take Tye with him.

So the episode Sunday night was bad and it lasted longer than the others. Monday he woke up good though. Very low energy, but I got him up for a very short walk (to the next campsite) and he did his business and seemed OK. Our goal for the day was no episodes. He was eating OK and perking up at birds and sounds. I wish so much I'd have gotten some pictures. Later in the afternoon I got him up again and walked him again a short distance. He was OK until he got back to his blanket then as soon as he got back the gasping started. This time it lasted a really long time and he just couldn't pull out of it.  Never in a hundred years would I have dreamed that that was the end.  We tried to leave him alone when he was having an episode because he just didn’t want to be touched or bothered and sometimes especially having the girls around made him more anxious.  I laid by him for a long time on the blanket but I was up and around doing stuff too.  We just thought he’d pull out of it.  Even at the end, as he weakened, we mistook it for his breathing slowing down and him gaining some control again.  It just wasn’t meant to be though.  It was just too much and too long for his little body and his heart failed.  

I'd prayed and prayed and we'd prayed and prayed as a family that we'd know what to do to help Tye or minimize his suffering. We realized shortly before the end that it was coming and ran around to gather things up to get him to the vet but it was too late. The girls and Kev said their goodbyes then handed him to me in the car and while I held him he took a few last breaths and was gone.

Apparently I've lived a pretty charmed life because this is possibly the hardest thing I've ever had to go through. Either that or I need to put more emphasis on loving people in my life and less on loving my darned dog.

I'm grateful his suffering is finished and he didn't have to suffer too much. I'm grateful I didn't have to make the tough decision of when it was time because I probably would have prolonged his suffering more than necessary. I'm grateful that we were all together and that we're on Spring Break so I can kind of hideaway a little before having to face the world again. I dread going home tomorrow and getting back to my new normal. That dog was a big part of my day every day and the house is going to seem mighty lonely for a while.  That being said though, I can’t wait to leave this place too.  I’m sure by summer I’ll be recovered and want to come back.  Camperworld and my camper have always been my sanctuary but this time it’s just too quiet and too lonely and not enough to keep my thoughts occupied.  Plus there are sad memories everywhere I look.

When he died Monday we sat here for a while in a stupor trying to decide what to do.  As everyone does, we thought we had more time and so we didn’t really have a plan.  I kind of wanted to cremate him, but Kev really wanted to bury him.  We finally decided to take him back to Bountiful and bury him up by the “B”, so we did.  Monday morning we were sitting with him in the sun with him squinting at the light and watching the birds and Monday night Kev was digging his grave.

I hope he knows how much he was loved and how much he is missed.  We all know that pets are just a chapter in our lives and I guess our Tye Chapter has come to a close.  I’m glad we got to live it though.  And I’m so glad 12 ½ year ago as we stood in the backyard with the empty swimming pool full of dogs that Kevin chose the one that turned out to be “the very best”.  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Lovely Fall Break

I don't know how real bloggers do it.  I have a hard time keeping up with a few weeks of camping each year.  I have posts at home that I wrote during the summer and was going to post as soon as I got home, but never did.  I even think I have posts written from 2 summers ago that I never posted.  I guess I still will, as the purpose of this blog is mostly just a family journal.  Maybe real bloggers have faster WiFi.  The connection while here sucks, and home doesn't seem much faster.  Maybe next year I'll do better.

It's Saturday, Day 3 of our 4 day Fall break.  When you're used to camping for 2 and 3 week stretches, 4 days feels like a real ripoff.  It's been lovely though and the girls and I are so happy to be here.  Of course we're here all alone.  Kev works Wednesday - Saturday nights, so he pulled us up on Wednesday night, got us all hooked up, then drove straight back to work.  He'll come up in the morning just in time to help us break down camp and pull us back home.  He seldom gets to camp much with us, but he never complains about getting us up here and often rearranges his own schedule to work with ours.  He's sure a blessing to our family.

We've had a great weekend.  The weather has been glorious.  Cool mornings and nights, but days have to be hitting in the high 60's or low 70's and sunny.  The girls have reconnected with friends they made over the summer and have spent long days running, biking riding and playing.  We're in a gorgeous spot right by the river, with a huge climbing tree.  I can hear the cows mooing in the field next store.  I find that charming. 

Coalville's grocer still has fountain refills for 1 cents per ounce, bless their souls and hot dogs 2 for $1.  So each day we've ridden our bikes into town and gotten a 44 ounce drink refill and a hot dog for $1.  One buck even.  Are you kidding me?  That's practically free.  Then we eat at a cool stone picnic table across the street at the County Courthouse.  The girls think that's the best.
$1.00 lunch.  Not bad.
Lily said she could do these kind of push-ups all day long.

Another extra fun thing we've done is learned to play the game Clue.  I played it tons as a child of course, but had never taught the girls.  They think it's the greatest thing ever.  All the secrecy and mystery.  They even taught their camp friends. 

I've read some this trip, but I confess not as much as usual.  My cute boss got me into the TV series "Person of Interest" and I shamefully have spent several hours each day plowing through Season 1.  So exciting!  : ) 

I've also worked on Brinkley's Halloween costume some.  She's going to be the young Malificent.  Her horns are done, beside being painted, and I have her jewelry completed.  I've worked on the wings, but need to consult with Kevin on those.  They're tricky!

I almost forgot.  I got a new bike for my birthday and have been breaking it in on this trip.  It's been a hard transition for me.  I LOVE my old bike.  It's vintage (Kev says that's code for piece of crap) and really more my style.  It has a great bell and a darling basket and a rack.  I've loved it, but I finally had to admit that it's been on it's last leg for a while.  None of the gears work, a couple of months ago one of the brakes went out.  It does have pretty new tires, but Kev says they're worth more than the bike as a whole.  My new bike is modern and sleek.  When I got it it didn't have any extras, but Kev treated me to a new bell, a rack for the back, and a holder for a water bottle.  Really, the only thing missing is a cute basket, which is why I had to attach a rubbermade container on the back with zipties to hold my mug.  Gotta have a basket, after all.  I think I'm going to get a bright yellow one to match it's racing stripes.  It is a smooth ride and it's been nice to spend some quality time with it over the past few days to bond a little.  We may end up forming a lasting relationship after all.

As always, we wish we could stay forever, but reality calls and we're heading home tomorrow.  Not until night fall though.  Can't give up a few more glorious autumn daylight hours. 

Happy winter's sleep ya'll.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another Week Bites the Dust

Night Games with New Friends
As moving day approaches in the morning, we’re all a bit sad to see this week end.  We have really really enjoyed being here at Coalville.  I used to look down on it a bit, but I think it might be my new favorite.  It’s been a quiet, fun week, filled with bike rides into town for 32 ounce refills, guacamole and candy, rides on the four-wheeler, visits from cousins, mid-weeks visits from Kev, running the river, playing in the river, and making new friends.  Just tonight the girls met up with a boy they’d met at the river earlier today and together with him walked around and recruited a group for night games.  Finally at 10:30 I called them in since I was tired and it was long past quiet time.  What a blast for them.

I know next week will be fun too though.  We’re looking forward to Kamas Days with the parade and the rodeo.  And most especially getting to spend a few days with Kev.  Yay for his three-day “weekends”.  And yay for one more week of our camping adventure.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Another Special Visitor

Yesterday morning I needed to go to the grocery store and pick up a few things so we rode our bikes into town.  It’s amazing, but for a town as small as Coalville, they have two small grocery stores and a Mexican market.  One of the grocery stores is a very old fashioned looking market.  I even saw the guy in front of me pay on credit.  Like not a credit card, but store credit, just like in Little House on the Prairie.  The other store is ugly and very modern looking.  I like to go to the old fashioned store and get what I can.  Supporting them seems like the right thing to do.  Yesterday we ended up going to both.  The second store may suck for its moderness, but it ruled for its great deals.  Their fountain drink refills were 1 cent per ounce.  Are you kidding me?!  It just keeps getting better and better.  That’s 32 cents for a 32 ounce if you can’t do the math.  I was more than thrilled as you can imagine.  I was just super-bummed that I’d only brought my 32 ounce refill cup rather than my 64.  : )  They also had purses 2/$1 and little coin purses for 10 cents each.  The girls had a great time shopping.

There is a church across from the grocery store and as we were standing there, people started coming out in dress clothes, so I said to the girls, “Look, there must be a wedding or something.”  “Where, where”, they say, and of course they were fascinated, hoping to catch a glimpse of the bride.  We never did and continued to the Mexican market.  I’m addicted to their homemade guacamole.  It’s not cheap, so I go there every other day and just get a little, rather than every 4 days to get a lot.  I think I’m saving money that way, but I know I’m not.  As we were standing outside the market getting ready to go in Lily looked up the street and said, “Look, there’s a Limo!”  They both got really excited and Brinkley said, “Maybe the bride is in it!”  I looked up then and here, coming down the street, it a white hearse.  Apparently, rather than a wedding at the church, it was a funeral.  LOL.  I know a funeral is not a laughing matter, but I found the whole thing pretty hilarious.

The best part of the day was yet to come.  My niece, Brielle, has been in Utah working all summer.  She came up to camp with us yesterday afternoon.  She’s a fun, easy-going girl and is up for anything the girls want to do.  We floated the river – dodging cows, thorny bushes, fallen down trees, barbed wire, and sharp rocks - visited the horses, road the four-wheeler (I think that was her favorite), ate S’mores around the campfire, and played ladder ball.  We were all pretty exhausted by bedtime, but it was a fun, fun day.  We were so happy to have her and will be sad to see her go this afternoon!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Best Day

For some reason, yesterday was just the best day.  Kev tries to stay up late and sleep in, since he’s working nights and sometimes I sleep late with him, but this morning I got up early – well like 9am.  LOL.  I’ve been doing some typing for my Dad and I was able to get that done, plus type yesterday’s blog posts before he even got up. 

After lounging for a bit, we decided to walk to the gas station, which is like ½ mile down from the campground.  The girls road their bikes and Kev and I walked Tye.  Between the camp ground and the gas station, we pass a couple of fields.  Often there are horses grazing.  Today was no different.  There was a water hole near the fence and that’s where 3 of them were, cooling off and eating grass.  As soon as the girls walked up they started feeding the horses grass that was growing on our side of the fence.  It was clear that the horses had eaten as much of that grass as they could reach over the fence.  The grass was totally mowed down by them all along the fence line a couple of feet out.  So the girls started picking and feeding and soon all three had come over and were eating as much as they were given.  They were very friendly and beautiful.  I was bummed I didn’t have my camera.  We’ll go back today and hopefully the horses will be there and I can get pictures.
  We walked on down to the gas station and guess what?!  The July special is 49 cent drink refills.  Are you kidding me?!!  That’s practically free!  You know I’m going to be down there like 3 times a day filling up on my Diet Dew.

On Monday, while swimming in the river, the girls made some new camp friends.  They were excited to get back to the river to swim with them again and that’s where they spent the ENTIRE afternoon.  They explored all sorts of new spots.  This part of the Weber River is great because it’s not too wide, not too fast moving, and it has lots of little holes that are deeper.  They are loving it!

Kev and I just spent the afternoon reading and chatting and relaxing.

The best part came at 5pm when we decided we were going to run the river on our tubes.  We do it every year and Kevin DREADS it.  He hates the cold water.  He started griping as soon as I started pumping the tubes.  “It’s not even the hottest part of the day.”  Then when we got to the edge of the water and were ready to launch he declared that moment, “ the worst part of the entire year” if you can imagine.  LOL.  It’s pretty funny, though I have to confess, the water was absolutely frigid! 

Everything went great until we got close to the end of the run and I ran into a fallen tree.  No big deal, we do it all the time.  I continued down river about 30 yards when I looked down and noticed that part of the tree was still floating with me.  I reached down and realized that this huge, pokey branch had punctured my tube and it was still in it.  I didn’t dare take it out because I knew if I did then the tube would be flat in like 5 seconds.  I was game to just leave the branch in, plugging the hole and move on down to the end of the run, but as soon as Kev saw it he got cranky(er) ; ), and said the run was over.  So out we climbed.  And no worries - the tube is totally patchable .

The best part of the whole thing though, was we had to leave the truck down at the river where we got it, which means we had to go back for it.  Kev and I climbed on his four-wheeler, and first ran to the gas station for a refill (of course!).  I told him that businesses here must think that we are like “Summer People” that go and visit the Hamptons or some coastal touristy town for the summer.  Except our Hamptons is Coalville, and our beach cottage is a 25 year old camper trailer, and our shop keepers are 18 year old boys with cigarettes in their pockets and tattoo sleeves.  LOL.

I know I keep saying this, but seriously the very best part is yet to come.  When we got to where the truck was, Kev drove the truck back and I got to drive the four-wheeler.  Wahoo!  I’m amazing - just totally a natural.  : )

The night ended with Aloha Teriyaki Burgers (way yummo) and the girls running off to roast marshmallows and play night games with their new friends.  We finally got them herded home and in bed at 11pm.  Seriously, I think Kev and I have lost our minds. 

What a great ending, to a perfect summer day.

Kev has to work tonight and will be leaving this afternoon, so we’re really sad about that.  It’s 11:30am and he’s still asleep, which is good since he works all night, but I did just started frying bacon, hoping to rouse him a little.  Hopefully he’ll wake in his normal good mood, ready to run the river one more time before he leaves.  : )

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Camping Memories of the Old Days

Looking at the date makes me feel a little blue.  Summer half over.  Boo, boo and boo.  We don’t start school this year though until August 25th, so that means we have almost the whole month of August, which is really, really nice. 

When I first started this blog, my dad sent me some pictures of my family camping in the early years.  I really did get my love of camping honestly.  My mom told me that when I was just a baby and we were living in Massachusetts she and Dad would take us girls to the coast somewhere in Maine or New York and we’d camp.  Dad would drop off Mom and get everyone all set up, then he would go back home to work.  Sometimes he’d commute nightly and sometimes he’d just come on the weekends.  Sound familiar?
What a doll!!  Check out those socks.
I never look that cute camping.
I have a few very early memories of camping.  One trip was on the Oregon coast.  The reason this one stands out is because on our last day there, Mom was cleaning up and packing up and Dad took one last walk down to the beach and invited me to go with him.  I was clean and dry and Mom told me to make sure I stayed that way.  Of course as soon as we got to the beach, being a little girl and all, the water started calling.  I asked Dad if I could wade, so he rolled up my pants and I started wading.  Before you knew it I was waist deep.  I’m guessing that Dad and I both got a good scolding for that one.
Mom and little naked girl - oh, I mean, me.
Another memory is when we lived in Burley, Idaho we went camping to some sand dunes not too far away.  I remember climbing up those huge dunes and rolling down, sand getting everywhere.  I also remember lying in my sleeping bag and hearing coyotes howling at night.  One night in the middle of the night, my Dad got up and went out for something.  Apparently, he left the tent unzipped.  The coyotes started howling and our dog Bruiser, jumped up and headed for the door.  Well, my mom felt almost the same way about Bruiser that I feel about Tye and she was having none of it.  She says she flew out of her sleeping bag and literally tackled him as he was heading out the door.

I also remember camping at Bear Lake.  We met our family friend Carl Taylor there and we sat around the campfire and he told us the scariest ghost stories.  Then, of course, it was time to make that dreaded last trip to the bathroom before bed.  Without fail, every time us girls would go, on the way back, Dad would be hiding somewhere along the way to jump out and scare the bejeesus out of us.  This trip was no different, except this time it was him, Carl Taylor, and a white sheet.  You can use your imagination for that one.

Once we moved to Texas when I was in the Fifth Grade, I don’t remember much camping, but I do remember camping at Virginia Beach a couple of times once we moved to Louisa, Virginia, always in that same old canvas tent that you see in those earliest pictures with my mom.

When my parents moved here to Utah, they sold that tent (or perhaps gave it away), which by that time was mildewed and quite the mess.  That was a sad day for my Dad though and if I know him he still laments about the sale of that tent, even today.

Our Day in Pictures

Ready for swimming!
Tiffeny's Terrific Camp Store
- all items 10 or 25 cents.
How awesome is that!
Sisterly love and ice cream.
New Friends.
Swimming together now.  Night Games would come later.

Not too much has changed. I think they need new life
jackets though.  : )
This spider built it's web on our awning arm and
had a feast on the moths that flew around our party lights.