Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We're Not Dead, We Just Feel Dead (tired)

Yup, we're still here - barely. July has never been quite like this one. Summer has never been quite like this one. Every weekend we are busy, and the previous week is hectic preparing for the weekend.

The first two weeks were spent preparing for and then being in two different boat shows. A show is never quite as relaxing as just going somewhere in the boat for fun. You need to be 'on' for the people who come to see your classic boat - and prepared for the same old questions.

Then the next weekend Ginger's parents were in town. Slightly less hectic, and Rick helped me get the porch posts in. But don't remind me about that project. I don't need reminding that it's progressing slower than the "Race" for the White House. We'll have a new president before I have enough finished to stop worrying about it and to end the gaping open-mouthed stares from passersby. This crappy porch hangs over my head, taunting me, and sucking, ever sucking more money and time. Ever sucking. The porch sucks. Sucktastic.

Then the next two weekends: blessed vacation! But getting out of town and wrapping everything up for a week away from life sort of ruins your life. By the time we hit the road we were so pathetically tired that the only thing keeping us awake was the excitement of leaving town for a week. 13 hours later we arrived to a screaming mass of excited family. Four days at THE CABIN (Hebgen Lake, MT) with the whole crew, all 14 of us for the first ever Garff family reunion. I'll post separately about this with pictures, I just need the time. But it was fun, and exhausting (not at all relaxing) but vacations where you actually relax usually last more than a week and don't include the worst mosquito hatch in my memory.

Then for the rest of the trip, and spanning into the first weekend in August, we saw a place we didn't know existed, the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness in isolated northwest Montana, near Troy, MT. Awesome. Plant geek paradise. Coastally influenced weather creates a mix of lush mountain plants at relatively low elevations. It was awesome. And isolated. Do not get the fish and chips.

More on this in later posts because we saw cool stuff like one of Montana's biggest Grand Fir trees at almost 5'-0" across - and at one point I actually said, "Wow, the biodiversity is so high we should do a species-area curve!" to the groans of my wife and friends. Nine conifer species over a very small elevation range. Totally awesome. Is tamarack the bomb? Yes.

We stayed at a "cabin" that was pretty much a lodge right on the Kootenai River (in the floodplain in fact, but don't call FEMA, it's dam controlled. Just waiting for the right disaster, I think). Very nice, more relaxing, good food, no mosquitoes, closer to the vacation ideal. And Lola made a boyfriend, a buff boxer named Ike who smelled like skunk. Cologne for dogs.

So we're home now, sucktastic porch and all, and everything is HECTIC again. One of Ginger's friends will be here this weekend. If you're counting at home that's 6 consecutive weekends of activity. I am very much longing for a Saturday that isn't spoken for. I am especially tired and grumpy right now, just ask anyone who has spoken to me since since I got home from my "vacation!"