Lesson #1. Travelling with a 90 pound dog will not keep you “safe”.
See my blog about Shelby the Wonder Shepherd https://k8edid.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/ and unwanted male attention https://k8edid.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/ive-still-got-…ants-to-see-it/ . I would say that more men approached me and started conversations when I was walking my dog this summer than during any other activity. Ms. Shelby is an attention whore, and she appears to prefer males to females. Just my luck.
What I did get, in addition to dog pee on my foot, was a lot of time to bond with Ms. Shelby. I also got a ton of dog hair in my car, which, when I opened the windows for fresh air (Ms. Shelby farts a lot) seemed to fly directly into my mouth. Ahhh, the joys of pet ownership.
Lesson #2. All things in moderation.
I ate a lot. I drank (not a lot, but I seldom drink anyway, so it seemed like a lot). I guess the only thing that kept me from ballooning to the size of the Goodyear Blimp was the fact that I swam every day, walked my dog a lot, dodged unwanted male attention, spent an inordinant amount of time swatting mosquitoes and biting flies, and scratching. This was the smoked meats array that was consumed at Sweet Cheeks’ Birthday party, and only a small fraction of the food presented. If I never eat another s’more, hot dog, or grilled hamburger I will not feel cheated…
Lesson #3. Everything boys can do girls can do better.
That is what her T-shirt says. This child outfished every adult without even trying. In fact, most of the time she was playing sudoku on my otherwise useless cell phone. This lovely young woman is my granddaughter Clarissa, who will not be invited on future fishing expeditions.
Lesson #4. Camping is fun.
Lesson #5. Camping is REALLY fun.
Lesson #6. Naps are wasted on children.
I believe that dogs and senior citizens appreciate naps more than any other groups; and as such, should be allowed to indulge whenever the urge strikes. Shelby agrees wholeheartedly.
Lesson #7. Everything is better when shared.
Of the 51 days that I spent in Michigan, Sweet Cheeks was able to join me for only 10 days. Those were the best 10 days of the entire summer. After all, what better than sharing mosquitoes, biting flies, campfire smoke in your eyes, burnt hotdogs, hangovers and tons of sand? My point exactly.
Lesson #8. You never know when you will be “mooned”, but when your sons are in the vicinity, there’s usually a pretty good chance.
I won’t show the actual mooning photo here, out of deference to my nearly teen-aged granddaughter who was mortified when I put the picture on Facebook (it has since been removed). Suffice it to say that it was an important lesson to her about baring body parts in the vicinity of cell phones and cameras.
Lesson #9. Sunsets are AWESOME.
No explanation needed. These photos were taken on Lilley Lake near Harrison, Michigan.
Lesson #10. Forgiveness is easy when you have a very bad memory.
I was reunited, after many years of no contact, with my father. We never were close. In fact, I was a teenager before I ever met him. He is very forgetful now – I believe he has Alzheimer’s, although I am not a doctor and I only spent an hour or two with him. My memory is still pretty sharp, but I am glad that I finally stopped wishing things had been different in the past. The only way I could accomplish that was by “forgetting” more. I’m still a work in progress.
I can’t wait for next summer – I plan on doing it all again.