Ruam Mit 20

Parking ticket: Last week I went out to lunch with my cousin’s wife, since I missed her baby shower. We had so much fun chatting that we both forgot completely about the time: I got a parking ticket for an expired meter, which is very unusual for me! She’s a pretty funny and seriously entertaining package, so I look forward to meeting my niece and nephew when they emerge. Another funny thing, another aunt happened to show up at the same place for lunch with her boss!

* * * * * * * *

We went camping this weekend by Lake Tahoe. The weather forecast was forboding: snow, thundershowers, below-freezing cold nights. Snow flakes danced about when we set up our tent; Truc said she caught one on her tongue. I was worried that I had everyone in for a miserable time.

But it all worked out. The next dawned sunny, and we went for a hike around Fallen Leaf Lake, which included a nice scramble across some rocks and a waterfall. Everyone was very game about such a long hike: I think we walked for about 5-6 hours. We were very fortunately directed to a ‘hidden’ public trail by a local volunteer fireman, whom we met again biking on the way back.

The southern end of Fallen Leaf Lake is occupied by the Stanford Sierra Club; I guess it’s their equivalent of the Lair of the Bear. My friend Christina had a Stanford Sierra sweatshirt from way back, so I know now where it comes from.

One needs to go camping at least once a year to stay in ‘practice’: to be able to start a fire and keep it going; how to pitch ones’ tent, to organize stuff and remember what to bring (we forgot flashlights!), and just simply acclimatize to funky toilets and sleeping outdoors where animals lurk under star-filled darkness. Otherwise it’s too easy to forget these skills.

I used to tell all my friends with kids that I thought it was important for kids to know how to swim and how to ride a bike. I think I will add to that list: “Take your kids camping; so they won’t be afraid of the outdoors and the dark, and they’ll know the magic of sitting by a campfire!”

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