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4 kittens

Be Sure You Are Right, Then Go Ahead.

Posted on 2018.03.18 at 22:22
When I started blogging, I made a rule for myself: if it feels like a slog, don't write it. Never force a topic that feels like a chore. I was worried that if I developed traditions and rituals, I'd feel obligated to maintain them way past their expiration date. That I'd procrastinate on blogging and eventually stop altogether, due to feeling like I had to dig myself out of a hole of backed-up dreary obligations.  If it feels boring, skip it. Who cares. Just keep writing.

Now it's 13 years later. Whoosh, that went fast! I mostly still endorse the dreary-slog-avoidance principal, but less so than I originally did. (Mostly because obviously this has become a mommy-blog with the consequent documenting of the sprogs.)

Documenting vacation is a bit of a slog. One annoying thing is that when I upload a large group of photos, LJ posts them in reverse chronological order.

Well, let's dive in!

Off we go! I took the time to make this first batch in chronological order, at least. Packed to the gills.

We had to unpack the car for the kids to get in and out.

West Texas looking westerly.

Most of what occupied Jammies' attention the whole week is how to better pack the minivan next time. He eyed a lot of contraptions that other families use. Ultimately his heart is set on getting a small flatbed trailer and tricking it out with various built-in drawers and bike racks.

That's a hard-to-discern Davy Crockett in the town square of Ozona.

Davy says:

Davy, my man. I always do.

Be sure you go left at Marathon, desolate scenes free of charge.

Arrive in Big Bend right at sunset.

This little mountain below is about a twenty minute easy hike up, from our campsite:


Before I left, I completed a survey sent out to mathematicians. A graduate student is studying how mathematicians think about the validity of proofs and what kinds of errors compromise the validity of a proof.

Here is the Rio Grande:

(That's the view from the mountain from a moment earlier.)

The survey presented me with all these border cases - proofs with mild-to-moderate errors - for me to classify. I think the topic is really interesting, but I loathe this methodology. I can't stand being asked to put things which are gray into black and white categories. When something is continuously transitioning from one state to another, why draw an arbitrary line in the middle? Let border cases be border cases. Just let them be their own combination of qualities, pulled from both sides of the spectrum.


There was a short desert hike a few miles from our campsite.

Hard, scrabbly desert. This was Sunday.

Which unexpectedly had a grove of palm trees. Because of the upcoming oasis!

First, some scrabbly walls.

which housed a lot of these little mud bird homes, which the birders amongst us loved. I liked it, too, but without knowing what I was looking at.

Other times, I knew what I was looking at:

Pictographs, eh?

There they are!

More! More!

Ace and I meandered slowly.

This is the destination! That little square full of people is the hot springs. It felt wonderful.  It was a cold, overcast day.  The wind kept whipping sand at us, but the water was divine.

That's Mexico with the golden stalks. It was an easy swim, if you didn't mind the much colder Rio water, and some tourists didn't.


So that was Sunday. Am I really going to go day by day like this?  Do I have it in me? Will it bore the pants off you?


On Monday we saw the Sam Nail farm. What kind of crazy fuck lives in the middle of the Chihuahua Desert a hundred years ago? I don't really know. But the isolation was impressive.

We took a neat hike which ended up being 4 miles instead of 2. It involved scrambling over big, steep rocks in the bottom of a long gulch. I ambled slowly along with Ace, and we gave up about 3/4 of the way there, and ambled back.


The wind was frightfully strong, at times, and scared the kids when we huddled in our tents at night. One night it was freezing cold, and I took Rascal in my sleeping bag to warm us both up, having the two crappiest sleeping bags of the bunch.  He came and cuddled and peed on me at some point in the night, for I'd forgotten to put a nighttime diaper on him.


It was mostly cold. It was so dry. The fabric inside the kids' sleeping bags was so felt-like and grabby against dry skin - it was the most awful sensation. It was very hard and tiring, except it was also so wonderful and satisfying, mostly because of our friends.


On Tuesday we all piled in our friends' RV and careened up a mountain to hike to some sand dunes. I made a mental note to show Space Balls to the kids. More splashing in the Rio Grande. Again: a gentle river, not very big. Mostly because it's been so used and abused and diverged, for agriculture and dams.


This entry is getting away from me. My photos aren't just on my computer - I have to retrieve them from elsewhere. This is that sensation I was discussing in the opening paragraph - the dreary drive to record All Things.

But what about the photos I want to share? Of Pokey looking like a Lithuanian Gangster, of Rascal and Ace for the first time riding bikes, albeit with training wheels? What about the photos I want to remember, of the whole group of nine families in the sunset? The kids' elaborate week-long game of City, with a mayor and a jail and police and laws and courts and community service?


What about the stuff that happened before and after the trip? The big kids were featured in an art exhibit at the local rec center. They made masks:



It's already 10 pm. I hate staying up late. (Hawaii has been retching nearly-continuously for the past hour, poor thing.)

It was such a wonderful trip, but mostly because of the social glue welding these beloved families together. Otherwise it was beautiful, hard, dry, and scrabbly. Two weeks is so much blogging to dig myself out of.

I think I owe it to 2005 Heebie, and her pledge of self-preservation-blogging, to stop here. (But I'm sort of planning on cobbling together more short posts tackling the vacation.)

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