Vacation Rambling II

We’re on day five of our vacation, and have officially passed the halfway point, a fact we’re both trying not to think about. There has been good news and good times all around.

Last night we hit a good crappie (Pronounced CROP-y where I come from) bite, the results of which are waiting in a cage down by the lake for us to decide their fate. J caught a gigantic bass, I mean GIGANTIC, and so he was extra happy even though it was me reeling in the nicest crappies. The bass we let go, we never keep them no matter what size, though in the cold waters of Northern Minnesota they are a good fish, not mushy like they are in warmer water. We also let all the sunnies (otherwise known as sunfish, or blue gill or pumpkin seeds) go, which would make our neighbor Jimmy shake his head in disgust, but we fish for the elusive crappie when it comes to good eatin’.

Last night after fishing we had a fabulous supper and then both commented how weird it was that it was so warm outside. It was really only in the low fifties, but it was calm, which makes it seem a lot warmer. This gave us the bright idea that we should go for a night time ATV ride. The warmer the better when it comes to being on the ATV. We don’t go that fast, our ATV is a 1988 Honda and these are bumpy forest trails that require navigation, but wind chill is still always a factor this time of year. We bundled up, and set out into the darkness.

It’s kind of scary in the woods in the dark but also it is thrilling and amazing. I wrapped my arms around J’s waist and reminded myself that it was the exact same woods I’ve been through a million times in the daytime. I’m not kidding though, when we got to an open area and J killed the lights and engine so we could peer up at the awesome, giant, star-filled sky, I did get worried we were about to be attacked by any number of dangers that could be approaching in the darkness without our knowledge. (It’s hard to relax when you’re thinking about a wolf or a bear sneaking up behind you, but the thing I have always feared the most in the woods is, sadly, other humans.)

And speaking of the sky, the moon’s been missing and so the sky is the darkest of dark, and the stars are abundant. I spent a lot of time tonight looking up at the dark sky in amazement. It’s the kind of sky where you can see really far away. The close stars and then the really far away clusters of stars and so every part of the sky, as you turn 360 degrees, is stars. I wish my camera could take a picture that would do it justice.

More good news, the jeans I bought that I did not love I finally busted out today, and it turns out that they are right up there with the most comfortable jeans I have ever worn! I also do have a confession to make about them; they are not actually jeans, they are some newfangled thing called “jeggings”. They have a button and zipper and they look and kind of feel like jeans, but they are so flexible that I’m pretty sure I could do karate in them with a full range of motion. The lady at Maurice’s before vacation had informed me that jeggings were bogo (Buy One Get One half off, in case you didn’t know, which seems unlikely because its everywhere), which I could have cared less about because I was there for jeans and only jeans.

When, after trying on roughly half the store full of jeans, I had not yet found an acceptable pair, I fell at last onto the jeggings table as a last resort. I found two pair that fit and bought them, being desperate for jeans as I was. I wore all my other favorite jeans first but today opted to give the jeggings a go. I may never wear real jeans again.

And the last good news of the day is that we have decided to buy another piece of land together. It’s a forest that’s a good lot of swamp, and it sits directly across the dirt road from our place. It’s been for sale for over a year. Last year, when I mentioned to J that we should think of buying it, we were in the middle of all the wedding plans and neither one of us had a lot of time to put the energy into doing the research and checking out the land. Today, we took the time. We hiked through the woods, surveying the land and reading the plot maps. We inquired at the local real estate agency. We pored over the maps some more. We made a decision that tomorrow we will go into to town and make an offer.

A good part of the land will remain a wetland, and by buying it we ensure the nature is preserved. It also comes with some high ground lots that are sellable and buildable backlots should we ever want to sell. But most of all, the woods directly across from us will remain woods, peaceful and quiet and untouched. And we have a never-ending firewood source because, believe me, trees fall all the time and no one hears them. Big trees.

I’ve been joking with J that I am going to make it into an enchanted forest with fairies and a boardwalk though the swamp with a bridge and a troll. It’s an endless world of possibilities out there.

It’s an important event for us, our first investment together. When we met we both already had homes, and J already had the lake lot, and though we’ve made everything into ours, we’ve never actually purchased anything together. It’s our first investment as a married couple.

So far, it’s shaping up to be one of my favorite vacations.

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