When Dave returned from Canada, we were both exhausted. I was so relieved to have him home, and no less so after a humiliating episode during Sacrament meeting wherein Asher turned off the lights and I had to immediately haul both boys out in my arms with the entire congregation turned to see. It was very tempting to lie around the house on Memorial Day and see how much napping could be accomplished. But by that time I found being stuck at home highly agitating, and so I decided that we should accept the invitation of some friends to accompany them on a hike in the mountains.
The hike did not disappoint. Again we were rewarded with beautiful weather, and breathtaking views. The company was wonderful also, and though I don't mind hiking on my own, conversation makes it better. Between ourselves and the other two families, there were eight children under 10 years old. We were not fast hikers, and Asher wanted to lead the pack. We often had to call him back from getting out of sight, and if another child got in front of him he would dash ahead. The trail was uphill for most of the first two or three miles, but he didn't mind in the least. When we came upon a rattlesnake rattling in the middle of the trail, I realized the danger of him being ahead, and made sure one of us was with him after that. Our group would come across two more before the hike was over.
Again, Finn was marvelous all five miles. He napped, and pulled my hair more than I would have liked, but cried little. My boys are going to be serious outdoorsmen!
The Wednesday after Memorial Day I took the boys to the visiting robot exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. It was fantastic! Dave took Asher when it first opened a couple months ago, but I hadn't been. Nor had my friend Kaci and her two kids. There are dozens of robots, demonstrating all sorts of abilities. Highlights pictured below.
Thursday we left for Rock Springs and the high school graduation of my oldest niece, Kira. The boys were atrocious on the ride, and I didn't regret one bit my embargo on long road trips thus far in 2016. Friday Dave took Asher fishing (first time!) in the mountains north of Cokeville, a solid 3 1/2 hours from Rock Springs. He met with his brother and family, and was expected back in the evening. As evening approached nightfall and I still hadn't heard anything from him, I assumed the fishing must have been very good. That was, after all, why he'd traveled to that distant location. A worse explanation arouse about 8 o'clock, when a text came in saying that the truck had some serious problems and was broken down, followed by a plea to head for Cokeville ASAP. The next two hours were full of confusion as we tried to contact each other and relay the particulars of whether or not he need transport only for himself and Asher, or also for the four-wheeler, which would necessitate that we borrow my Dad's truck. This was further complicated by the fact that my dad was himself still traveling back into town from an outdoor excursion. Then, of course, we also didn't know where we were to meet him, as his brother hadn't decided how far he would drive to drop him off, and once on the road there was no telling if our cell coverage would be good enough to receive calls. At length my oldest brother and brother-in-law set out to retrieve only Dave and Asher, kindly leaving me to stay with Finn. They returned around 1:30 am.
By both accounts it had been a golden day, up until Dave forded a creek in his pickup and sucked water into the air intake. Asher and his cousin Tanden hiked and fished and threw rocks to their heart's content. The fishing was, in fact, very good. At one point Asher dropped his pants, pooped, and immediately returned to throwing rocks with his pants around his ankles. Upon leaving, Asher declared "I love fishing and I love throwing rocks!" He slept nearly the whole way back to Rock Springs, even as broken up as the trip was by multiple car transfers.
Saturday I was left to ready the boys for graduation while Dave arranged to meet a tow truck. My dad very kindly let us borrow his truck, and helped transport me and my enormous car seats in the back of his little Jeep. It was a feat, I tell you. We had to park a distance away and walk, and by the time we got there we only found seats by shoving stuff off of some "saved" spaces. I can only console myself that as loud and active as my boys were, they were not half as disruptive as the folks who did eventually show up to claim their seats (sadly, they still had enough room to sit next to us). The ceremony was as good as could be expected without being half as long, and at least I can say that I was not so distracted by Asher's jabbering that I missed Kira's name being called (my dad couldn't say the same).
I was a little astonished, as I was at my own graduation, at all the people that made such a big deal of the thing. Not to poo-poo my niece, as she did very well in high school, graduated with honors and lots of scholarships, and plans to have a very respectable career. But that's kind of my point. High school is just a stepping off point, and frankly, it isn't that hard just to graduate. Somehow I feel that those who celebrate graduation as some sort of massive accomplishment anticipate very few future achievements.
After the ceremony we had a barbecue at my sister Stephanie's house, which she worried was too modest an effort in light of some more extravagant parties. But it was just right: good food, good family. This was succeeded by a game of Settlers of Catan in which we all lost spectacularly to Tephie, and I was apparently very entertaining in my loopiness. It was too short a trip, seemingly made shorter by the fiasco with the truck, but good nonetheless.