June began with our fun and slightly unexpected rafting trip. When we got back, we felt ready to be ever so slightly more chill about life.
Basically that meant three things:
1. We stopped wearing buffs while running. It was just getting too hot to wear a neck scarf and no one else was doing it. We still give space and try to go at less busy times and less busy places.
2. I started going to the grocery store once a week (my previous regular shopping interval) instead of once every two weeks.
3. We started to let Ellen play with a friend with some rules – outdoors, no touching. Ellen has been so very happy to have this socialization.
To try and give our summer some structure, I created a “Pick Your Own Schedule” sheet where the kids choose one item in each category for each day. Not surprisingly, one child loves this and one child hates this.
Each day is a mix of fun activities, educational activities, and chores – my personal favorite. The kids are getting to be more and more helpful as they get older, but also more outspoken. Generally, they can’t watch tv until they’ve done all their categories, so there is that motivation.
I got a new mountain bike. I’d still been using the bike I’d gotten as a teenage – which was a really great bike (my dad is a bike guy) – but it was starting to have more and more problems with gear shifting. We picked it up from REI and later that week took it on a nice long ride on the mesa. It shifted and braked like a dream.
We’ve been trying to hike quieter trails at less busy times. Sometimes that leads to finishing our hikes in the dark though. These pictures are from a hike in a state park. We traced a part of the Dirty 30 race and reflected on that. The hike ended up being longer than we’d originally thought (kind of like the race) and it was well after sundown for the last two miles. Luckily we came prepared with headlamps.
We did some dispersed camping over Father’s Day weekend. We’ve never actually done dispersed camping because we didn’t have a toilet solution. We had to get one for our rafting trip though and it’s come in really useful with social distancing. The kids loved camping because they could just roam. They weren’t trapped in our yard (which I know we’re lucky to have). We hiked on trails that hadn’t been maintained in a long time, lounged in hammocks, made delicious food, and read Harry Potter. It was really nice to get away. It was also really nice to not have cell reception and just kind of be insulated from everything for a few days.
We haven’t had a ton of hailstorms (which is slightly unusual for here), but we did have one decent one in June. It helped to cool things off for a bit, but wasn’t so big it ruined plants or houses.
We’ve been doing some yard prep for a shed kit we ordered. We needed to remove a tree and move some other plants around. We’re still not there yet, but are making progress.
We revived the food blog and have been posting a few things there. We have no aims of it becoming a big thing, but our camping adventures have left me feeling a little more inspired about things we could share.
Cooper has been more interested in cooking, which is awesome. One night, he made us oven fried chicken from his Kids America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook.
A lot of June was very similar to Quarantine. Noel and I both worked from home. We didn’t have too much contact with others. Most of our interactions with friends and family were virtual. We got creative with at home dating. In a lot of ways, we just plugged along.
Life still is not normal though. We’re still doing risk assessments for nearly everything we do. We’re trying to look at and listen to other perspectives on race and politics. We’re frustrated by all the division in the world and trying not to be too divisive ourselves. We’re reading and chatting and hopefully growing. While there isn’t a lot going on on the outside, there’s a lot going on internally. And sometimes that all gets too be a little too much and you need to do something drastic like drop kick a dense loaf of bread that you accidentally made using the old, terrible flour someone from church gave you. It’s amazing how therapeutic that can be.