Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Went camping. Interesting how a cold May can turn into a steamy summer overnight. Had good weather except for Saturday night when I woke every two hours to thunder, lightning, wind and rain pounding on the tent. I don't know if there wasn't a time it was raining. The tent held remarkably well and stayed dry. Got reacquainted with old friends and introduced to new. Kicked back, listened to the birds and frogs and all and star gazed as only can be done in a dark unpopulated area. City light pollution makes a person forget how beautiful a clear moonless night can be.

A squirt gun fight escalated into super-soakers and then even bigger ones about four or five feet long. It was fun to watch, became downright entertaining when an unhitched trailer was pulled down to the lake containing a gasoline powered Briggs & Stratton water pump capable of delivering 160 gallons per minute. Fire hoses were attached, the intake into the lake and the other to a hose which two people were warned to hold very tightly. The rope was pulled and the country quiet was shattered by that engine. The team of two managed to hold on and force two adults to dive under for cover and all others to scatter. The winner of the super soaker competition thus declared they pointed the nozzle straight up giving everyone a shower on a cloudless day. When Mr. Briggs & Stratton was shut off an almost eerie calm returned and I heard a woman to my left exclaim to her husband: "Only a man could dream up something like that!" to which her husband deadpanned: "That makes me soooooooo glad".

I met an asthmatic beagle named Bashful. Bashful has to be one of the mellowest sweetest dogs I have ever met in my life. When he breathed it sounded like a tape someone once made of my snoring. When he breathed hard...I'm at a loss to describe those sounds. When he went through the brush and reeds you couldn't see him, but could see the plants move and hear something that might sound like feral pigs. Bashful was always around, a bit slow and haltingly, but always nearby. Bashful's master told me he is dying of cancer. Such a sweet demeanor for such an ailing animal. The master also mentioned that he hoped Bashful would die in the summer when the ground isn't frozen. Bashful isn't very old. Such a shame. I hope to see him again.

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