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Moon Landings and Motherhood Affidavits

Hello and welcome to another Saturday deep in the throes of a lovely July. Today is the 20th, aka, "Roseau County Fair Eve." We're two-thirds into July and in 11 days, that means two-thirds of Summer 2019 will be over.

The WAKWIR spent the week at JP2 Camp in Park Rapids. Road construction of County Road 9 took us on a pleasant detour through Wannaska, which was looking pretty good. I always enjoy going through the little village proper.

On the return trip, I made sure to point out Chairman Joe's house to the Oldest who has returned from her month-long foray into the wilderness. Withdrawal symptoms include wearing the same clothes she came home in for three days straight and sleeping anywhere other than her own bed, which apparently signifies the final return home. Her re-entry moping and yearning for the fun times of portaging and paddling through Lake of the Woods has been articulated through a reticence to get on my organizational bandwagon. The irony being, she would have gladly swept the floors and taken out the trash had she been at Laketrails.

But the siblings are especially happy to have her home as she rallies them to sleep outside in the tent and builds creative straws for slurping homemade green smoothies.

Engineer sister assists her sibling.

And to her credit, she has read a whole book in the few days she's been back. She designed a string bag clip on CAD for the Warroad Area Women of Today and has been a good sport, playing whatever game the siblings demand of her. I only wish she would empty her camp duffel and put it away. I totally understand the avoidance of her room, because I do the same.

This weekend I'm at The Priory Writers' Retreat in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, enjoying the company of all kinds of talented writers as we work on improving our craft (and getting our respective projects finished.) The retreat is hosted in Priory Hall which used to be operated and inhabited by nuns who taught courses such as, "Sacred Liturgy, Theology and Sanity," "History of Europe," and "Chant." (according to my informational packet.)

Justin reads Ironman
The toddler sent me on my way with one of his buddies, Justin Beaver, (because he's from Canada, eh!) and a nighttime story, Panther's Prey, an Ironman Armored Adventure (A Level 3 Step into Reading book.) Fortunately, instead of tears, wailing, and implores of mommy's swift return the kids all sent me off with kisses, hugs and sweet goodbyes kicking off my writerly getaway with good mojo.

I used to dread summer. Summer meant humidity and hot sun; chafing, heat rash and poison ivy. It also meant 24/7 with my kids - not always something to be appreciated. 

I know. How could she say such a thing? Blasphemy, this kind of admission is.

Which is why I whee'ed with delight when a fellow mom of five and author, Laura Jean Baker of Oshkosh, Wisconsin dared to go there in her brilliant memoir The Motherhood Affidavits which I listened to on Audible on the drive south. (Note: Baker goes on to explore the parallels between her own need to stay doped up on oxytocin, the "love drug" - hence all the babies -  and her public defender husband's potpourri of clients with a similar penchant for the need to get high.)

It's the dirty little secret of being a stay-at-home mom. We love our children - the SAHM's (i.e. Stay at Home Moms) of the world - but there is something as too much of a good thing. Despite how cherub-like they can appear in their sleep or when they give you innocent glances with sweet chocolate eyes -  summer becomes an intense marathon of child-rearing. It's the season of long uphill climbs of whining, listlessness and way too much T-ball (or soccer, or, in Wannaskan country, hockey) with way too much sweating involved.

Moms start out optimistic. Schools out which means we all get to sleep in. There's no rush to pack lunches and no homework to check in the afternoon. Summer is a mirage of free days and carefree timelessness; fairyland dreams of idle days at the beach, spontaneous roadtrips or annual pilgrimages to favorite places like Paul Bunyanland, the Mississippi Headwaters or the family cabin and the promise of three square meals consisting of freezees, watermelon, hot dogs, and s'mores.

In her book, Laura Jean says, "The sunshine season lay un-calendered before me, liquid and lustrous like a gasoline rainbow."

Moms gear up for summer by penciling in the activities: sports camps, bible camps, music camps. Then the family commitments: family reunions, the annual family vacation, dentist appointments and sports physicals. Then the home-improvement projects: decluttering the house, painting the kids' rooms, putting in new flooring and - a summer favorite - holding a garage sale. Weekends get allotted and allocated, scooped up and pecked at by the seagulls of our schedules. Suddenly summer is as busy as the school year. How did this happen?

And those loving, yet insistent and ever-present faces pressed to yours, and the loving, yet sweaty and sticky limbs of your progeny wrapped around your trunk eventually deplete the maternal spirit of abundance. A mom is only human and can't help but to fantasize about dark, quiet places with air conditioning - like the movie theater, a local museum, or that favorite chair at the back of the library farthest from the kids' section, overlooking the post office. (Or in Laura Jean's case, the Playland at McDonald's. But, in that instance, it was an impending flood, she was escaping, and, of course, she took the kids with her, so perhaps not the same thing at all except to claim a moment of solitude to figure out how to handle the emergency while the kids hooted like monkeys as they climbed backwards up the plastic slides.)

Once this heightened sense of kid-induced claustrophobia is realized, it becomes further exacerbated by the constant presence of the children and a mom begins to count down the days until that glorious Tuesday after Labor Day. You know the one.

But we're not there yet. No, it's only mid-July-ish and this kind of desperation doesn't seep in until the end of the month when a mom discovers she's missed the blueberry season again and all that's left are the leathery shrivels of blueberry carcasses because the kids weren't willing to accompany their old ma on an adventure that was sure to involve too much heat, too many mosquitoes, and a possibility of bears.

But for now, I'm still enjoying my kids. I'm in no hurry for September which, instead of promising a new dawn, looms like a dark cloud. Remember, school means getting up early again, getting everyone out the door five minutes extra early because the bus comes way sooner than it's supposed to, and, trust me on this, when the kids have homework, that means you have homework.

So, enjoy summer. It's almost two-thirds over.

Miss Laura Jean and I enjoying summer at the Priory Writers' Retreat (sans kids)

Kids' Corner 

That is right, blog readers and writers, another summer has come to go to St. John Paul ll camp. And it was fun.

See, on Sunday the 14th of July, 2019 at 11:00 Central Time Warroad MN, US, I left on a three hour trip  to JP2 camp. Although the trip was boring, I was happy to see some of my guides from last year at camp, even some of my camper friends were there from last year! Anyway, the first day of camp was fun. The reason why it was fun was because a couple of hours after I was dropped off, it started raining! In fact, it was raining so much that we got a tornado warning in the county we were in! That was all that really happened that day, other than it stopped raining, and we went to church.

The rest of the week went like this: we got up at 7, had breakfast at 8, morning worship at 9 at 10 we go to church, then we have break, at noon, we have lunch, after lunch there was After-Meal-Entertainment, or AME. After that we have rec. Time from 1:15 to 3 and then after that, we listened to testimonies and then we had a break, then dinner, then some kind of indoor/outdoor activity that led us to 9:00 then campfire, then bed. “Lights Out” was at 11 but most cabins stayed up later. (Apparently I sleep-talked about Minecraft.)

If you want to know what was the main game that we played during Rec Time, it was schtick (shtik). It’s a game where you try to get a frisbee into a goal.  Here’s a link for more about the game.

Yeah, that’s really what happened at camp. Adding to that large schedule, I made 2 New Friends! So, I’ll be gone again for 9 days next Saturday because I will be up at Lake Trails for some more blog writing content…(That cliffhanger though)

On This Day

Historic Highlights (credits)

2012 - Aurora shooting
A gunman, James Holmes, opened fire in a movie theater during the premier of the Dark Night Rises in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others.

1976 - Viking I lands on Mars
Part of the Viking program, Viking I became the first American spacecraft to succesfully land on MArs and to complete its mission.

1974 - Turkish invasion of Cyprus
Also known as Cyprus Peace Operation or Operation Attila, the invasion was a response to a coup in Cyprus.

1969 - Apollo 11 lands on the Moon
Carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, who would become the first humans to walk on the Moon, the spacecraft safely landed on the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon.

1969 - Football War ends
A ceasefire came into effect between Honduras and El Salvador after the two countries fought a brief war over immigration El Salvador to Honduras. The hostilities occurred during North American trials of the FIFA World Cup.

Happy Birthday to You!🎶 

1978 - Elliott Yamin, American singer-songwriter

1966 - Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexican politician

1947 - Carlos Santana, Mexican/American singer-songwriter, guitarist

1919 - Edmund Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer, explorer

1304 - Petrarch, Italian scholar, poet

Remembering You

2013 - Helen Thomas, American journalist

2011 - Lucian Freud, English painter

1973 - Bruce Lee, American actor, martial artist

1937 - Guglielmo Marconi, Italian businessman, inventor, developed Marconi's law, Nobel Prize laureate

1923 - Pancho Villa, Mexican general

Don't forget to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon and make it a great Saturday!



  1. I waved as you guys drove by. I need some good engineering around here so stop in next time. I just found an old Apollo 11 coffee cup I thought I had thrown away long ago. I set it in a place of honor.

    1. Hurrah! Drove by yesterday, headed to Natural Way Mills, then TRF. The 15-year-old was driving. Do you welcome surprise visitors?

  2. I think your calculation of the per cent of summer is a bit off, if you count from the Solstice in June; however, from a school-informed viewpoint, it makes sense. Thanks for your updates and for the W'WR's. Always a pleasure. JP Savage


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