03 September 2013

Summer's Dying Gasps...

Taking advantage of having Monday off, Matt and my father ran down to Paxson Sunday morning for the first two days of moose season. They didn't get anything, but saw a good deal of wildlife (a flock of swans, pairs of loons, three caribou swimming across the lake, several cow moose with calves...) and got a break from the crazy day-to-day at home.

I'm glad Matt went. Getting out of town and taking a break is so important, especially when you spend nine hours every day in a stressful work environment. It was good for him, and I was happy to be able to give him that time.

It's hard being the one to stay behind, though, with the sad toddler who doesn't understand why he can't find Daddy when he wants his hug goodnight, who says "again!" after hearing the same story over and over, who cries and cries and can't nurse because he's teething and his mouth hurts too much. We got through it, of course, and everything was fine; it's just sad to go so long without my husband. I'm so blessed that he's stopped doing much traveling for work anymore, and I forget to be grateful until we go a night without him.

Holding down the home front, Little Bear and I had a fairly quiet two days; we spent an hour or two with my mom and siblings after the men left Sunday, then brought Little Bear home for a nap. We read stories and played together all afternoon and evening until he was too tired to keep his eyes open, and after a bit of "Daddy is missing" trauma, he went to sleep well. It was odd to be lying in bed next to the snoring child and remember pre-baby trips when Matt would be gone as many as ten days at a time, and I would stay up late alone watching movies or baking or mending... and now I go to bed early with the little one and just lie awake thinking for hours.

Monday morning we woke up to rain, scrubbing our tentative picnic plans. After a morning nap we ran out to meet my mom and siblings for noon Mass, but somehow, between Labor Day and moose season, no priest showed up. A deacon who was there agreed to do a communion service, but I opted not to stay; Little Bear was being loud and wild, and I didn't need to put myself through trying to control him for not-Mass. One of my sisters came with me to entertain him in the car, and we headed for the thrift store's 50% off sale.

Poor Little Bear and my youngest brother sulked together over being dragged slowly through the thrift shop by a bunch of girls (the rest of them joined us shortly after we got there, since we got tangled up in the labor unions' parade that someone somehow thought was a good idea to schedule on one of the busiest streets in town over the noon hour.) Despite it being a crazy sale day, the dressing room line was moving quickly and we all got out of the store in not too much over an hour with some treasures. I'm particularly happy with the silk-cashmere blend sweater I found for $2.50!

Little Bear was so happy to see his daddy that evening, Matt could not get him to let go of him so that he could clean his gear... so there's a hunting rifle sitting on our kitchen table, waiting for him to take care of when he gets home tonight! Not quite as exciting as my mother's story of finding a moose hindquarter in the shower as a newlywed, but still an unexpected surprise this morning. Little Bear even spent most of the night curled up over next to Matt instead of me; Matt says he was just stealing his pillow, but we know he was really making sure his daddy didn't disappear again.

It is good to have them back safely, even without meat. I'm sure they will be going out again the next chance they get, though, because both families' freezers are getting pretty low and fall is the season to stock up for winter--I'm hoping to get out soon and do my part, picking lingonberries (low-bush cranberries) to freeze so that we'll have fruit for jam and baking come midwinter.

So long, long weekend... thanks for the reminder that summer is officially behind us. Winter, here we come.

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