Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rantings of a Happy Camper: Part Three--A Stroke of Luck

Rantings of a Happy Camper: the things you think about when you're living in the woods
It's basically just a collection of random thoughts, experiences, and stories that came about during my camping trip.

Part Three: A Stroke of Luck
No thoughtful thoughts or any such thing today; just a little story. The second night camping, we all played Yahtzee. (If you know how to play Yahtzee, skip to the purple star. (*) If not, continue reading. In Yahtzee, you try to get different dice combinations (with 5 dice) for the highest score. The very best thing you can get is "Yahtzee," which is when you get 5 dice that are all the same. For most people, getting Yahtzee happens about half the time (maybe a tad more) they play, but not always. (*) I did fairly well throughout the whole game, but the surprise came when I got Yahtzee. And then, a few turns later, when I got Yahtzee again. And then, a few turns later, when I got Yahztee for a third time. :D I was absolutely Flabbergasted; the odds are so low! (Needless to say, I saved the score sheet.)
The next morning, we played Clue. My cousin rolled first, but didn't get a high enough number to enter a room & make a guess. I rolled next, entered the closest room, (the Ballroom) and picked the first person (Mr. Green) and weapon (candlestick) that came to mind that weren't on my list. Then silence. No one offered to reveal a card with Mr. Green, the ballroom, or the candlestick on it. We checked the envelope, and lo and behold, the guilty person was Mr. Green, and the crime was committed in the ballroom with the candlestick.
What a stroke of luck. =]

I'll hopefully have some nice pictures to post on Friday, as I'll [if all goes as planned] be traveling to the centraleastern (you know, right between northeastern and southeastern ;]) hills of PA, to Hawk Mountain, for this part of migration season. (A very good time for Bald Eagles and Kestrels!) :D

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rantings of a Happy Camper: Part Two--The Rock Dam

Rantings of a Happy Camper: the things you think about when you're living in the woods
It's basically just a collection of random thoughts, experiences, and stories that came about during my camping trip.
Part Two: The Rock Dam
"The Rock Dam" probably doesn't invoke the same flood of memories, ideas, and thoughts for you as it does for me, so I suppose a bit of background is in order. For as long as I can remember, every time we've gone to a family reunion or gone camping, (any summertime event at that site, really) there was a habitual building up of the rock dam. I remember being told at a young age, when I had become decidedly bored with the shallow depth of the creek, that it could be improved by the simple movement of rocks. Every year, even when my father was a child, the rock dam has been built up to create the ideal creek, only to break again sometime between that reunion and the next. But that certainly isn't a complaint, for if something is not broken, there is no need to fix it, and fixing it, in this case, is more than half the fun.
And so it came about, last weekend, as I was placing rocks that had fallen back on the dam, that I thought about this: the time line of this dam--its past, its present, its future. Will this still be a great entertainment in ten years? Twenty? Fifty? No one can say. I felt hopeless for a moment at the thought: We've so much technology already in this age, it's a wonder the dam is still being built; the future can only hold more "improvements" which, I'll admit, may make life easier (or entertainment more accessible from any place), but then what is to become of these simple pleasures? But that isn't to say we're helpless to what the future holds. By example, we can teach. By simply continuing in what we have done, we encourage future generations to do the same. And to think--this is how tradition is born; this is how tradition lives and breathes. We can't guarantee a tradition's survival, but when one does his part in carrying it out, he must simply rely on the future generation's willingness to continue in those ways, to hopefully see the same value in it. It's like planting a seed--you can water it and enjoy it, and you don't know whether in 10 years it will be flourishing or pulled out or ignored, but you do know that there is no great chance of anyone enjoying it if you don't plant it.

So that's it--just a few thought thunk while moving rocks after little sleep in a tent in the woods.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rantings of a Happy Camper: Part One--The Campfire

I'm back and, that's right, it's time for a mini series!
Rantings of a Happy Camper: the things you think about when you're living in the woods
It's basically just a collection of random thoughts, experiences, and stories that came about during my camping trip.
Part One: The Campfire
The Campfire is a wonderful noun--both a place and thing--an item of learning & mystery. I pondered fire and embers and ashes several times during my time camping. It's a most fascinating thing to watch. The flames lick up the branches, and dissolve and appear and leap and stay...until it leaves. And then there are the glowing embers, the blackened stick with coursing veins of fire running through it, radiant seams glowing and darkening and glowing once more like something electronic, but not. And then the bits of fiery ash that float upwards to the sky, like artificial fireflies, until they become swallowed by the waiting darkness.
How could one tire of watching something as complex, as beautiful, as wild and unknown as fire?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Away for the Weekend

I'm going camping--no internet or running water for the weekend. =)
I wanted to upload a particular picture for this post, but I didn't get around to it, and I'm leaving ASAP, but there'll be plenty of pictures when I come back. Seeya then. :]

(And my blog is officially 366 days old today ;])

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Card for Father's Day

Yes, it's from that long ago, haha. I figured I might as well post it. =)
(Please excuse my pictures for now, as I am having problems editing--my computer monitor is dark, so I'm trying not to brighten things too much, but I don't want them too dark, either. :P)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Summer Garden

This year I started a small (but much-loved) flower garden by the back patio. I've got mainly sunflowers and a some California Poppies, plus another flower that we're unsure of.

When some of my California Poppies broke off the plant, they adorned my room in an old jar; I love having flowers, both inside and out the house. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Home Again

A couple weeks ago, I went on my first missions trip with my youth group to New York City. We ran a Vacation Bible School for 30 kids in Queens in a little store-front church. It was a great trip, and I'm soo glad I was able to go. =) I realized I've never quite grasped how culturally diverse NYC is. It was amazing seeing so many different cultural backgrounds in a little room full of kids. (One little girl used to go hiking in the Himalayas with her grandfather when she was younger!) More importantly, though, all these kids were able to hear the gospel. I could go on and on, but I don't have a huge amount of time right now, and I just wanted to post a quick little update. :) Basically between the last post and now, what's taken place is getting ready for my sister's birthday party, my sister's birthday party, getting ready for the missions trip, the missions trip, getting ready for speaking in front of my church about the missions trip (which was nerveracking, haha), and speaking in front of my church about the missions trip, with work & a few other events interspersed in between.