It’s been ever so long…

So I started this about a week ago, catching up… and I fear that if I continue to try catching up I shall never get to the present with this blog.  My apologies, for my motivation to blog is lacking these days.
But hey, look! a post! enjoy!

It has been far too long since we’ve chatted. But you see, I get so distracted.
No, I didn’t meet a new boy. Well… not one in particular. That is far from a priority in my life these days.
And yes, I have been traveling… a bit…
I know that to most people, my adventures at raft camp are exciting and might be worth reading about, but I suppose you could say, I’m a bit jaded on it.
That isn’t  to say that I don’t get excited about it. On the contrary, I get excited enough about going on the river every day that I actually get up at 4:30am for 6 weekends to be at work on the Gauley. Believe me, as insane as that sounds, it’s worth it.
So why, you ask, don’t I write about my 6+months at raft camp? Well, mostly because I’m pooped.
By the time I’ve gotten off the river, showered and eaten, watched my video and schmoozed the guests in hopes of a tip (yes, guided adventures warrant a tip… 20% is acceptable… some people just aren’t aware) then driven back to my caravan where my furball awaits her playtime and dinner… once that’s all done, and I sit down… and forget the fact that I didn’t have wi-fi, I’m just done, I pass out the moment I lay down. I don’t even have the energy to read!
Wonder why my winter posts are so long? It’s because in the winter, I’m an insomniac. I’m lazy so I don’t burn off the energy I normally do and can’t sleep as a result.
blah.. okay so explanation done… not that you really needed it.. but if anyone missed me, that where I’ve been. oh, also, I just don’t take as many photos in the summer. I carry my wonderful waterproof camera in my lifejacket (ahem PFD) pocket everyday and either forget I have it, or have to steer the boat when I want to shoot something.  However, I did manage a few photos and I will get you all up to date on my little world. … eventually…

Hmm so I definitely had to go back and look at my own blog to see where my world left off… from your perspective.  Gpa… what a cool guy… I’ve got about 150 neckties that belonged to him that someday soon will become a really neat skirt for me.

Anyhoo… I returned to West By God Virginia and all the fun that entails….
New, Gauley, whitewater walmart… I  finally felt home.
It was the oddest thing, I wanted so badly to go somewhere else and experience working on a different river and totally different setting and once I got there, all I wanted was to come home.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll try it again some time, but last season, it just wasn’t the right time.

But I’m getting ahead of the pictures… lets catch up visually, shall we?

In Iowa, on I-80, the rest stops all have themes celebrating something native to the state.
The one where I stopped for what became an hour or so was dedicated to writers. Each picnic pavillion featured a quote by a famous Iowan. As I approached this one, a baby bird lay still on the walk,  many metres below it’s nest.
I found a beautiful irony to the quote nearest.
“Death is one moment, Life is many of them.” ~Tennessee Williams
Considering my month, this could not have been more perfect.
strange comfort

This moon caused me a detour, much larger than this as it rose, I tried to pull over to catch a shot of it’s orange hue
and found myself exiting the turnpike I had forgotten I was on.  Pain in the butt… by the time I had paid my toll , turned around, waited in line, then gotten back onto the toll road, i had missed the original shot. oh well
a few miles later, I was able to pull off and catch another shot. with slow exposure, there is littel predicting what will be caught as traffic whizzes by.
I like the surprise sometimes. 

So I returned home to attend my Gpa’s memorial and spend some time with family, which I hadn’t had time to do before heading to hunting camp the previous November.
You wouldn’t think of a military memorial as being a comical event… and I suppose the ceremony itself was not. It was very tasteful and succinct. You see, my gpa didn’t want any of that.. no funeral, nothing. But was finally talked into the 10 minute military ceremony, the 21gun salute, etc. Mom helped himn to realize that while it was about him, it wasn’t for him.
Anyways, Ceremony over, with luncheon to follow, the family gathered at the wall where Gpa’s ashes would be interred. The space was at the top of an 8 foot tall wall, the plaque would be set later on but for now the official placing of the ashes would happen. This is where things get silly…  Somehow it was decided that my mother should be the one to place the ashes in the wall…. but of five siblings, she is the second shortest. At 5’2″, she stood on her tippy tippy toes to set the box in place, just at the edge of the slot… repeating over and over to herself under her breath, “Please don’t fall on me, please don’t fall on me.”
Now we’re all standing there, trying our damnedest to not laugh at mom as she’s trying to do this. Suddenly someone giggles and we all start to crack. The gentlemen working at the cemetery, are trying to keep professionally solemn. One walks up after Mom steps away to replace the tile that will cover the  space in the wall. And as he raised his power drill to replace the screws, my father, goofball, goes, “Is that a union made tool?” and we all just lose it. Gpa (of course) was a union man. Poor guy is still trying to be professional, but finally laughs and we all giggle it out for a while before heading down the road for lunch with everyone else who had come to honor Gpa.

By some stroke of luck, while I was home, my twin cousin was in town with her husband and their munchkin, my very precocious goddaughter.  I called them up and was invited along to the Circle the oval parade at Wade Oval in Cleveland.  This, By far, was one of the coolest parades I have ever seen.
All floats totally man-powered, many of them built around wagons and wheel chairs the costumes were phenomenal, the puppets elaborate. Just so so cool! Obviously, I have pics for you…

Some of the super cool puppets paying my goddaughter and the other kids a visit

There was a person inside/underneath this amazing costume puppet , i was too slow to get a shot of the front. 

Some of my favorites of the stilt costumes, the peacock and the mantis per particularly cool
The puppeteers really played up their creatures well.

Shelby loves parades….
well…
she loves the attention she gets in crowds anyway. 
Another fantastic puppet
I loved that you could see the person through this one.
Wade Oval was PACKED.
The crowed enjoying the grand finale with the largest of the man powered  floats

Following the Parade, there was a festival where you could get a closer look at all of the costumes and floats.
The girls and I went for a wander to check it all out and give their moms a little break. 

Not that the rest of my time home wasn’t important… but I didnt take any pictures… besides, you dont want to hear/read all of it. soo… Back to West by God Virginia

Little early spring huckleberry picking at long point…
a bit of climbing is necessary for this particular berry stash, so my only competition is the animals

One of my favorite things about WV
is the number of butterflies and moths you run into daily
Luna Moth on the kitchen tarp at the overnight site
Sup dog!
Shelby and my former manfriend paddling along at Summersville Lake 
The cave dog in her not so natural habitat under an overhang in a kayak  with me at Summersville lake

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