Pollyanna and the Drippy, Rainy, Foggy Memorial Day

Hey there, Anna-Liza here. And you knew that, of course, because Sunny Orange County never has a Drippy Rainy Foggy day. Ever.

Oh, just as an update, the Kitteh of Extreme Cuteness finally has a name.      On the short list were Darth Meow, Ninja Kitty, Storm, Fang, and Nuisance. The kids finally agreed on one that Darlin’ K and I can live with, and she will from this day forward be known as “Sparkle”. Moxie and Sparkle. Sounds like a burlesque act. Anyway, back to the main topic …

The weekend itself was pretty nice, but this was the first time in years, maybe even more than a decade, that I didn’t go to the Boulder Creek Festival. It’s fun, the kids like it, and there’s a lot to do and see. Of course, it’s aggravating trying to keep up with small kids in the crowds, but it’s still fun. This year, I totally forgot about it. So did Darlin’ K. Pffffffft! Right out of our little heads.

I did go one year when it rained a lot and Boulder Creek was overflowing its sandbagged banks. That was a bit tedious, squarshing through the mud. The flooding was so bad they couldn’t hold the Rubber Duck Race. Tragic, really.

And then there was the time (hey, I said I’d tell more stories!) that I went with Darlin’ K and I was severely pregnant with Mr. R. Jay, a fire-performing friend, was putting together a dance performance and had asked Darlin’ K if he would be willing to participate. This was the night before the performance, mind, but Jay is known for his improvisational approach to such things, and it sounded fun, and we were planning on going to the Festival the day of the performance anyway, so K said “Sure!”

20 minutes before it was to start, we showed up at the performance tent–K in his basic black firespinning costume and me in my pregnant-lady overall shorts that made me look like a blue pumpkin on sticks. (That year was sunny and hot.) And Jay said, “Oh, I meant for both of you to be in it!” “It” turned out to be a sort of primitive-creation-myth dance with drumming and fire. I wasn’t exactly dressed for the part of generic fertility goddess. I did have extremely long hair (down past my butt), but the rest of what I had on was distinctly modern. So we improvised. I ended up trotting out on the stage in one large scarf (aroung my hips), one medium-sized scarf (covering my boobage), and a little scarf (around my head. But not my face). I was barefoot and carrying before me a small stone egg.

I think the egg was really overkill. My belly was unmistakably that of a very pregnant woman, and there it was, naked, in front of God and everybody. But Jay wanted the egg.

So I danced around holding the egg up in the air and tried not to run into anything on fire. And Darlin’ K, suitably made up as — well, he might have been a fertility god, or maybe a fire god, can’t really remember–anyway, he’s good at what he does and he has very long arms. So he spun fire literally (and I am indeed using that word correctly) around me–he stood behind me (shielding my hair nicely) and spun the fire poi in front of me at one point. Completely missed me, which is a good thing, because I would have been pissed if he’d caught my belly on fire.

The audience loved it. Apparently, I looked like I knew exactly what I was doing and furthermore was doing it on purpose. And fire, even in daytime, tends to draw spectators. It was pretty fun, in the end. If I ever find any pictures, I’ll try to find a way to post them.

Anyway, back to this year’s Memorial Day.

Quite a different proposition. The forecast was highs in the mid-50s and a 70% chance of rain. Once we got to the cabin, at 8,200 feet, we were pretty much inside the clouds. This impressed the kids no end. I don’t think it stopped raining the whole time we were there. The in-laws had gone up the day before, and had seen a bear in the late afternoon. We are thinking (or perhaps hoping) that it’s the same bear everyone else has seen around, and the cabin’s not the center of a large bear population. Anyway, it’s a black bear and it hasn’t given any trouble. Except the time we left some beer and a box of wine (what?) in the pond and the bear drank it all. So far, when it has seen people, it has just gone away. Or staggered, as the case might be.

K’s brother videotaped the bear from the cabin, and there is a part where my in-laws’ little dog ran after the bear, barking its fool head off. Yeah, not bright. But the really remarkable thing was watching my mother-in-law run after the dog, grab it (maybe 30 feet away from the bear), and then turn her back on the bear and walk (quickly) away. The bear was pretty much ignoring the dog, but it did turn and look at MIL with a sort of puzzled look on its face. Okay, maybe I’m imagining the puzzled look. But it did turn and look at her. 

Yeah, I know, people get panicky and she loves her dog. I could see myself doing something similar if it were one of my kids (but not exactly–I’d want to keep my eyes on the bear)–except that I seriously doubt any of my kids would run out and bark at a bear. But still. I think the dog would have run if the bear had come after it, and would have had a decent chance of getting away. Luckily for my mother-in-law (and the bear), the bear just wasn’t interested. Or maybe it was just full.

Still, there were no bears visible on Monday. There weren’t even very many trees visible, the fog was so thick.

We stayed in the cabin and talked and knit by the wood stove. Luckily, I took my secret gift project with me–the knitting at this point is just stockinette and garter, and I don’t even have to count. It was too dim to work on Pomatomus. The kids played. The guys went out and took pictures and measurements for a summer project (repairing some roof leaks). The Kitteh of Extreme Tubbiness had woken me up at 4:30 a.m., so after lunch (burgers grilled in the rain) I went to take a nap. You know that state when you’re awake enough to hear what’s going on around you, but you’re not entirely awake yet? After a while, I came to that state and could hear the in-laws playing Uno with the kids. They were in teams, Mr. B with MIL and Mr. R with FIL, and my brother-in-law and K’s grandmother playing on their own. The game ended with Mr. R and FIL winning, and Mr. B (age 4) said very distinctly, “Oh, damn it!”

I’d never heard him come out with that particular phrase before, although he would be familiar with it both from me and his dad. And we did have problems with a little F-word epidemic at his preschool a few months ago. But this was new, and of course he had to come out with it in front of his grandparents and his great-grandmother! I was pretty thankful that they just laughed and MIL said “I don’t think you’re allowed to say that. Say ‘Oh, shoot!’ instead.” He liked “Oh, shoot” better than “damn it”, apparently, and they proceeded to play another game.

But I decided I wasn’t quite ready to wake up yet. Whatever else one may say about a Drippy, Rainy, Foggy day, it’s excellent sleeping weather.

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