Sunday, July 19, 2015

A little Deer

Things at the bakery have been going pretty well.  The boys and I managed to scrub every wall in the joint, and the ceilings too.  The only room left is the oven room, and we don't have a whole lot of that left, although I imagine it will take another day or two to eradicate all that grossness.
Our business license came through at the end of last week, we are now all legal to open a bank account and start paying for stuff like our Point of Sale system and our accountant, and the ten dozen other things we have to get in place before we can get to the business of making bread and pizza.

Mark took me to the mountains this weekend to de-stress and regenerate my energy.  He'd never been camping, and I wanted to show him how much fun it could be.  I packed up all the camping gear and we loaded it into his little car and set off for Camp Horseshoe.  We stopped at a couple of farm markets and just generally enjoyed the drive.  Then, about 10 minutes away from the campground, something kind of awful happened.

Route 219 is narrow and curvy, Mark was driving extra carefully.  One side of the road was wooded and the other side was a steep drop off down the mountain.  A little faun, tiny and spotted, just bounded right out in front of the car.  I think it was as close as I have ever been to one of those baby deer.  It only took a fraction of a second, and there was nothing anyone could do to prevent the impact.  We ran over it.  My hands came up over my eyes instinctively, but I wasn't fast enough and I saw the poor thing get knocked over by the bumper.  When I pulled my hands away from my eyes the first thing I saw was a big cluster of bright red bee balm flowers on the side of the road.  I don't know what would have happened if I had been driving, but I was thankful that Mark kept us safe and didn't swerve over the hill.  It was awful.  He didn't see it in the rearview mirror, and when we went back we couldn't find it anywhere, so a tiny part of me still holds out hope that it was just stunned.  I didn't feel any sickening bumps as we drove over it, and maybe it escaped being crushed by the tires.  But we were going about forty miles an hour and it was only just as tall as the bumper of the car... It filled us both with sadness.

The campground was just like I remembered it, we camped in the site where my family had camped in years past, the one with a tree branch hanging out over the creek where I hang my SkyChair.  There were kids playing in the water, splashing and hollering.  I remembered watching the girls play there in years past.  Instead of feeling sweet poignancy, I just felt very sad.  The last time we'd camped there was for our anniversary - the last anniversary before I left my marriage.  I remembered how frustrated I'd been with our lives that year, and what a disappointment the trip had been in spite of the fact that I tried so hard to make it ok in my head.  I was overcome with sadness, I missed my family.  It was awful for me, it was awful for Mark too I think.  I wonder if I would have experienced those remembrances differently if my heart hadn't been filled up with sadness over the little deer.

Supper was pleasant, the campfire was pleasant (we said a benediction of love for the faun), falling asleep to the sound of the creek whickering over the rocks was pleasant.  Even the Thunderstorm that woke us in the middle of the night wasn't that bad, but the next morning in a sodden camp wasn't that much fun.  The tent leaked, all our clothes were wet, the chairs and hammock and everything was soaked.  I told him if we just left it all out and went to town it would be dry by the time we came back, but after a night on an air mattress that went flat, he wasn't sure he wanted to spend another night.  I wasn't sure I wanted to either, so we packed all the sopping gear into the car and bid adieu to the woods.

Thomas is a fun town to spend a day in.  We ate lunch at the Purple Fiddle and listened to a polka band play to a house packed with somebody's family reunion.  We wandered through the shops and got coffee at Tip Top.  We drove up to Blackwater Falls.  They have a little petting zoo there and we paid four dollars each to go into their tiny barn and feed kibble to the miniature pony, the Jerusalem donkey, two alpacas, a lonely little sheep, and a frisky mother goat and her kid.  They had bunnies and ducks and chickens too, and two lazy pigs who slept so still I thought they might be dead.  Mark wanted to get a room at the lodge, but there weren't any to be had on a saturday night, and none at Canaan Valley either.  So we drove home into the sunset.  We talked about how we both wished we were happier.  Being a grownup is hard, whether you're forty-one or fifty-eight.  Sigh.

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