I DID IT! I've actually managed to get more than one picture in....of course, I have no idea how to properly caption them in order and so on - but one must run before one falls. No...wait..."fall before one runs"....hmm. Nevermind. First, an explanation of them, and then the rest.
This is our annual journey to Grand Portage, MN where we and about 300 of our closest friends (almost literally) meet for several days of reenacting the gathering of trappers, traders, voyageurs, Native people which occurred every year; while we are there it is mid-August, roughly 1800. Because we all pay attention, there are many "come-real" moments when one can half-close the eyes and it IS August 11, 1801.
Picture #1: Evangeline on Da's coat atop a cassette (canoe box) hoping we won't notice, and take her along; picture #2: sock in lap en route...we're past Duluth!; picture #3: Chez L'Aventure, my elegant lodge a la rendezvous; picture #4: l'interieur (note my fabulous wealth, i.e., scarlet Witney blanket, sturdy trade blanket - knitting baskets, trunks - and although they're not seen, I am proud to own TWO lanterns!; picture #5: ma cuisine, the kitchen - note the fine kettle (filled with wild rice, might I add); last picture, #6: a fine Canoe du Nord, Isle Royale in the distance, and my cherished Lake Superior.
OK, saw the cat, saw the sticks - where are the books? Mais non, mes amies! I am Many Bears Woman of the Ojibway, and I read but little. The Lake and the forests are my books. (Native woman who knits??? -- once, some years ago, I accompanied mon mari when his brigade returned to Trois Rivieres and stayed there the winter. The kind Sisters there taught me to knit and to read some words from their beloved Book. It was an interesting time, and I enjoy the knitting, but was glad to return to my people's village on the bosom of le lac Superieur.
OK - that's enough of that. We find those few days spent in the 18th century restorative, healthy, peaceful and joyous. I recognize that "primitive camping" is not everyone's cup of tea (did I mention that Many Bears really loves me a cup of tea?) but it's our hobby, avocation and delight. We discovered that we do NOT, in fact, have cell phone coverage at Grand Portage - and that was just fine; they did work just a little south at Grand Marais. And lest you wonder about .... some things ...there is a hidden area up near the road populated with several Porta-johns (very clean at all times) and on the other side of the fort a small building with genuine regular Ladies' and Men's with true flushingness and running water. I may have said it before, I do say it often: it is my opinion that, if you live an exemplary life in all ways when you die you find yourself in a small log house in the forests around Grand Portage MN.
Now then, back to NOW. The day after our return home we went to dinner with all the family to celebrate both granddaughter's 11th birthday and youngest son's 36th (her father). Lest I grow complacent or dull, there was another Amazing Moment. Remember when I said, back a ways, that this is the Summer of Returned Grandchildren? At this meal I was introduced to -- my second granddaughter!! This is a very pleasant young lady, 16 years old, who came to the festivities with her young beau, to celebrate her father's 36th birthday. My youngest. I had heard of her a time or two; the first mention was when she was about two years old, and really not much since. Why did I not seek her? Honestly? I couldn't say. She hadn't been involved particularly, and while I understood that Youngest Son had been paying child support, it was just....uhm.........gee.......I don't know. I don't know.
But I HAVE met her now, and she's lovely and merry and pleasant, and I gave her my e-mail address during dinner. As the party broke up and she was heading out with her beau, she gave me a cheerful wave and called "Bye, Grandma!" So we've since been in touch by e-mail, and I have the rare amazing interesting delight of NOW becoming familiar with her, learning all about her, sharing "our side" of the family with her -- can I make up for the previous 16 years? Naw. Can I begin anew and happily add this young person to the "bosom of my family"? Ooooh yeah. She plays lacrosse and is a cheerleader, and we're going to a game Friday to cheer her on. I can hardly wait (I think this is a football-for-which-she'll-be-cheerleading game.) And -- yet one more little twist (take NOTHING for granted in this life, my friends - NOTHING) she goes to school at the same school as my dear newly-returned grandson, N. And yes, I understand that she does know him, and knows that he's her brother.
The bridge in Minneapolis collapsed, there's a war on, some aspects of my extended family are in a Difficult Sorting-Out period, our drought has ended and several counties of Wisconsin (and adjoining states) are severely flooded and acknowledged Disaster Zones.
And we had a capital time in Grand Portage, my sweet infant lad is now a 36-year-old (VERY handsome, if I do say so myself) man, my new teeth are spectacular, Autumn is drawing nigh, we have our health (that sound you hear is me, pounding on the wooden stool), we're anticipating going to a wedding in Colorado in a couple of weeks -- and this world, MY world, has quite a serving of both Better and Worse, as my Dearling agreed to.