Sunday, September 20, 2015
How did we all survive?
I'm not sure just how relaxing it was -- just observing the kids in action from the sidelines can be a tad exhausting. The 3-year-old seems to have only two settings: totally wired or unconscious. Well, not quite totally wired because she doesn't bounce off walls like some preschoolers I've seen. Ziarra's just in constant motion. She's also got a tendency to disappear with no warning. You turn your back and she's vanished, which can be a little disconcerting. Piper seems a little more laid-back. Then again, she can't walk yet. She can, however, crawl remarkably fast and also has a knack for finding the one thing to put in her mouth that she really shouldn't. I hope she has a robust immune system because she taste-tested a lot of rocks and weeds this weekend. Piper would be set in the middle of a blanket on the ground, AnnaMae would turn around to get something from the stroller or out of the diaper bag, and Piper would immediately be a blur of motion heading for the grass and weeds. I am moderately amazed humans managed to survive as a species given the propensity of infants and toddlers to shove every strange object they encounter into their mouths.
It also had me wondering just what my kids got into when my back was turned. What kind of strange stuff did they manage to ingest, how many pounds of cat hair, dead bugs, and miscellaneous gravel samples did the two of them chow down on while I was reaching for the graham crackers or retrieving a toy one of them had thrown? They both made it to adulthood, though, so I guess the rocks they ate didn't hurt them. . . although I do still recall my mother freaking out a little when changing a diaper and seeing the colorful evidence that the kid had somehow managed to get into my seed beads without me realizing it.It had been enough years that she'd forgotten my sisters and I eating crayons.
On a previous visit, Justin, AnnaMae, and the kids test drove the guest cabin. It doesn't have heat, though, and it was a chilly weekend so this time around they stayed in the Guppy. We figured out a way to block access to the cab and found a sheet of OSB to put over the stairwell so Piper was free to roam the floor, what there is of it. The bunk over the cab wasn't usable because the S.O. was in the process of figuring out how water's been getting in, but Ziarra is still too little to sleep up there anyway.
After finding all that rot in the guest cabin when we started pulling paneling in it, we were a little apprehensive about what might get uncovered when the paneling came off the right front corner in the Guppy. This time we got lucky. Water stains, but nothing important actually rotted. As long as Justin was here to help, the S.O. pulled the window -- something we'd been talking about doing, but were a little nervous about with just me to help (I have a tendency to drop things). They put a butyl seal around it, which should help considerably with keeping water on the outside. We did discover there was some actual insulation in the walls of the Guppy (at least in the front end). It must be all of a 1/4-inch thick -- tokenism at its finest. It would have an R value of what? 2 maybe? Perhaps 3? In any case, with the window back in place and the various leaks sealed, we can continue prepping the Guppy for its next road trip. (The chains shown in the photo are used to hang the television when we're parked somewhere.)
By next summer, the little barracudas will be big enough that in some ways they won't be quite as much work. Piper will be walking and she won't be quite as interested in eating gravel. On the other hand, with both of them mobile, getting some tracking collars like bear hunters put on their hounds might not be a bad idea.
The Guppy's next road trip will be to Missouri and back to Montauk State Park for the month of October. The S.O. and I had talked about just continuing on from there, doing some wandering around the southern U.S. and maybe volunteering at a federal site or two in Texas or Arizona, but changed our mind. After the past couple of months of dealing with the museum siding project, we realized some time doing close to absolutely nothing would be nice. No schedules, no obligations, just watch it snow and plan for next summer's Alaska trip.