Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day Six: Birds at Base Camp

Saturday morning was really noisy. Base Camp is only about fifty yards away from thick forest; every bird in the area gets up before 5am and shouts his or her itinerary for the day to every other bird around. It was almost deafening, but glorious.

It also rained on us, a sweet sound to sleep by. And in spite of the cover on the tent, being up on the wonderful deck allowed cool breezes to make the humid weather more than bearable.

This deck is a stroke of genius on the part of my brother-in-law. Over what used to be a little used side yard, he put up a raised deck with a railing around it. On the north, east, and southern sides are steps down to the soft grass of the yard; a long covered section stretches nearly to the front of the house so that people can sit outdoors, or barbecue even if it's raining.

The widest part is not only open to the air, but is perfectly situated so that it catches the prevailing westerly winds and the first shade in the afternoon.

Howie loves the deck -- mostly for those stairs that lead down to the lower yard. He's a flatlander dog and just doesn't know about stairs as a means of transportation. However, in spite of how many times he has fallen on the way up, he gets a crazy-dog look in his eyes, races around the yard, and sails up the steps, crashes down them again, and then back up.

My sister-in-law and Bernie set up wireless internet access on our laptops. With RuthAnn on the her recliner, and I on mine, we computed for several hours while I put the Press up.

The sister-in-law worked at a nursing home for many years, and the brother-in-law helped his father while he faded from life with dementia. We talked about my concerns about meeting my mother in the nursing home, and they tried to put my fears to rest. Indeed, that impending meeting had caused me to break out in ugly blistering hive while we were on the road. But what I heard from my relatives did indeed give me heart.

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