Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Great Outdoors

Just a quick weekend post: I'm typing this underneath the shade tree in our back yard, where Lauren and I are enjoying the benefits of mobile computing, sitting on our Wal-Mart special lounge chairs with a Citronella candle between us, and drinking moon tea (i.e., sun tea, but without the nasty health issues).

It's been a pretty busy but fun weekend so far: Friday night found us at A&G Restaurant for Greek Night, then after that, over to Wal-Mart for some preliminary shopping for the 4th of July camping trip. Since I only have that day off, we're hoping to spend the evening of July 3rd and the 4th out at Mozingo Lake, camping out and hiking (Lauren's planning to bring the stovetop espresso pot so we can have morning coffee), and ultimately, later that evening we'll be able to view the fireworks.

Later that evening found us heading down to the local Orscheln's farm store for their Midnight Madness sale to keep the kitties in cat kibble. We also had to wait out the rainstorm that started right after we arrived, which we were glad for, as Lauren's garden got a good watering, too.

This morning, we continued our morning distance walks; equipped with camelbacks for water, we walked out of town to Gray's Truckstop and Cafe for a light late-morning lunch (with accompanying nap afterward). Now this sounds pretty tame. However, the walk out to Gray's is 4.5 miles, while the walk back was approximately 4 miles, so we walked a total of 8.5 miles with lunch break (which tends to blow local people's minds, because most people simply drive out there). This marks (for me) the longest sustained walk I've done since driving cattle on the family farm, but it pales besides the walk Lauren did on Friday, as she's now up 10.5 miles, which means she did back to back long walks two days in a row.

Later in the afternoon, we went down to the local John Deere dealership, which was the home site of the local Heart of America tractor cruise. We watched the tractors (most of them 1930s to 1960's era models) return from the cruise, which went out to Clyde (near Conception Junction), and back to Maryville, finally parading around the square and then back up 71 Highway to the dealership; the accompanying BBQ afterward was open to the public, and one of Lauren's coworkers' families was involved in organizing, so of course we went. Besides, the donations from the BBQ and cruise activities go toward Camp Quality, a local summer program for kids undergoing cancer treatments, so it was all for a good cause.

Having grown up with a farming background, it was fun explaining to Lauren some of the "what was whats" (i.e., this is a 3-point hitch, this was the kind(s) of tractors we used to drive, this tractor was made by this company before they got bought out by this company, etc.). However, just because I grew up driving them does not mean that I want to OWN one ... as I pointed out to Lauren, where would we put it???

I suspect tomorrow, apart from church and a minimum of laundry and housecleaning, will involve quite a bit of rest and recuperation from today's walk. A few days ago, I looked at the post from back in January with our New Year's resolutions, and it looks like both of us have gotten around to fulfilling those. Lauren's was to walk an average of 3 miles a day (and she's now doing that, with an average of 5), and mine was to lose 5 pounds (which I've done aplenty, having dropped at least 20 so far).