Another amazing weekend at The Haven.
This was our most ambitious weekend yet in terms of what we wanted to accomplish, so it felt super-extra good to get it all done. We posted no trespassing signs around the entire perimeter of our property. We cut down not one, not two, but three trees and got them all cut up and stacked for firewood. We planted not one, not two, but something like twenty raspberry plants. We pruned and opened up the area around not one, not two, but at least a dozen blueberry plants. And all of this on top of a million other little things, like chopping branches and scything ferns to make paths, preparing food, washing dishes, watching the kids, etc.
I truly, deeply, from the bottom of my heart send a special thanks out to everyone who helped us accomplish so much. I honestly thought that we had planned way too much work for one weekend, but it didn’t feel like we did nothing but work (at least not to me). Every time we work on the land, it feels a little bit more like it’s really mine.
Actually having so many people up there (8 this time, counting the kids, plus a large dog) was actually pretty fun. It was almost crowded in the clearing, with 4 full sized tents, a screen tent, the fire ring and the new “slide platform”. It almost felt like a little city or something. We actually had a half-way respectable ring of people around the fire, reunion style.
It didn’t go off without incident, however.
On Friday, I took the kids up to The Haven by myself, while Nathan and Amanda swung through and picked up Sara after work. By the time everything worked out (including digging up all the raspberry cuttings, thanks again guys!), Sara didn’t end up getting up there until about 1:30 a.m., long after the kids and I were asleep. This meant that she wasn’t around to help get the kids into bed, which is why I was hiking in the woods to the bathroom tree in the dark, alone with two kids.
The clearing was pretty bright yet, but as soon as you cross that threshold into the trees, night crashes down hard. Add to that all the night sounds coming out around you, and the kids were clinging to my legs like they were the last two lifeboats on the Titanic. I tried to be extra cheerful to set a good example, but oh my god you guys the woods are so creepy at night! So I tried to act like there was nothing to be worried about, and concentrated on trying not to trip as I dragged two small children through the woods.
I was sort of in a hurry to get out of there, so of course Oliver had to do some business. Not only does that take a long time, but it also necessitated digging a hole to bury the evidence. Perhaps it was my raw brute strength, or perhaps it was the fact that my mind was preoccupied wondering if that was a pair of lightning bugs or possibly Sasquatch eye-shine, but whatever the reason I somehow managed to stomp down on the shovel hard enough to rip the handle out of my hands and lever it full speed into the side of my face.
The last thing I saw was my glasses hurtling off into the forest.
The pain was staggering and disorienting. It felt like I had just been kicked directly in the side of the head. When I finally recovered from that, I realized that I *could not see a thing*. Without my glasses my vision is practically non-existent to begin with, but when you combine that with the darkness of the forest at night, I was not-literally as blind as a bat (because a bat can see at night, and I didn’t have echolocation).
I knew which direction I had last seen my glasses traveling, but I was afraid to even walk in that direction lest I step on my glasses and crush them. I couldn’t even see my own feet. Trying (and failing) to keep the panic out of my voice I said, “Evie and Ollie, I need you to come over here and help me, right away.” Ollie immediately grabbed the shovel and said, “I’ll help you!” so I let him struggle with that so he would stay out of our way.
“Evie, I lost my glasses and I can’t see anything. I need you to find them for me. Is it okay for me to take a step?”
Luckily, Evie leapt to the challenge admirably. Luckily for us, the inside of my glasses are light blue, so that showed up against the gathering gloom a little better than the dark blue exterior. We quickly found my glasses, and I was able to finish digging the hole and get out of those cursed woods with only a large red mark on the side of my head to show for it.
And other than that, we all had a great time…