One of THOSE days

     If everyday was like today I’d be living in heaven on Earth. This was the most perfect a day can get. It was one of those rugged, down and dirty, sweat like crazy, sun-kissed faces, wet in wild water all out days where my son and I laughed, argued, rowed and hiked all day long with our baby girl Shelby (who fell in the lake). It was funny too. She got too close to the edge of the kayak, all “I’m the King of the Wuuuurrld!!” like and we must have turned too quickly or rocked too hard and she fell in. Smart dog swam right for the nearest bank. I suspect she had her eyes on it all along as she’s really not a sea-dog kinda canine. She never has been. But she’s done so well with us lately. Kayaking in Long Island sound twice over the weekend and now, up to our Stay-cation getaway, Kent, CT in the river that runs through Bull Bridge hiking trails. It’s actually part of the Appalachian Trail. Doug wants to hike the full trail someday. I told him to call his father. The ENTIRE Appalachian Trail is NOT my kind of thing, but this quiet little CT part of it is just perfect for me. We didn’t actually hike very far. As soon as we got to the lake, or river basin (I’m not sure what it is, all I know is it’s located right above the falls which we went in the opposite direction of!) I became obsessed with taking down the kayak and having at it. We’d actually not planned on using the kayak today but to ignore the perfect weather, clear blue sky, perfectly warm, soft breeze kind of day presented to us with a clear and calm water load in front of us, oh no, it was an opportunity not to be passed up. Driving up to Kent is lovely. A calm always comes over me on the way up. It’s getting away from everything I have to be and being free to be everything I am. I love nature and so much of it is available in Kent. The birds are fantastic. It was a water foul kind of day. All kinds of ducks nesting, flying or swimming, lovely cranes with their ballerina necks tucked in a perfect curve beneath their angel wings, and of course, certainly NOT to be forgotten, our friendly goose friend who swam up solo while we were still pondering the kayaking temptation as if to siren-call us into the water. It certainly worked for Shelby. She can’t help it. She’s just breed that way; almost launched herself off the bank into the water to get a piece of that smart-ass goose. He was a special visitor. I looked up his the goose Totem and this is what I read:

Imprinting Your Life Path
A Goose totem reflects a stimulation of childhood thrills
and the belief in stories and legends.
The stories we loved as children often reflect our life quest.
Think about the stories that affected you the most
and see what in them you took into your adult life.
The Goose also helps in communication, especially with the written word.
It is also a symbol of fertility and marital fidelity.
Goose people have an innate belief that there is just one special person for each one.
Since Geese are vegetarians, those with a Goose totem should always
incorporate plenty of vegetables into their diet.
The Goose was a sacred bird in the Roman temples of Juno;
associated with the North Wind in Greek Mythology;
and the totem for the Winter Solstice for the Native Americans.
Their honking call speaks of the fulfilled promises that great quests bring.

I reference this site on totems often because I always feel nature is trying to tell me something. I find it quit magnificent in it’s simplicity and straight forwardness. Here is the link:

Please enjoy it as much as I do.
As you can read, it was a very special totem for me. To speak of writing and childhood stories, to make me think of what they meant to me and apply it to my potential in the future, it’s as if this bird was sent solo, just for me. I was happy for his message. I’m always grateful for input from the spirits, from the universe. If you listen, you’ll hear it’s always trying to have a conversation with you. No. Not in a schizophrenic kind of way. It’s a whole lot more subtle and well, friendlier then that. All you have to do is be open and it will speak. You will hear. I felt that way all day today. As if I was in the exact spot I needed to be. As if I wasn’t supposed to be anywhere else. I had all I needed with my son, my Shelby, our kayak and a cooler of water. Gotta have the water cooler. Oh sure, we irritated the crap out of each other. Douglas’s oppositional ass will try the patience of a Buddhist monk. You know it’s so bad sometimes that he’ll say no to eating when he’s hungry just to disagree with something I’ve suggested. I don’t know where he gets it. Must be from his grandmother πŸ˜‰ We spat and spit and busted each others balls, I almost threw down my ore and screamed at him at one point. What good is a day without a little family irritation. Shelby was irritating as hell too. She can’t hear anymore so while we’re on the trail carrying the kayak (because the state has not opened the gate to the unloading zone yet- I guess their schedule wasn’t designed for this unseasonably warm spring) and she follows her nose, the one sense that is still fully intact on her adorable 13 year old body, and strays which ever way she wants while we’re lugging a two seater kayak up a rocky hill. Damn it was irritating. Douglas almost blasted me for walking too far ahead and for yelling some over annoyed comment about her being eaten by a coyote if she didn’t catch up with us. Oh yeah- Mommy was bad-ass today. I was sick of the whining, the shaking, the mommy-do everything crap. I just kept walking and said “keep up or be left behind”. God I’m rough. Doug took his revenge in the kayak by relaxing for most of the ride. I paddled. I loved it though. I loved every keep on going straight through the irritating, infuriating, annoying and oh so real-life moments of spending time with my favorite two. Yeah. And then came diner. After our trek back to the car through the woods with a wet and muddy kayak dragging behind us (because we were too exhausted to carry it the way we had before), our socks filled with the mud from the mushy bank we had to step on to climb ashore, we got to go to a place I haven’t been to in about three years, since Douglas and I last went skiing up at Mohawk Mountain- a near by slope, great for beginners. We dined at The CookHouse in New Milford, CT 

a fair mid-stop between where we’d been kayaking and home. God love it The CookHouse has the BEST damn BBQ EVER!!!! THE BEST! I do not say that lightly for I am a BBQ snob, but this place has a smoke house that’s been blessed by the Gods. Everything is DELECTABLE. From chilly IBC root beer out of the bottle to the corn poppers for appetizers- an Oh SOOO crispy little delicacy in the way of fried mac n’ cheese bites only OH SOOO much better. They are made from sweet creamed corn that’s been seasoned with just a hint of kick and covered in rich, crispy batter- served pipping hot with a cream dipping sauce. Douglas was in love. I was impressed! He got to eat the last one. Why not right? I had to save room for dessert. Our main courses came straight from the smoke house with a crispy skinned, gently seasoned half chicken for me with a side of the BEST Cole-slaw and OUT OF THIS WORLD WHY DO I LIKE THESE SO MUCH, HOW CAN BAKED BEANS TASTE SO DAMN GOOD baked beans on the side. Doug ordered the classic baby back ribs and though I expected to enjoy them, as I do baby back ribs in general, I did not expect to fall in love the way I did. But they had me at hello. I had to chase the meat onto my plate as it slide right off the bone. I’m sure rib experts would say this was faulty rib making but not to us it wasn’t. These were perfect, juicy and tender with the perfect classic wet- rib sauce throwing the perfect amount of sweet and spice across the palette. He ordered both the home made-kettle cooked potato chips and the french fries which I thought was over kill but hey, it was his meal. The fries are just fine, with a Burger King french fry like texture, crispy, but O.M.G those chips! They were heavenly. With just the lightest hint of BBQ seasoning, as if kissed by the BBQ fairy and evenly sprinkled by a lovely little breeze. They were perfect. We carried ourselves out, after finishing with the ubber indulgent but comfort food favorite the CookHouse Brownie Sundae, wobbling, like two pregnant women about to give birth. I saved chicken for Shelby who was shivering in the car. I didn’t feel bad for her. Had she not done a swan-dive over board the little bitch wouldn’t have gotten all wet. LOL. Gosh that was nasty. But she is a bitch!!! I can call her that! πŸ˜‰ After all, look at her mother ;).
The drive home was filled with non-oppositional conversation, laughter as Shelby forgot to shake while lapping up the chicken we’d saved for her, and warm feelings. We were all so happy. Upon arriving home I walked into the most pleasant feeling I’ve ever experience through out my whole life. It’s that lovely feeling of being utterly exhausted physically but replenished emotionally. I was drained and full at the same time, in all the best ways. Now I’m typing to you while watching Modern Family on Hulu knowing that my sleep tonight will be full and peaceful and utterly complete. The breeze is cozy and soft, the night is cool and my soul is fully happy. It doesn’t get better then this. Call me one day, you know after I win my Oscar, and ask me, okay Michelle, now, this is better right? And you know what I’ll say- nope. It’s just the same. Perfect, complete. All the struggle, all the stress washed away physically so the soul can be clean and full. Perfect way to exist. Perfect way to be. Today was one of THOSE days and I’m Oh So Grateful for it.

It’s in her blood

Kent, CT at Bulls Bridge

This is how she ended up falling in


Heaven too


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