Saturday, January 17, 2015

Explorations and The Hard Place

We bought our house at the lake for this very be closer to Lidia and Sawyer. We live for days like these. From the time they arrive on Fridays after school until they have to go home Sunday evening, they are in adventure and exploration mode. And Cliff is their captain.

Now, to be able to explore you have to have certain gear. Christmas gifts for Lidia and Sawyer (also known as L&S) this Christmas included hiking boots, warm clothing, gloves, toboggans and camping dishes and utensils. Their new camp in the woods at the lake is partially on a huge rock. Their camp's name is The Hard Place. Between a rock and a hard place....get it. Ha! They have a fire pit and a grill to sit on top so they can cook. The usual camp meals are hot dogs and things like that unless Cliff has a stash of squirrel or venison in the freezer.  Last weekend, camp fare was squirrel. My job was to boil the squirrel until tender and then they would cook it over the fire to give it that smoky campfire taste. But first, they had some exploring to do.

Saturday, it was misting rain and so cold that L&S wore their camouflage coveralls over clothes to keep warm. They stayed outside all day long with Cliff, exploring the area around the lake.

During the winter the water level in the lake is lowered so residents can do maintenance on their retaining walls and docks, etc. The lower water level gave them the opportunity to discover hidden treasures.

Cliff said, "Found a perfectly good chair left after lake level down three feet".
Artifacts recovered - musselobster, moonshine jug spout, 8th century candle,
Native American headpiece and ancient fossilized driftwood.

Sawyer eating mud ice....because I'm pretty sure Bear Grylls does.
Their exploration wasn't limited to the shore line, they went deep into the woods, too.
Into the woods.

Erecting a mound of stones as a marker, also known as a cairn.

Lidia and Sawyer's signature cairn at Mt. Vegroovious..
I can't stop laughing at this video. They were obviously thirsty at the end of their day. They look like the babies I remember sucking their bottles. 

Sunday, back at The Hard Place, Cliff prepared the fire for cooking their 'end of adventure' meal. Squirrel. I imagine that one day Cliff will also teach them to hunt squirrels.
Lidia with misty rain in her hair and blue nails sitting at The Hard Place eating squirrel.
No doubt, L&S are going to be the most outdoors savvy kids by the time their Papi gets through with them. And, Lidia and Sawyer love it. They don't miss television or video games. They never complain about being bored. Their imaginations run free. Oh the memories and stories they're going to be able to tell their kids one day. Adventures and explorations of a lifetime! 
Until the next expedition,



  1. oh Laurie what a wonderful legacy you are giving those two sweeties. I remember growing up eating squirrel with my uncle after he went hunting in the cemetery next to their farm. He was a transplant from Kentucky and you are squirrel if you were from we couldn't imagine that but we loved him and so it goes

    1. Thank you CatieAn. My husband grew up hunting squirrel with his father. They ate it and loved it. I don't care for it myself, but I will cook it for my husband.

  2. Laurie, I loved your post and the bits of video you shared. Times spent like this with the grandchildren are worth everything. How cute that the kids have given those special places their own unique names! They will always remember the "Hard Place" and "Cairn" and you and Cliff will too.

    My daddy took me squirrel hunting in woods near our house when I was about Lidia's age, I'll remember that day always, not because we bagged a bunch of squirrels(only a few) but because of the time I spent with the man I admired more than anyone else on the planet. We also had to skin those squirrels when we got back home and I helped with that too!

    I noticed Lidia's blue nails as soon as I saw the picture of her eating the squirrel. My 3 grand-daughters love their blue(and other color)nails too! Now that I think of it, so do their mothers!

    I hope you, Cliff, Lidia and Sawyer will be blessed with many, many more happy and carefree days like these!

    1. Thank you, Lynn. We're all about making those memories.

  3. What a great adventure for the kids! You eat squirrel? But they are such adorable creatures... ok, so are rabbits and we eat them. Is this the same kind we see in the parks? I'm a little curious as I've never heard of it.

    1. Hey Sara. Yes, these squirrels are the same as you see in parks. I don't eat them, but my husband and grandchildren do. Actually, a lot of people around here do. Squirrel hunting is one of Cliff's favorite pastimes.