The American in Full

Exercising the democratic privilege of the sovereign franchise for his first time just a week after his eighteenth birthday, Aaron manages to make an American experience even more so by rushing straight from his baseball game to the polling place.

I could be neither more proud nor more grateful.

Saddleback Dawn

It’s about 40F outside of my tent as I make my early morning run for bladder relief, and the sun and sky are putting on a show as the rest of the troop sleeps. I had to stop and gawk, letting nature’s call go temporarily unanswered.

Camping in the desert is a delight for me in all but the hottest guy of summer, and it is moments like this that remind me that I need to get out here more often.

Porta-Casa

If I can’t be on a train, I want to be in a tent.

Camping out with the troop. The youth leaders have got their patrols to sleep, held their quick meeting to plan the next day and turned in for the night. It’s 10pm and totally quiet in the camp. I change my socks, tuck into the bag, zip up, set my alarm for 6:30, put my shoes by the tent door, prop up on my extra sleeping bag, and turn on my Kindle.

A long day, a full belly, a quiet forest, and a warm sleeping bag conspire to shorten my time catching up with Fyodor Dostoevsky, and I’ll be snoring in a few minutes.

 

Post Meeting Snack

Finishing up the Thursday night troop meeting around 8:30, we were both starving and I was way short on calories.

The sidewalks roll up early in our little beach town, so we found ourselves at IHOP. Unperturbed, Aaron ordered up two full entrees: T-bone steak and eggs, and tri-tip ends and eggs. And yes, he ate it all.

He probably ate five times the calories that I did, but I’m 55 and on maintenance and Aaron is 17 and bulking up for baseball season. He can get away with it.

As an aside: there is nothing like bonding over diner food.

Kick-Back Stack

Sunny’s eyes just about came out of her head when the waitress at Kick Back Jack’s set these monster blueberry pancakes down in front of her.

My dear wife had her revenge, though: she made it through about 80% of this massive stack, then jumped back into the car and drove another four hours.

Never underestimate the ability of a thin person to make food just seem to disappear.