Even though I knew this year wouldn't be the most hard-core we've ever camped, since Iris is so young, I am disappointed at how long the snow has kept us from the beach and tundra. But it's also given me time to take care of projects in the house (like dealing with the fact that I pretty much stuffed everything extraneous in all the closets all year while I was working and taking care of lil' girls), and just being out of work and not having a set schedule has been so relaxing and such a relief that I've just been enjoying life -- and being thankful for the time we CAN get outside. We have our whole lives for hard core camping; we can be laid-back, take each day as it comes, and enjoy our family time no matter where it happens. The beach on June 3:
That said, we had a gorgeous beach evening this week. For Hooper Bay, it was an amazing mix of conditions: in the 50's and sunny (it's amazing how balmy that feels after weeks of 32 degrees and sleet), no wind (that never happens!), and yet still too early for mosquitos. It was Iris's first time on the beach on the outside of my body, and her dad named her after the ocean for her Yup'ik name, so he set her up on his knee and talked to her about her namesake. We watched 4 spotted seals diving and popping up very near to shore, hunting herring. Neat!
Esther and cousin Jasmine, Fancy and Draco, cavorted over the beach and dunes, squealing and woofing in delight, respectively. Fun, fun. Iris tried to figure out if she likes crawling over tundra:Hopefully this week the weather gets warmer (though Yup'ik tradtion says not to think about it, hope for it, expect it, or count on it, because that kind of arrogance, thinking that we have any sort of control over the natural world with our hopes and expectations, will NOT be rewarded. So I'm carefully stating that it would be great if the weather got nicer (that's why Yup'ik people speak conditionally about just about everything ("IF he comes," "IF I go," etc) and then I'm going to forget it and just see what happens). And if the weather decides to be cold and rainy for the next three weeks till we start our summer travels, my closets sure will be organized, and that will be refreshing and fulfilling too. :)