Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Childhood and Adult Musings

Frazzled Marc as a Babe 1970 😊

Years ago when my Mother was alive, she once told me of two miscarriages that she had early in her life. At least one was before my sister. Maybe both were, I don't remember her specifically telling me when they occurred. I don't even remember how we got on the sad subject but her telling me of those miscarriages stuck with me. I sometimes think about those children which she had lost. Those brothers or sisters which did not make it. I could have had other biological siblings besides Adam or Sheryl.

I do remember the sadness in her eyes and face as she thought about them. She was of course so thankful for the children she had but I could sense her mind wandering as we talked about it, perhaps thinking about what could've been.

It is kind of an odd thing to ponder I guess. For if they had not passed away during the pregnancy, I may not have been conceived at all. In some weird twist of fate, I guess I have them to be thankful for, those unnamed children which had come before me. Their life and very early death paved the way for Sheryl, Adam and Marc's existence.

Another interesting thing which my Mother had told me was that I was almost named Alex. It is kind of unsettling as obviously my entire identity is intertwined with the name Marc … with a "C". Someone told me once that they could see me as an Alex. I don't know, 48 years as Marc has taken a hold of my psyche! Marc is frazzled, an Alex seems to put together. Ha-ha!

Mom had also stated that I when I was born into this world, I was very loud and cried immediately. Well THAT doesn't surprise me! I'm still loud but I only cry now when I watch those darn ASCPA commercials with the abused dogs and cats.

I often think about who I am and my purpose here on this planet. I try to give and have joy in my life. I also try to experience more as I get older. I find that I have less connection to all of the items I have collected in my life. I've started giving things away to those who I think will enjoy them. Sure, I still love my nic-nacs, but I am less likely to hold onto them anymore or add to the collection of dust-collectors which I surround myself with. "Experiences" are now becoming much more important to me.

One of the latest trends which is if I am not mistaken, a Japanese trend promoted by the author and expert organizer Marie Kondo, is to declutter your home and life by taken an object, looking at it and questioning to yourself, "Does this bring me joy?" If it does, you keep it. If it does not, then it gets tossed or donated.

I have begun to do that with my nic-nacs. If I don't have joy from them, I pass them on. Hopefully someone else will feel the joy that they once brought me. This is an excellent way to regain control of your life and living space while focusing on enjoying the experiences in life.

As one gets older, they begin to hopefully look at the bigger picture of it all: what is meaningful and what is not worth the trouble. This can refer to experiences, items, or even relationships with people. Where I used to sometimes revel in competition or confrontation, I take that step back, weigh my options and more often than not, take a pass. It just isn't worth my aggravation.

Ah wisdom, what a late but welcome friend you are!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Stuff I Learned Cabin Camping

Worlds End State Park    


This weekend, I will be going up to Sullivan County Pennsylvania to look at a cabin for sale with the Big Ragu. For the past 10+ years, we've traveled up there a couple times of year to Worlds End State Park to go hiking and chill. Usually we go over Thanksgiving. We figured let's start looking for a cabin in the mountains so we have someplace permanently to unwind over the weekends.

Nothing set in stone yet, just starting to look. Depends on finances, the perfect cabin, location, etc. If we aren't gonna make a major move somewhere else, we'd like to invest in a small place to go to whenever the urge hits.

Over this past Thanksgiving, the Big Ragu and I stayed up at Worlds End State Park for the long holiday weekend. We rent a rustic cabin and usually put on a smoked turkey for the holiday. It's been the 8th or 9th year we've been doing it. Lotsa fun. It also really relaxes you just to get away. I love getting back to the peace and serenity of nature.

During one of my down times, I thought about things I've learned on previous camping trips. I recorded a podcast about it but wanted to do the blog version as well. Here they are in no particular order. Just some rustic nuggets of wisdom:
  1. Always wear flip flops in the camp shower. You never know what that slime is.
  2. You will either be constipated or have the runs. Pepto is your friend.
  3. Duct tape works wonders with minor cuts and can help take out splinters.
  4. Cleanliness becomes very subjective in terms of the body, dishes, bed linen, etc.
  5. You get used to your own funk. I’ve gone 3 days before without showering. But 3 days is long enough for me. Don’t be surprised if you need to air out the sleeping back!
  6. Handy wipes work wonders and can keep down da funk.
  7. Knives and dishes can be cleaned with hand sanitizer in a pinch.
  8. You do things you normally wouldn’t do like just wipe off utensils so there’s no visible dirt or leftover food.
  9. Fingers and tissues work as a good substitute for Q-tips
  10. Any spice goes a long way with camp food. Hot sauce becomes a staple.
  11. Having a mouse in the cabin becomes an acceptable fact. Seal up the food!
  12. One of the greatest experiences is just staring and becoming mezmorized by the campfire or fire in the wood stove. It's just so beautiful and hypnotic. 
  13. There is a bonafide art to making a good fire. After 10 years, I've mastered it. 
  14. Alcohol is not allowed in the state park system. OK? (wink wink)
  15. My favorite thing to do: bourbon by the fire, toasted marshmallows, and cigars!
  16. The stars never looked so crisp and bright in the late fall moonlight and sometimes you don’t even need the flashlights, only the moonlight to guide you. Another hypnotic thing about camping. :) 
  17. A puffy jacket makes a good second pillow. So does heavy sweat shirts and pants.
  18. Waking up in the morning in the extreme cold is the most hated part. Which to do first? Coffee or fire ... or pee?
  19. Peeing at 3 am in the woods in not fun. If you have to do more, you hold it.
  20. If you pee at 3 am, things shrink. LOL 
  21. A skunk can be easily mistaken for a black and white cat in the middle of the night.
  22. You don’t mind the occasional mouse, the chipmunks or squirrels. You may even name them. You still mind the skunks though.
  23. I love smelling the camp fire smell on my clothes or jackets a week after camping.
  24. Water will freeze in the cabin after the fire goes out. I woke up this fall to a frozen water bottle. 
Anything else I missed?
LOL This was fun to write. I love my camping and of course cabin camping which is a step up, but still can be rustic. Remember this list and you may not be so surprised. But I will say a skunk or even a mouse still surprises me!!!