Highs and Lows


Our trip to the redwoods took two minivans for the twelve of us. The highway  was jammed with cars headed for the beach over the mountains, so we took a scenic, windy, two-laned road through the mountains that unbeknownst to us had been heavily damaged by recent mudslides. Two lanes became one, with alternating long lines of cars.  We were in heavy traffic for most of the ninety minute trip (a trip that would normally have been more like forty-five minutes.) That put us behind schedule and we decided to scrap plans for cooking dinner on our campout, and got fast-food hamburgers and fries instead.

Then three 3-5-year olds, their two dads, and I camped out in my Beloved’s and my  large backyard. It started a bit rough as the playful and energetic boys tried to “help” us as we raced to set up a new “six-man” tent before mid-dusk became total darkness. We lost the race, but had flashlights, and finished the job. The six men the manufacturers used to measure the tent capacity must have been Munchkins because it was a tight fit with three men and three small children.

After the tent was set up and the pads and sleeping bags were arranged inside it, we started a fire, made and devoured S’Mores, went on a night hike by flashlight, and sang campfire songs.  We showed the boys how to properly extinguish a campfire, and then went on a second night hike (due to popular demand), filed into the tent, and the young ones quickly began to fall asleep.

I believe we all had a good and memorable time.

I wasn’t so lucky today, however. The bathroom problems escalated. After three days without bathing I was finally able to take a quick shower, but as I got on my knees to bail out the tub for the next person, I slid one of the shower doors further open to make it easier to bail, and some key hardware at the bottom shattered. I watched in horror as the metal-framed glass-paned door slid over and down into the tub, one corner stabbing into the bottom, another skittering across the back wall, and a third banging into the side wall. Fortunately, the door didn’t shatter, though the critical pieces did. And none of the local hardware stores carry them. We’ve ordered the parts on-line, but it is going to be days before they arrive. We’re down to a single bathtub and a bailing operation until then.

Our cup runneth over with love, but if we’re not careful our tub may runneth over too.

With Love,






About russtowne

I'm awed by the beauty of nature and the power of love and gratitude. Some of my favorite sensory experiences include waves crashing on rocky shores, waterways in ancient redwood and fern-filled forests, and rain. My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children.
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17 Responses to Highs and Lows

  1. utesmile says:

    Oh dear, keep the love running full and the bath empty. Glad you weren’t hurt though. Can you find a waterfall and all have a shower there??? That would be fun too…. just saying… 🙂

  2. JanBeek says:

    Ah, memories! This one will be recorded high on the list of “Most Memorable!” Makes me hungry for S’Mores. Thank God that shower door stabbed the tub bottom and not your bottom. Could have been tragic!

  3. ksbeth says:

    oh, russ, i’m sorry for the troubles and near misses, but i love every word of this ongoing adventure. never to be forgotten.

    • russtowne says:

      I’m glad the story is at least interesting to hear. I agree that this visit will be talked about with smiles and laughter for a long time to come. Everyone is taking it in stride even in the moment so it’s all good.

  4. What a mixed bag of adventures Russ. Some MUCH better than others. I love the pictures. And I love the camping, what a brilliant idea.

  5. Mrs. P says:

    One might think you are offering a challenge to your handyman son!

    At least the interaction with the kids went fairly well…brings back fond memories. 😀

  6. lots of fun things 👍 😊

  7. tunisiajolyn84 says:

    Well your day is like a metaphor of life. I guess one balances the other. Pray your issues are well underway of being fixed if they haven’t been already.

    • russtowne says:

      Thankfully, everything’s been fixed and is fully operational. There is so much good in life that it is small of me to complain about its challenges. Sadly, in my smaller moments, I still do, forgetting that challenges are often the greatest opportunities for learning.

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