First of all, so as to not leave you hangin,‘ we made it through the Boundary Waters 2017 without incident. I think there may have been more pain and agony in the back of Canoe #1, but that beast of burden shoulder of Scott’s thankfully chose not to rear it’s truly ugly head that week and trap us in the wilderness. The flu flew the coop just in time for departure, and the shoulder cooperated as much as could be expected. As always, it was a good trip.
And after a successful paddle it was time to prepare for the D-Day of the total shouder replacement, wrapping up a million husband projects that are much better done with two arms. Siding was scrubbed, sheds were cleaned, oil was changed, the lawn was given one final run of perfection before being turned over to the rest of the not-quite-so-appreciative-of-straight-lines-and-tight-corners mowers in the family.
And now we are proud to announce…
There’s a new addition to the family.
On Monday a brand spankin’ new, shiny like grandma’s best silver, titanium—or possibly heavy gauge steel—shoulder entered our household. The host for the new and improved joint, heretofore referred to as Mr. Roboto, is recovering nicely, and by nicely I mean that there is minimal daily swearing. He’s currently sporting a fashionable immobilizing brace and glad to have found the sweet spot in his cocktail hour, balancing pain and mental fog with skill akin to me on a slackline.
He’s doing pretty well, all things considered. I’m feeling a little more human as well, catching up on some sleep. Turns out bringing a total shoulder patient home from the hospital is in many ways similar to bringing home your firstborn, only without all the cooing and smiling. I won’t get into details, as most are better left to the imagination and none are particularly edifying for the newly magnitized.
We took the three days before the surgery (after crossing the last items off the pre-operative to-do list) for one last hurrah, visiting the latest coop-flyer in her digs at Seagull Outfitters: Staff Quarters: Eagle’s Nest bunkroom, situated just east of our favorite Trail’s End campsite, and just south of my latest moose sighting. It was the only opportunity the fam would have to visit the gooner during her sojourn up there, before dad was relegated to the recliner for his evening slumbers. We jumped.
And despite the horrendous bugs that inhabit the Gunflint Trail and surrounding Boundary Waters each summer—particularly summers where it never stops raining—we had a nice weekend out.
We paddled out to the Palisades of Seagull Lake—many say the crown jewel of Seagull—guided by our self-sufficient, successfully-adulting, proud-to-be-the-designated-driver-thank-you-very-much, daughter. Neither the Palisades nor the daughter disappointed. We got the tour of the area, made it to the crown jewel, took in the sights, and paddled back in the gorgeous sun of the first real week of summer they’d had, and jumped in the lake to wash the heat of that day down the drain. There is nothing like a BW lake for a day’s end dip.
We took in the local fish-fry flavor, fed the kid the Boundary Waters lunch she missed this year, being a working woman, and grilled a few brats for good measure. We wandered Artist’s Point along the mighty Gitchi Gummi, and were right back in our element, the five of us taking in Superior through our very pores. It was lovely.
And it was sweet and satisfying to visit the kiddo in her own space, to watch her live her life, seizing her moments, growing up, not for a moment throwing away her shot.
How on earth do we produce functional adults? I haven’t a clue, but we did something right.
An eighty-something-year-old friend pulled me aside today to tell me a secret. “You know, I’ve never thought much of homeschoolers.” She had me by the arm and had just tackled the fullness of my attention. She grinned like the Cheshire Cat. “These past twelve years watching you… you’ve changed my opinion.”
Life with Inspector Gadget is a not the most exciting right now, but there’s nothing like a little downtime to help you realize the blessings you have in all your uptime. We lead a pretty amazing life, and have raised some pretty amazing kids. There’s not much more that you can ask for beyond that.