Sunday, October 30, 2016

Odyssey in an Odyssey (2017)

The newest addition to our kitchen is the 16-month calendar from the Pennsylvania State Parks and Forest Foundation. It's a much more adequate calendar for our kitchen than the free one we got from Gettysburg College which, for 2016, seemed to be trying too hard in its photographs. Now, though, as the weather gets colder and the family and work schedules less forgiving, I'm taunted by photographs of beautiful parks I want to visit.

Salt Springs is this month's temptation. 
The calendar got me to thinking, could I get to all sixteen parks during the time this calendar is hanging on our wall? A park a month might seem too ambitious. However, I could exclude from the list the parks I've already visited, so that would make this quest more doable.

That's Shades of Death Trail!
So, I got to thinking. What about a road trip that would take us through the parks on the calendar that we haven't yet visited. If we did that, here's what the trip would look like:

This 700-mile trip has been arranged for efficiency. It doesn't include the trip home, which would tack on a mere 268 miles to this odyssey.
Setting up and taking down campsites at nine state parks seems like a poor use of our time. Obviously, we'd have to simply stop and see some of the parks. Neshaminy, for instance, might be worthy of a quick hello rather than an overnight stay. Bald Eagle, too, might just get the drive-by as we make our way from Raymond B. Winter to Cook Forest. The tough call would be whether to stay the night at Cook Forest or Moraine.

To further minimize the time and effort consumed by setting up and taking down, we'll obviously require a camper. However, I don't want to get something that would tax my minivan as we traverse the Commonwealth's countryside. Good thing that I know of a place that sells Cricket trailers nearby.

This daydream is becoming expensive.

And I interrupted this blog to look more at the TaxaOutdoors website and I'm seeing other ways to spend money there.

Our family took what has proven to be our favorite vacation last year to England. But trips to England are expensive and we had resolved to be more frugal with our vacationing in 2017. It would appear as if a relatively inexpensive wall calendar is tempting me to backtrack on that resolution.

Monday, October 17, 2016

The First Family Fracture

So the streak ends at 10 years, 8 months, and 14 days. That's how long Sherry and I made it as parents before we had our first fracture.

Sam injured his left pinkie breaking his fall during a game of tag at the park. In the grand scheme of things, not that terrible of an injury. As you can tell from the photos below, his mood increased considerably as we waiting for the conclusion of treatment at the ER.

Just after taking a dose of Tylenol.

After the dose kicked in, and after seeing the X-Rays we were able to joke more about it. 
Sam was a trooper at the hospital. Didn't accept the offer for a shot that would numb the injury. Held in there during the setting of it. Polite with the staff. And we had the chance to make good conversation as we waited out our stay. We were there for three and a half hours.

Sam cried when the injury first occurred but didn't again until he saw the well wishes back at his uncle and aunt's home upon his return.

On a more somber note, this was my first trip that I can remember to an ER and I couldn't help but think about how sad of a place it can be. Sam and I had it easy. A fixable injury that was obviously the result of innocent play. Father with son. Father has insurance coverage. Kid has a good attitude about the situation. Pretty clean incident. But as we waited I couldn't help but overhear the difficult cases that came in: the hurts that aren't so fixable, the patients for whom the means isn't there, the woes that could have been combated more easily at an earlier stage. It's humbling.

By the way, no less than six medical professionals were involved in this one visit to the ER. Number seven (the orthopedist) will see Sam tomorrow when we figure out how to expedite the healing.