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Archive for January, 2011

First Grade Censor

My task today as volunteer in the 1st grade was to pre-view old National Geographics and remove any potentially objectionable material before the kiddos embarked on a collage project.

Despite the overtones of censorship of such a fine magazine, I could also understand that 1) the kids don’t necessarily need to be exposed to bloody war scenes and 2) kids will be kids and boobs in a collage could be just become a big joke instead of the cultural experience of the picture while whole in the magazine.

I was struck, though, when a little girl came up to me with a “real simple” magazine and told me that she had found an “inappropriate picture” (her words).  The picture was part of an advertisement for soap, and showed a man and a woman engaging in the most innocent of smooches.  No passion here, folks, just a peck. Their eyes may not have even been closed.  I should have just shut up, but before I could take that wise approach, I asked why the picture was inappropriate.  The little girl replied that the class shouldn’t be looking at things like this because “it could teach us stuff”.  I left it at that, but couldn’t help but wonder:  what on earth ARE we teaching our kids if they see an innocent kiss between two adults as inappropriate.  It seems as if we are in danger of censoring, well, life!

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Those of you who know us well know that we don’t believe in deprivation camping.  We believe in a fine red wine, steak on the grill, dessert smackdowns, queen air mattresses, and down comforters.  Until recently, we also camped a whopping ONCE every year.  The sleep deprivation, despite the down, was just too much for momma DINK to handle.

Well, in 2010, we took all this luxury camping to the next level.  Pop-up.  And not your basic 2 double-beds tent-on-wheels kind of pop up.  We are talking 2 king beds (with flannel sheets and down comforters, of course), power lift, furnace, hot water heater, 3 burner stove, full Yakima rack on top, outdoor shower, refrigerator, bump-out dinette, and a loo.

Long back in January of last year, Mark, Junior, and I wandered down to the Ketelson Camper sale….just to look.  Knowing full well that we hardly ever “just look”.  Two months later, we hauled our new baby home with Mark’s aging Land Rover. (Yep, you guessed it….new car in his future, but that story about a half acre of car will wait for another day).  In early April we were on our way to our first pop-up camping trip to the Pawnee National Grasslands (REALLY glad we had that furnace)…and we never looked back.

The final tally? Twenty-five nights.  We camped in Wyoming twice, for 11 nights over two trips at Buffalo Creek, Mesa Verde National Park, and Sand Dunes National Park.

We camped with neighbors, friends, old and new, and friends of our friends’ friends (all 60+ of them at the annual BC pilgrimage).  We camped with the dog,always brought our mountain bikes, and despite my whole-grain leanings almost always had half a cooler full of graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows.  In short, we had some amazing DINK adventures this year and we can’t wait to hit the road again in a few short months!  Give us a ring, and come along!

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