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Yes, I’m tired, but what a great weekend. Even Cricket seems to have been happy. (Yes, I know pugs don’t smile and I know brachycephalic dogs have a hard time breathing, and Cricket was hot, but he did also seem pretty happy to be out in a field under a tree.) The worst of it was getting there: what should have been a 4-5 hour trip took 7 and a quarter hours, thank you New Jersey Turnpike shore traffic. Even people who left New England at 10 had 6-hour journeys, so leaving earlier would not have helped. Also, we would not have been ready as there were very last-minute gear and food assemblies required. This lengthy journey did allow us the chance to play an extended game of “what the hell is that smell?” The unfortunate winner turned out to be Mr S, who guessed cat pee, but that’s a story for another post, or perhaps for Jackson Galaxy.

Mr S on “Chair” made from stacked firewood. It works.

After erecting tents in the gloaming, including one we’d not been able to check out at home due to heavy work schedules and slight matter of incessant rain, we crashed in our clothes on straw beds and made it to Saturday. Saturday brought coffee, thank goodness, and thanks to Tew’s Company’s willingness to share their fire. (Fire good.) I finally found the camp kitchens on the map, but never walked out to them—happy trails militia folks, but the earthen kitchens were too far from our part of the Continental camp to be really practical. So we made like light infantry and perched on firewood under a tree, ate cold rations and scammed off the hat regiment.

Coming off the field, Sunday

There were plenty of sutlers, but I did not buy 5 yards of the cross barred white and blue at Burnley & Trowbridge to replicate the oyster seller gown because really, first I have to make the black heart cherry gown. I did buy a new hat and ribbon, and pair of more appropriate shears, and most satisfying of all, shoes. I have Burnley and Trowbridge shoes, and while the width is fine and narrow, the length is not and arch support is absent. By the end of a day, my feet and I are miserable, which reduces my stamina and increases my hip pain. (I have arthritis, and had my right hip replaced 2-and-a-half years ago; I’m not that old, but my femoral heads have high mileage.) On the recommendation of several friends, and despite the rubber heels, I tried Flying Canoe shoes. Though a trifle wide, the length was right and I was sold. They vastly improved my outlook and stamina, so were worth the heel cap compromise, with many thanks to my mother for an early birthday present she doesn’t yet know she bought me.

Starting to pack

So, topics for this week in some form and combination:

  • 18th century sno-cones
  • A sense of belonging
  • Future menu plans
  • The public and the spectacle
  • Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center Design
  • Shopping & Visiting
  • Bed sacks
  • There will be laundry

In the meantime, pictures are on Flickr. Lesson for today: Do not turn your back after giving a man your camera.