Towards A More Perfect Union

We admit, we’re not feeling very patriotic this Independence Day weekend. Our sense of identity as Americans seems under assault. Our nation is more irreparably divided than ever before in our lifetime. Every single issue gets polarized and politicized. Nuance and complexity are nowhere to be found. Compromise is anathema. Instead, we have a pervasive,…

Pulling Back the Curtain(s)

This was a weekend of revelations, brought about by the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health case, an unexpected visit from a horse and a man with a feather in his hat, and a new set of curtains expertly made by our friends Dan and Stephanie Matney. A few words about…

A Reunion, Long Overdue

It has been so long since we enjoyed the company of our Heart of Texas Camping (HOTC) group that we couldn’t recall the last time we did so. More than two years, certainly, but also not quite four. Let’s just say a reunion has been long overdue. This weekend found us connecting with friends old…

Too Hot to Handle

As temperatures soared well above 100 degrees, we did something this weekend we had never done before: We traveled back home to escape the afternoon heat. Cloud 9’s air-conditioner couldn’t compete with the afternoon sun directly overhead, so we turned everything off, packed up the pack, and went to Hampshire for an afternoon nap, cocktails,…

An Inflation Staycation

We had planned to travel to Shenandoah National Park and take in the monuments, memorials and museums in and around Washington, DC, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. With inflation soaring and gas prices at historic highs, it just didn’t seem right to spend so much money on a long road trip. Instead, we…

A Farewell to Baxter

Today we said farewell to one of our five canine companions. Although he was small, Baxter occupied a big space in Cloud 9. And in our hearts. Unlike our other dogs, Baxter had a bed of his own that took up floor space under the table. We thought it was a better alternative to him…

Painful Reality

We had planned a big Memorial Day vacation trip to Shenandoah National Park and Washington, D.C., but we simply cannot justify spending so much money on gas and other expenses at this time of high inflation. So we’ll enjoy a “staycation” at Loyd Park, close to home, instead. After all, the capital’s monuments, memorials, and…

The Realm of Possibility

We’ve been talking about death lately. Perhaps it’s because we recently had our annual physical examinations, and, as a result, had to schedule and undergo follow-up tests. In addition to having to continue treating our cholesterol and gout, we’re long overdue for a colonoscopy. Cliff has hypertension; Jon has circulatory problems—so a stroke or a…

West Side Weekend

This weekend, we camped at Loyd Park, along the western side of Joe Pool Lake. With record-breaking heat, we were concerned that it would be difficult to keep Cloud 9 at a comfortable 73 degrees, but Loyd Park’s dense tree canopy made climate control more manageable. We arrived on Friday in time to set up,…

Life at the Lake

We spend most weekends “at the lake,” but the fact of the matter is that we spend very little time in or even near the water. Oh, we catch an occasional glimpse of the shore as we drive in or out of the park. We see a couple of ducks swimming in a tiny inlet…