On Leave

I'm taking a break from my incredibly hectic schedule of laying around and resting to write out a note. I'm on leave for a week between a couple of important functions related to my upcoming deployment. Just before I left, we went through an entire processing line. Most of my paperwork was able to be completed. And just in time for me to go on vacation, I recieved several vacinnations, including one for small pox. Having the scar from childhood does not count. It wasn't as bad as I anticipated, though it itches like crazy. So, off my family goes in our 14 foot camper. Actually so far the vacation has been mostly relaxing. The first night we had some heavy storms and our 3 year old was not sure how much she liked camping, but now she's loving it. We spent a day driving and hiking up on Skyline Parkway in the Shenandoah. Beautiful here. The little town of Luray is quite cosy as is also Front Royal.

Tonight we relocated to the Natural Bridge area. We are in a much more crowded and noisy campground. Before we were practically the only ones on our side underneath a beautiful canopy of trees. Now I have a beautiful canopy of adolescents around me. But I'm stretched out with my coffee (and it is coffee not motor oil as our new Senior Protestant Chaplain is fond of making) and a couple of good books. I'm reading The Ecumenical Luther and also Huntington's book: The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order. I'm trying not to be too involved in thinking about work issues after being soundly chastized by one of my NCO's (Non-commissioned officers) for responding to one of his emails. "No more emails!!!!" he said - "You're on leave!!!!!".

Been an adventure so far in some ways. Almost got the camper stuck in the woods trying to go up too steep of an incline. Having lunch at a populated stop, we suddenly were disrupted by a couple of babies and their mother walking through -- bears that is. Little later about 20 more miles down the road we saw another bear cub and about a gazillion deer. This morning, with about five minutes left in the campground we were leaving, I somehow, with great skill and luck, trapped a yellowjacket between my foot and sandal. Of course the bee was not too happy about it which meant that I wasn't too happy about it either. But my foot is the same size as the other -- which is a good thing. So tonight I'm going to be relaxing even more, but I am enjoying the slower pace right now.