I must say that this is the first time in a long time that I’ve felt a sense of enjoyment of the summer. This is the first summer passing as a man. I feel more myself every week and it’s fantastic.
I went to Moorhead, MN for the job interview and it went very well. I’m expecting a call back sometime this week. My current job is going okay, but it’s undergoing budget cuts this month. Initially, my plan was to put in my two weeks notice after I hear back from Churches United, but because of the budget cuts I may actually just leave sooner. (Everyone’s hours have been cut at my current job. Yikes). My move date is still up in the air.
After Memorial day I went camping at Cross Ranch State Park! I had a great time! It was exactly what I needed. I had been struggling with appetite and after my walk it came roaring back. I made chili and campfire sweet potatoes.
Later in the evening I made some tea and Jiffypop. While sipping my tea and munching on popcorn I watched lightning bugs dance and heard the coyotes sing while junebugs lazily buzzed along.
I was feeling very happy and sleepy when suddenly I heard a twig snap…
I turned around with my headlamp on and stared straight into two glowing eyes that stared back at me.
Turning my other flashlight on I saw the silhouette of what appeared to be a raccoon. I shine both flashlights, thinking the bright light would startle him, but he fearlessly kept walking towards me. I know Jiffypop really makes it a party…but I wasn’t anticipating these kind of guests. I walked away from camp quickly and turned around to capture a picture of those eyes.
I went to my car for a little bit and when I returned he brought a friend with him. Two trickster raccoons indulged on my popcorn! After about 45 minutes they moved on. I wasn’t even done eating yet to put anything away. These guys just invited themselves right in! I was nervous because of how fearless they were of people, and I was worried if they were rabid. I also didn’t feel comfortable confronting them which could not always go as planned. I figured they’d leave eventually. Looking back I suspect that previous campers must have fed them, making them think that all humans are safe to go near.
At 3am, those rascals returned! I did not have anything outside my tent or car, and they finally meandered off…probably to find more snacks. Next time I’ll be better prepared. I read that if you sprinkle around your camp some cayenne pepper that helps deter them, among some other humane methods.
Although I had a rough night of sleep, I had a really splendid morning with campfire coffee and the sunrise. I can’t wait to camp again!
Today I enjoyed an event called WHAM, which is Western Historical Arts Martial (They spelled it that way to create a better acronym). I’m very happy that I went to an event where I knew no one. I felt anxious but went anyway. I was still really quiet and spent the majority of the time observing. I sparred a little bit with some of the foam swords. There’s a HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) practice group in town that will be meeting next Sunday. There’s also some SCA, and Dagohir groups in Fargo-Moorhead and I think I may check them out when I’m moved in down there. It could be a fun hobby, something new. The clash of cold steel is a very satisfying sound.
It feels so good to just put myself out there and enjoy life.
Until next time,