This year was the 50th anniversary of my family vacationing at Hume Lake. I mean, obviously, it wasn’t my personal 50th anniversary. I’ve only got 19 years tucked under my belt of vacationing expertise, but both my grandfather and father hold the half century claim on Hume Lake visitation, and that is a glorious reason to celebrate.
The week was delightful. I saw a bear on my first day there. I got to hear a talk about birds (specifically hawks, falcons, and owls). I devoured approximately five hundred billion milkshakes from the local snack shack because they are just that good.
What I love most about our annual Hume vacation is that we get to completely disconnect from the world. There is no cell service. If you want to call someone, you use the pay phone. If you want the password to the wi-fi, you have to pay $30. My family pretty strictly agrees that electronics (including iPods, gaming devices, etc.) should be used the absolute minimum amount. We cook our food and create our light by means of propane and battery-powered flashlights.
Essentially what this means is that we know little to nothing about the outside world for an entire week. The closest we got to keeping up with the news this year was paying a dollar seventy-five for The Fresno Bee so we could find out the verdict of the Zimmerman trial.
All this to say, that I love being disconnected. I don’t have to worry about talking to this person or that person or responding to whatever email because when I’m in the mountains, there’s literally no way I can.
Anyways, blah blah words words. On to what I want to talk about.
Coming down the mountain, for lack of better phrasing, totally sucked.
Within the first four hours of returning to wi-fi populated lands, my sister and I were hit in the face with all kinds of terrible news.
- Cory Monteith died. My gleeful heart crushed about the untimely death of this guy that I’ve never even met.
- My close friend’s niece, just over seven weeks old, died. Once again, my heart is broken about someone I was only lucky enough to hear stories about.
- My sister didn’t get the job she had worked so hard applying to and interviewing for.
- Our cat pee-d all over the house.
- My friend won’t be able to return to school in the fall because of finances.
Gone were our days of blissful ignorance, our biggest worry being what to do next: read a few more chapters or take a leisurely mid-day nap?
We came back to the real word and were immediately reminded of how terrible everything is. It was like culture shock, and we’d only been gone for 10 days!
I longed to be back in the mountains, away from everything that makes me feel hopeless and pessimistic and back to feeling at peace with myself and everything around me. Alas, life is seldom so generous. Paradise will have to wait until a year from now, when we again make our trek seven hours north to a little lake in the depth of Kings Canyon National Park. Ahhhhhh.
Yet, in the midst of all the things that made it difficult to believe the world was still good, a royal baby was born.
For an entire day, CNN covered the fact that Kate Middleton went into labor. She hadn’t even given birth yet. There was literally no information about ANYTHING save the fact that a woman went into labor and went to the hospital- something that literally happens thousands of times a day. But all of a sudden, everyone is excited because the princess is about have a baby. What will the gender be? What will they name it? What will they wear the first time they come out in public? Who is in the room with them? On and on and on the questions go- all speculation. No one knows anything, but still, the news speculates for hours about the possibilities surrounding the birth of this child.
Then, we find out it’s a boy.
IT’S A BOY!!!!1!!!!
People start selling mugs and plates and baby shoes and tea sets and pillows- anything and everything pertaining to the birth of this now gender specific child.
The questions still fly on the news, but now with more detail: what will his name be? Where will he go to college? Will he have any chance at growing up like a normal child?
And then we find out his name: George Alexander Louis.
OH MY GODDDD! He has a name! George is a reference to George VI, who led Britain through world WWII! Did you watch The King’s Speech? Alexander- like Alexander the Great! Louis is also one of Harry’s names! So much homage!
And, although it seems so, so silly to make such a big deal over this one child’s birth, I absolutely love it.
It’s so nice to turn on the news and not hear about the latest shooting or death or plane crash but to hear that a new human being has made his way into the world. There’s a sense that with this new prince comes new hope. Maybe good things will start to happen. And you know what, even if they don’t, you can still buy a commemorative mug and be happy for a prince and princess who gave birth to their first child.
You can still sit in front of the TV for forty-five minutes waiting for them to walk out of the hospital, baby in arms, looking happy and beautiful and so excited to start their family.
I commend Kate so much for putting up with it all. If I’d given birth to a child 24 hours earlier, like hell I’d want to out in front of the world and smile and wave and look happy. But she did it. And she still is doing it. And I really hope she knows that as silly and seemingly meaningless as this can all appear, she really is making a difference in this world by doing that. At least to me she is.
So that’s all for now. The world sucks, but sometimes babies are born, families are built, and people are happy.
From a pessimistic blogger overly obsessed with the Royal Family,