Camping Extravaganza #3: Short Stuff with Geese by Michael F. Stewart and Amanda Holt

I love calling people short stuff because that was occasionally one of my nicknames, even though I consider myself the correct height and everyone else just a deviation from the mean.

Now let’s get camping! Or don’t, and just read what other people have to say about it. Like me.

So. Amanda Holt is a mommy friend whom I’d like to get to know better. She’s smart, funny, and resourceful. She’s full of good stories, can bake and cook, raises children and animals with equal aplomb, and belly dances with Genevieve Paquette, too. Basically the kind of person you’d want around in an apocalypse. Her husband, Drummond Fraser, is an unsung war hero, with all the intelligence, loyalty, creativity and stamina that implies. So, now that I’ve hideously embarrassed them both, time for Amanda’s one-liner:

“Watch out for goose poop if you camp along the river!”

Meredith Fraser & Anastasia at Emma's St. Patrick's Day party

Meredith Fraser & Anastasia at Emma’s St. Patrick’s Day party. For some reason, I don’t have any good pics of Amanda & Drummond.

Michael F. Stewart is a cool guy. First of all, check out his website. Look familiar? My jaw just dropped when I saw his, inspiring me to redo mine. And he’s always trying new things: Netgalley, One Hundred Free Books, approaching Kobo to get into their First and Free program, Goodreads giveaways. A good ambassador for SF Canada, this adventuresome spirit, as you can see here:

Geese are flying home. Crisp nights, where the outside of the sleeping bag is cool against the cheek. The smell of campfire in everything. It’s dry. Pine needles make great tinder. Loon calls (and they call back if you mimic). Night falls quickly, and cools quickly. Dew, enough that it seems it almost rained overnight. Small animals picking their way through the scraps of whatever you left behind. Some trees are coming into colour, the leaves rustle in the wind. In the Canadian shield I remember the feel of moss and scratchy lichen beneath my toes (dry burns well too). Camping is all about the meals, staying dry, staying warm, surviving, breaking down shelter, putting shelter back up and transportation. It’s the most basic of tasks, repeated. It’s the slowing of the world. It’s a sheet of stars above. It’s being in with the storm when it strikes. The rush of streams, the lap of waves, call of birds. The squirrels preparing for the winter. Migrations and hibernations.