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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Say hello to Wilderness Girl

Among the things we've planned with our children being away at the grandparents in Kansas this month was a kayak/canoe trip in Adirondacks with my folks, who live in Connecticut. We combined those plans with the Doobie Brothers/Chicago show at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Saturday night.

My parents drove up Saturday, and even though I was supposed to be home packing for our little overnight trip, here I sat at work, still trying to get the August edition of our magazine to the printer.
I called my dad from the office, trying to explain the maddening process I was going through trying to send the completed files to the printing facility in Pennsylvania. "Well, were' just sitting on your back porch with a cold beverage," he said.

When the moment came that I was finally free of my computer nightmare and could start my July 4th weekend, I bee-lined for the house. Of course, I was only home briefly before heading out to the concert at SPAC.

I was only slightly tethered to my notebook during the concert, wanting to make sure I had adequate notes from which to write the review for The Saratogian. With my dad's help the next day, the writing came easy. While he and I worked at the computer, my husband took on the packing duties for our canoe trip.

That's where things took an unexpected turn. After I hit the send button to get my review to the newspaper, I hurriedly packed my clothes and jumped in the truck. I didn't really look at what he had packed. Somewhere along the way, however, I discovered he only brought our GIANT family tent instead of the little two-man jobber. Um, hello, we've got to get all our gear in the canoe!!

After many miles of back roads in the Adirondacks (I've never been that remote in my life), we arrived at Lake Lila to find a .3-mile carry down to the water. We looked at the 30-pound tent and looked at each other and said, "Forget it; we're sleeping under the stars."

It took only two trips to get the canoe and our gear down to the water. Same for my folks and their kayaks. Apparently while we were making our way back to the truck for our second load, a bear crossed the path behind us. We didn't see it, but the guys carrying their kayaks behind us did.

It was windy so the water was rough, but we managed to make our way across the lake and found a serene campsite. We pulled the canoe and kayaks up on shore and made camp by early evening. Dad made our supper — MREs(meals ready to eat), which have their own little heaters when you add water. They weren't bad, actually.

I gathered firewood from the woods, singing as I did it so Mom and Dad could hear that I hadn't been snatched up by a bear.

When it finally got dark, my parents crawled into their small tent, and my husband and I laid out sleeping bags by the fire. Because the mosquitoes were so bad, we had to sleep with sheets pulled over our heads.

I have to admit, we were awake almost as much as we were asleep. It was a long night. I tried to pretend we were actually in a tent whenever I got a little scared. And I tried to breathe really loud under the sheets, so I couldn't hear any noises from the woods.

Overall, it wasn't too bad. At times, when the bugs weren't invading, we could pull the sheets back and look up at the stars. I don't think I've ever seen them that bright.

For the record, Mom and Dad did offer to make room in their tent. But I'm glad we slept out; I am an official wilderness girl now.


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