Iris’s 9th Birthday

Monday, April 5th, 2021

For Iris’s birthday, she decided she wanted to eat carrot cake on top of Mount Ham. So we did. If mount Ham was good enough for me, then it was good enough for her. Carrot cake was what the rabbits voted for, but we didn’t bring rabbits. At the last minute, Iris also decided to bring a friend. Fortunately, there was a very good one available for last-minute birthday parties on mountain summits.




Hymie and Napua came with us for the purpose of taking photos. Hymie is all fixed up so he could attend the doll party in good form. The biggest difference, aside from the fact that his fabric is now perfect, is that his mouth is about 1/8th of an inch narrower. It’s quite noticeable if you know him! Napua is Megan reincarnated. She includes all of Megan’s stuffing plus some, and her head is configured over Megan’s old head. But really, nothing is the same aside from the fact that Iris still has three dolls instead of four. You wouldn’t recognize her in any way shape or form, but they say that reincarnation is like that.




While AmaΓ«lle took time to finish her cake (she is especially good at savoring), Martin hiked to the other high point on the peak. Once Akiva saw that his papa was all alone, he wanted to go, too! Do you see that tiny blue spot to the left of the slightly larger red spot, just to the right of what appears to be a ham radio tower on the peak?** That’s Akiva! He went all the way over there all by himself.




**It is not actually a ham radio tower: it is the profile of the enormous crucifix where they tortured the last of the wild mountain giants.

Mont Ham, Parc RΓ©gional du Quebec

Friday, November 13th, 2020

For my birthday I took the kids out of school. I do this every year because, as far as my kids are concerned, my birthday is more important than any national or religious holiday. It’s true for them, of course. They’d be fine if Christ never rose or fell or if Quebec was still a French colony or if women never got the right to vote. But if I had not birthed them? Woe! My children are realists. Martin is the most likely (read: only) candidate for father, but, again, without the advent of genetic testing in the 1950s (and you can celebrate National DNA Day on April 25th!) there’d never be any proof of this. Therefore, despite his unconditional love and utter devotion to their health and well-being and his wonderful presence, he’s just simply not quite as important as I am. Yes, here I am, the most important person on planet Earth, a densely-peopled planet three rocks out from the Sun. I don’t actually do anything to encourage this feeling in my kids. In fact, I think all kids feel this way about their moms.


So, for my birthday, I took advantage of the fact that I’m an important person. I took my children up Mont Ham. We went up the steepest wayβ€” the red trail on the map (below)β€” and it was wonderfully steep. Due to the steepness, I had planned on taking another trail down. However, due to the late start, we were still on the mountain side when the sun began to set in the late-afternoon, mid-November way it does. For this reason, we also went down the not-as-wonderful-on-the-way-down-extremely-steep red trail. We were, in fact, still on a quite steep part of the mountain side when the sun was well over the horizon. That’s when I turned on my head lamp and gave profuse thanks to whomever it was who decided to mark the trail with reflective trail markers. That was probably the best surprise of my birthday. In fact, I’d say that reflective trail markers were the best surprise of the entire year. Heck, reflective trail markers were quite possibly the best surprise of the decade. What a wonderful, wonderful birthday present.


Here are my two side-kicks at the summit. It was quite windy, as summits are.

There was a lot of snow blowing around, but it didn’t seem to land on anything.






Mont Ham Quebec