Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Interim State Conference in Idaho: AKA "Our Second Honeymoon"

Apparently M and I went on our "second honeymoon" last week, deemed so by our philosopher friend who happened to be at the same conference in Idaho with his family (we will call them "the P's"). Who wouldn't want their second honeymoon to take place with a newborn tagging along at a philosophy conference on a lovely lake in Idaho. 

What better topic to have in mind on a second honeymoon than that awkward "Interim State" between Death and the Resurrection of the body. Will that really be us existing without our bodies or do we need our bodies to be us? Or will we really us but just not as complete as we should be? 

If you want to know these answers, look for some published papers that will be accepted for publication in the next 12-24 months and published in about 4-6 years once the journals make it through their backlog. Well, maybe some journals will manage to publish them in about 3...

The river and mountains between Boise and McCall, Idaho.
 So, the story starts last Tuesday when, Aunt J and Uncle T arrived to spend the night. The next morning, after dropping M, baby T, and I at the airport, the girls and the relatives headed to the farm in Wisconsin for the duration of our trip.

We flew for the first time with any of our children this trip, and traveling with just a newborn (that happens to be our fourth newborn) is super easy. Plus, everyone is deceived into thinking your baby is well-behaved because he just acts like all other newborns: eat, poop, sleep, repeat. The worst part of it was nights, because my rocking chair did not fit on the airplane. I think that hotels should offer rocking chairs as well as roll-away cribs.

The mountain range around McCall.
 So back to Wednesday, we were whisked through security at the airport and enjoyed a quiet early lunch. The flight was easy breezy as T slept the whole way until descent. He did not seem to mind the pressure changes. We enjoyed an early dinner and a local brew while we awaited our shuttle to McCall. A conference participant was on our flight, so they embarked on the philosophical discussion even then. It lasted the 2.5 hour whole shuttle ride with other conference participants. We met a lot of really neat philosophers at this conference. You would like them... even if some are wrong in their views... ;)

By the time we got to the hotel, T had had enough, and fussed for the next 4 hours until he fell asleep for 3 hours, woke up and then slept 3 more hours. So, Thursday morning, we were somewhat rested. Though I survived the morning on three cups of hotel coffee.
Ponderosa State Park, McCall, Idaho.
Thursday morning (while the Interim State was discussed in depth at the hotel by the conference participants) involved going to a state park with other philosophy families and their children and getting lost in the woods with some members of the P family. It was a nice hike. The one and four year old were really into the Idaho squirrel.

This is before we knew we were lost.
Being a fan of Terence Malick films has forever ruined being in the woods for me in that I hear Jim Caviezel's voice in my head as I look up at trees saying things like, "all things shining" and "the glory".
It was a beautiful day and I really did experience the glory in those woods.
Once we were rescued, we made it back to the hotel and I went out to lunch with M and a neat family (the B's), napped with the baby in the hotel room while the conference went on, and then went out for a steak dinner with lots of participants and their families.
Friday morning was high 50s and windy, but we braved the beach and took in the view. When you are six weeks old on a day like this, you prefer to stay snuggled up to Mom.
The lake and the mountains were amazing. Once again we had lunch with the philosophers and rested in the hotel for the afternoon and watched the other families swim at the pool. Dinner involved fish and chips, two locally brewed beers, lively discussion on Purgatory, C.S. Lewis, and liturgy, and this amazing dessert! Since it is called a "grasshopper", I highly recommend it for any feast of St. John the Baptist, except for his beheading when you have to eat cabbage.
Taste the glory.
And here is the first photo ever taken of just M and his son, which is not really, because we have all of those strangers mulling around in the background. I could not get him to smile. Maybe he is contemplating being in the Interim State and is not happy about it.
This was about as romantic as our "Second Honeymoon" got: A chilly walk to the lake as the sun was setting. I was longing for a sweater, and the baby was about to hit "fussy hour."
Saturday, I leisurely read a book and drank coffee while the baby napped in his stroller and carseat. The conference ended at lunchtime, so we once again discussed philosophy over lunch (I mostly listened), and shuttled back to Boise for the night. Don't even ask how the night at the Airport Inn went. Let's just say we got coffee at the airport.
See, we went to the airport!

Here in this second photograph with "just" his son, M is kind of smiling, but the airport guy with the sticks is photo bombing.

We made it home safely to St. Paul, and Uncle T got us from the airport. The girls were happy and waiting for us.

So, ended our "second honeymoon." I hope I get to go to another conference sometime before the next seven years are up...

A few last thoughts:
-Philosophy conferences are fun! Free hotels and eating out every meal! Also, always lively discussions at every meal!
-It takes three disposable baby wipes to do the work that one cloth wipe can do.
-It is nice to be able to talk to other adults for 4 days without interruptions beyond that of a needy newborn.
-I missed my other kids by the end.
-Hotels really need to have rocking chairs in the rooms, not just wrought iron ones at the pool.

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