One of the latest trends in Paris was the high top tennis shoe. Not a chunky basketball kind but not as light as a canvas converse either. There was even a glam twist on it: the high heeled high top. I remember back in the 90’s seeing something like this but it was a tennis shoe that had a stiletto type heel to it. Ugly. These are not like that. They are more like a wedge. I bought a fabulous black leather pair! I’ve not seen anything like it here in the States but I’m pretty sure in another year or so they will be everywhere.
What do high heeled high tops have to do with Squatchin’, you ask? And what is Squatchin’ anyway?
It seems that every year my sons latch onto some new passion. It was once all things pirate, then Star Wars, Samurai and the like. Some of these passions stick and some go by the way-side. This year’s passion has been Big Foot.
Apparently there is some nut job on TV who hunts for Big Foot, aka Sasquatch. He tells you all about their sounds, smells, habits, appearance and then he goes out and investigates Big Foot sightings. The best is when he shakes his head and says, “This one is obviously a hoax because we all know that Sasquatch do not have 4 toes,” or something like that. Cracks me up!
Well the boys love the show and they are constantly practicing their Big Foot calls and Wood Knocks. (Don’t ask me what Wood Knocks are. I don’t really know.) When we are out and around town they keep their eyes to the ridge in case there is a Squatch out hiking. They desperately want to go to Washington state because that’s where the most concentrated population of Squatches live. They are believers and if you’re not then you are shunned.
This year Buddy decided that he wanted a Big Foot birthday party. He wanted his friends to come over to camp and to go Squatchin’. If you haven’t connected the dots yet, that means to go Sasquatch hunting. Sounded easy enough. I made invitations for Buddy to deliver while I was abroad and when I returned, I hit the ground running with the party planning.
My friend, Alicia, also has boys who Believe and she was all too ready to help me execute a Squatchin’ expedition. My idea was that I would supply the kids with survival gear, some words of “wisdom” and then send them off into our back property to “hunt” for Big Foot. I figured their imaginations would do the rest.
“It would be so fun if on the day before you and I go out and plant ‘evidence!'” Alicia enthusiastically began to brain storm.
“Yeah! We could leave bits of hair and foot prints. Oh man! Last year I almost bought the boys these snow shoes that had like a big bear paw on the bottom of it. That would’ve been perfect for making prints,” I said.
“We’ll figure it out,” Alicia assured.
One Pizza Night with the Mountain Folks, I mentioned the Squatchin’ party. Caren’s Man immediately volunteered to dress up as Big Foot and tromp around in the woods to scare the kids a bit and add some excitement to the adventure.
“I for see a sling shot to the head,” Sissy warned when I told her the plan.
I laughed remembering Bug’s Renaissance themed party. Caren’s Man came dressed in a rented suit of armor. When the kids saw him they all raised their swords. Caren’s Knight thought they were cheering for his fabulous costume but then they all yelled, “GET HIM!!” They charged him and basically beat the living snot out of him.
Anyway, while I was in Paris I received a text from Alicia:
“Guess what I bought today… Big Foot snow shoes!!!”
I could’ve cried, y’all. That’s a friend.
So the day before the party, Alicia came over and the two of us hiked up into the back property. Lucky for us it had snowed that week. The snow was gone and left soft wet earth for us to make our prints in. I had gone to a fabric store and bought a square piece of “hair.” Alicia and I took scissors and cut off bits of hair to leave in the bushes on the trail. We took the prints up to a rock cropping that looms over my house.
“Oo! We should make some sort of nest here!” Alicia thought out loud.
There are two large boulders in the crop and so we gathered dead pine needles and twigs and tossed them down between the boulders. After we had a Sasquatch sized nest, we then cut the rest of the “hair” to add to it.
“Sort of get in it and stomp around,” suggested Alicia.
I did as told and tried to make it look as comfortable as possible. We climbed up on the rocks and looked down into our nest.
“Not bad,” I admired.
“You know what would make it perfect?” Alicia asked. “BONES!”
I then put out an APB on Facebook for bones.
“Just eat a rotisserie chicken tonight and use those,” Alicia said.
But I knew who to call. Laurel. It’s odd to have a “go to” person when you need a carcass… I called Mountain Laurel:
“I…think…we might have some bones somewhere in the back of the property,” she said. “I’ll have my son go down and see what he can find and then I’ll call you back.”
About 5 minutes later she calls back:
“Turns out, we have a couple of boxes of elk bones in the garage, including a skull or two!”
Of course she does!
The morning of the party I took Bug to his Aladdin rehearsal while Man took Buddy to his soccer game. I was feeling spunky and decided to take my Paris shoes out for a public debut in Colorado. A gal at Starbucks loved them! It was so fun when she asked, “Where did you get them?” to say, “Paris.” Hee hee! Anywhoo, after dropping Bug off and getting my now, ritual café crème, I headed to Laurel’s to pick up a box of bones.
Laurel had told me that she would leave them by the garage. I easily found them. There were two boxes to choose from. I leaned in to see which one had the best offerings. My nose was immediately accosted by the stench of death and rot. I turned away and started to gag and then dry heave.
Oh my lands! Oh my lands! This is DISGUSTING!
I didn’t know if I could bring them home. I suddenly no longer cared about which box had the best offering. Turned away, I took a deep breath of fresh air, grabbed a random box and dashed for the car. I slammed the door and started to gag again.
When I got in the car I rolled down the window.
Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh!
It was so gross but I knew that Alicia was right and the this would make the Sasquatch nest authentic. I laughed to myself at the lengths I was going through to make Buddy happy.
This is seriously “Mountain.”
I called Laurel and left a message thanking her for the bones. “I knew you were the one to call!” I said through gags and heaves.
Though Laurel only lives about a mile from me, I raced to get home. Gagging I tore into my drive way. As soon as the car was parked, I grabbed the box of bones and made a mad dash up the back property, toward the Squatch nest.
This was the worst because it’s a hike up and I’m still adjusting to the altitude after being away. I was huffing and puffing over the box of bones which then caused me to gag and choke some more. Tears were forming in my eyes as I dry heaved up the hill. About half way up, I sat the box down so I could step away from it to catch my breath. My hands on my knees I took some deep breaths and noticed…
Oh my lands. I’m wearing my Paris shoes!
I did a quick look over to make sure the leather had not been scuffed or scratched. I laughed at how utterly ridiculous it was that I was hiking a mountain in high heels with a box of smelly bones.
One step closer… I laughed to myself remembering Caren’s running joke the last few years. Ever since I first moved here, she kept teasing me that I was always getting “one step closer” to becoming a Mountain Woman. I decided that I had gone well beyond Mountain Woman status with this one. This was leaps and bounds over it!
I was too far up to go back down for sensible shoes at this point, so I gathered myself together, picked up the box and ran the rest of the way up. In heels. Finally I got to the rock cropping. I climbed part way up the rocks and just dumped the bones into the nest. The smell flew out with it.
“Argh!” I yelled and threw the box from me. I gagged and heaved some more. Then I called Alicia and told her between laughter and gagging what I had done.
“Ha ha ha! Good job Mama! Just leave them there. When I get there, I’ll go up and arrange them if need be. Leave the box if you have to. I’ll take care of it too.”
I hiked back down shaking my head and trying to avoid disturbing any of the foot prints we had made the day before. I imagined the boys finding a Big Foot print and my little high heeled print next to it and saying, “Obviously, this is a hoax because everyone knows Squatches do not wear high heels.”
I had an audition that afternoon so I showered and readied myself for that. I did some warms ups and worried that all of the gagging and heaving might not have been the best thing for my vocal cords. At the audition one of my friends mentioned the Squatch nest as he had seen it on Facebook.
“You do realize that you are creating a Conspiracy Theorist, right? You are messing up your kid.”
There is no doubt that there will be therapy later for this one but really, if you can’t mess with your kids, why become a parent? This is what it’s all about people!
It was finally Party Time. The other explorers had arrived. Buddy gave a brief boot camp which mostly entailed a lesson in hand signals that they would be using while on the hunt. Alicia’s Man slung his cross bow to his back and joined My Man as they lead the boys up into the mountain. Alicia decided to go with them to take pictures. My job was to linger behind, close enough to see them but far enough away that they couldn’t hear me communicate with Caren’s Man, i.e.Squatchy who had his earpiece in.
I watched the crew hike up and then pause on the trail. They had found the first foot print! I got a thumbs up from Alicia. It was working! The hike was all fun and games but she said when they found the print, suddenly things got REAL.
Meanwhile, on my Droid:
Squatchy: *heavy breathing* I’m heading up to the ridge. *heavy breathing*
Me: K. That’s perfect. They’ve stopped to look at “evidence.”
Squatchy” *heavy breathing*
Me: Um…the heavy breathing is making me uncomfortable.
Squatchy: Well, it’s not easy hiking a hill in a monkey suit!
Squatchy was wearing a gorilla costume that Caren had procured for the Gorilla Run we did a few years back. I could hear the kids making excited noises and I assumed they had found the Squatch nest.
Me: I think they’re at the nest.
Squatchy: *heavy breathing* Already?! Oh my god. I’m still on the other side of the ridge. I totally freaked my dogs out. Ha! OK, I’m almost to the ridge. I hear them. *grunting noises, heavy breathing* Shit! They see me!
Me: Hahaha! RUN!!!!
Squatchy: Agh! They’re coming after me! *panting, crashing*
Me: Out run them and hide in some bushes or something!
Squatchy: *very heavy breathing and panting…possibly some wheezing* I did it. I’m hiding in the bushes. I think they’ve lost me.
In the distance we could hear the boys start to do their Sasquatch calls.
Squatchy: *heavy breathing* Oh my god. I think I’m going to have a heart attack. *heavy breathing*
Me: Ha ha! Wait. Are you serious? Please don’t. Oh gah! Caren would kill me!
Squatchy: I’m OK. Where are they now?
Me: I don’t know. I can’t see or hear them anymore. I’m going in.
I began my ascension up the hill.
Me: *heavy breathing* Ugh! I am still adjusting to the altitude I think. *heavy breathing*
Squatchy: *heavy breathing*
Me: *heavy breathing*
Squatchy: *heavy breathing*
Me: OK. Now I’m REALLY getting uncomfortable.
Squatchy: Have you found them yet?
Me: No. I can’t even hear them?
Squatchy: Where are you?
Me: I’m up near the top by Preacher’s Rock. (A rock that looks like a pulpit.) I’m near the barbed wire fence.
Squatchy: Stay there. I’m coming your way.
I scanned the horizon and looked high and low for signs of the Expedition Group. I couldn’t hear or see anyone. I turned to the South. Nothing. East. Nothing. I turned behind me to the West and
Squatchy laughed. We decided that I would go on to the East side of the hill to see if they had gone down that side and Squatchy would go back to the nest. They were not on the East side so I headed back South toward the house. Eventually I discovered that I could text while still on the phone with Squatchy. I text Alicia and learned that they were waaaaay out of our area.
Alicia: Have the Squatch make some noises so we can get the kids to head toward him.
I gave Squatchy his instructions. Soon he was sending out the Sasquatch Yowl.
Squatchy: How’s that? Was that good?
Me: It was great! Keep doing it.
Soon all the dogs on the mountain were joining in with barks and howls. Alicia said they heard the dogs first.
“I wonder why all of the dogs are so upset?” She planted.
“Yeah…” the boys wondered. “Let’s go check it out!”
The group turned their attentions and direction toward the nest and to Squatchy.
Squatchy kept yowling.
Squatchy: I’m going to lose my voice.
Me: You’re doing great! Just don’t scream. Sort of open the back of your throat like you’re going to yawn. I’ll make some yowls too so you can rest. YOOOOOOWL!
Squatchy: YOOOOOWL! I got a text from Your Man. They’re getting close.
Me: Yeah, Alicia text the same. She said to keep making noises!
Squatchy: I hear them. YOOOOOOWL! YOOOOOWL! *gasp* $%&*# They see me! *heavy breathing, crashing, panting* Holy @#$%^ One of them has a club! They’re gaining on me!
Me: Ahahaha! RUN! Hahahaha! It sounds like Blair Witch on this end.
Squatchy: Aaagh! *crash* I’m wounded! *yelling, thrashing* CLICK
Me: Squatchy? Oh my gosh! Haha! Squatchy? Are you OK?
From the mountain side I could hear the kids shouting and Squatchy shouting and then finally laughter! The group slowly began their descent from the hill. The boys were excitedly talking and, as they got closer to the house, set off in a run. The Dads, Alicia and Squatchy joined me at home base.
“Oh my god!” Squatchy laughed, his gorilla mask off and hair drenched in sweat. “When I saw that kid with the club…he shouted, ‘I’ll knock his head off!’ that’s when I tore off the mask and shouted ‘No! Don’t! It’s me!!'”
“Are you OK? You said you were wounded,” I asked looking my neighbor over.
“I’m fine. I’m fine. Just exhausted! I’m going home for a shower.”
That, Reader, is a good neighbor. The best.
I text Caren and thanked her for letting us borrow her Big Ape.
After the kids had refreshed themselves with drink and washed their hands we headed down to the front property for a campfire and to roast hot dogs.
With the help of the Dads and Alicia, we set up a table and a spread of chips, dogs and juice. S’mores were roasted next and Buddy’s cake was set aside to be enjoyed another day.
As guests left, Buddy gave them each their party favor. This was their Survival Kit for future expeditions. It included a flash light, first aid kit, hand warmers, camping toilet paper, beef jerkey, trail mix and a whistle.
“Mom,” he sighed as he wrapped his arms around me, “This was the best birthday party that I ever could have imagined! Thank you SO much!”
Later in bed, Man and I laughed at the evenings events.
“You did good Babe!” Man congratulated me.
I chuckled, “I don’t know why I do these crazy parties.”
“Cause you love to.”
“I do! Besides, the boys are getting older. Soon they won’t be interested in parties like this anymore.”
“Yep. Probably that was Buddy’s last one.”
That got me. I cried a little because Buddy is eleven now. He’s going to out grow me soon. It’s the goal. I’m proud of him but it’s still a sad bit of life.
“He’ll never forget this,” Man said comfortingly and wrapped in his arms I cried myself to sleep.