The next day broke fine and I awoke to the sounds of banging pots and pans and A-D singing tunelessly. Hoping he’d made coffee, I crawled out of the tent to discover him making flap-jacks.

“Look, a flapjack ukemi,” he said, tossing one high in the air. I’m sure he didn’t intend for it to breakfall on the ground, although it seemed to please a nearby chipmunk.

“That one’s yours.”

I decided coffee would be enough for the moment.

Later, as I returned from washing the dishes, I was puzzled that Aiki was nowhere to be seen. Deciding to go for a walk, I soon found him in a nearby clearing: he was either doing shin kokyu or pretending to be a tree - it wasn’t quite clear to me.

My attempt to slip past un-noticed failed and he loped over to join me for a stroll in the woods. He was carrying his jo, and stopped periodically to do battle with Little John, or Musashi, or Darth Vader - at times it seemed like all three at once. That didn’t bother me, but it was a little hard on some of the trees. Thankfully I managed to successfully intervene when he was swinging close to a wasp’s nest.

We returned from our hike and decided to take the canoe out for a paddle on the nearby lake. That went pretty well, despite the fact that Aiki-Doh!-ka insisted on singing what he called samurai drinking songs, at least until he commenced doing tore fune undo. 

Not a good idea in a canoe, and our paddle quickly turned into a swim…

So it went for the next few days until it was time to go home. As we packed up the car I noticed that the leaves were beginning to turn, signaling the close of summer and the camping season, and I looked forward to getting back to the dojo for some rest…