The week after our extended vacation was our Week of Appointments. Doctor, hair dresser, therapist, etc.
This last week, though, was pretty much constant fun all week long. (I think that’s why I’m so tired. My sister-in-law once said that it takes a lot of work to make memories. I concur.)
Tuesday night I took the kids to see my cousin in the Bremerton area. Where I live is beautiful, but I have to say that the peninsula is one of the most gorgeous places on God’s green earth. Her husband was at scout camp for the week, so we had a sleepover! Between us there were eight kids ages 9 and under, which of course spells L-O-A-D-S O-F F-U-N.
This is most of the kids watching a movie. (Eden is posing. Zack is not.) Besides watching a movie, we played the Wii, played the computer, had dinner at the “Tiger Cafe”, made caramel Chex, drew some trading cards, tried to eat their baby no less than four times, rode bikes and scooters, swung on their giant swing, and generally made nuisances of ourselves. (We’re good at that.)
We had so much fun, we didn’t want to leave.
On Friday, I had a dear, dear friend come and visit. Unless you’re going to Alaska, Seattle isn’t really on the way to anywhere, so we don’t get many visitors around these parts. It was so good to see her and catch up . . . and I didn’t take any pictures. Too busy talking. Come again anytime, Mandi!
That afternoon, I headed out to the ward campout with the kids.
We’d been to the campsite once before, but it was three or four years ago and Stan was driving at the time. When we drove past the place I thoughtwas it, there weren’t any cars or people or welcome signs (although there were quite a few that said “No Trespassing” and “Keep Out” rather ominously). I kept driving.
It was a dirt road, bumpy and not much more than a couple of tire tracks through the grass in a few places. At one point, it edged close–very close–to the river. Branches kept scraping along the sides and roof. As we passed several other campsites, I kept up a cheery monologue for the kids’ sakes. “Well, I’m pretty sure that’s not it. Maybe it’s just around this bend!” Soon, though, we reached the end of the road.
“Huh.” I said. “I guess we should turn around and go back.”
By now, the kids were getting a little bit anxious, the “Keep Out”s and “No Trespassing”s looming larger every second. Eden said, “I don’t want to drive by the river again. It’s freaky.”
“There’s no other way to go,” I told her. “In fact, we’re in trouble if another car comes this way.” Then, as if belatedly noticing I used the word “trouble” in a sentence, I laughed weakly.
We got back to the first campsite, and I actually pulled in. “I’m pretty sure this is it, guys.”
“No! Turn around! Call Dad on your cell phone! This can’t be the right place!”
“My cell phone is broken, so I can’t call anyone.” I studied the directions again. “I’m pretty sure this is it.” Before they could be convinced, I had to drive back out to the main road and show them the small sign with our ward’s name on it, and an arrow pointing to the dirt track we were beginning to know like our own street.
“Why don’t we just get out and look around?” I said. “Maybe somebody left a note.”
The ward campout several years ago slowly came back to mind as I looked at the pavilion, the army tents, the fire pit, and the location of the river. There was a large tee pee off to one side that I didn’t remember seeing last time, but otherwise it was spot on. “This has got to be it,” I said. “But where is everybody?” I don’t think we’ve arrived first for anything in our entire lives.
Eden, who was practically glued to my side, tugged at my sleeve. “Mom,” she whispered. “What if that’s a real tee pee?”
I laid my hand gently over hers, informed her that I hadn’t heard of any hostile Indian tribes on the warpath, and made a mental note to find something other than “Little House on the Prairie” for her to read.
I moved the van over to a different area and said, “This looks like a good spot to put up the tent.”
The kids were still not convinced.
Luckily, two other cars pulled in right at that moment. Not only was my childrens’ confidence restored in my sense of direction, I also had help putting up our tent.
If there is anything a nine-year-old boy likes better than a campfire, I don’t know what it is. Unless it’s a river, and we had one of those there, too. Zack was in heaven.
What’s a campout without s’mores? No campout at all.
I didn’t even get any pictures of Eden; she spent her hours running around with her little pack of friends and finding sticks that I absolutely would not allow her to bring home.
I love the fireside, when all the lights are low . . . (everybody, now!)
Our home away from home.
If you look closely at the top of this picture, you can see a little red head amongst the covers. I was right next to it, so close, in fact, to be considered underneath it for much of the night.
I slept so well.
This week, after almost six years of planning on doing it, we are actually going to paint my children’s bedroom.
Let the Week of Redecorating begin.