Camping always seemed to strengthen bonds - within our family as well as with our friends.
As the kids have grown, family camping trips have dwindled in numbers. Occasionally, Ron would take Michael or Alyssa off on a weekend, one at a time. Schedules are just tougher when kids go off to school or work. It's not unusual for Ron to go off on a solo camping trip these days. He packs his motorcycle with the bare necessities - that's all he needs - and he's off to the Great Outdoors.
|Katie Alyssa Michael - 1999|
But this trip was different. Texas record heat was finally behind us. Ron, Alyssa, Josh (Alyssa's boyfriend) and I were all talking about camping. The weather was cooler and the leaves were falling. Definitely our kind of camping weather. So I gave Ron my schedule for weekends in November, and he to a reservation at Mother Neff State Park, just north of Temple, Texas. Katie and Michael are off in New York and Nicaragua, so they obviously weren't going to be joining us. After the date was set, Alyssa reminded us that she had a special class to take that Sunday. She'd have to bail and join us next time.
|Campsite Antics of Yesteryear!|
Ron's been camping a lot without it being a whole family experience. I have not. So we reminisced about past campouts and our children's crazy antics over the years. We were relieved we didn't have to calm any babies, watch over the pyro tendencies of our children, or make sure someone wasn't falling into the river. We took pictures of nature itself - instead of pictures with kids as the focal point and nature as just a prop. I texted the kids to say goodnight and sent them this picture of our campfire. It was peaceful and relaxing... yet definitely a melancholy moment for me. The sun set and I sat by the crackling campfire writing while Ron hit the hay.
Yes, it feels like Autumn.