The end

We have a tradition of walking down to the water at almost dusk, playing on the beach, cooking hot dogs over a fire, and then walking the mile and a half back through the woods with flashlights.  This tradition was born out of our inability to get ourselves together and get out the door in a timely fashion.  Even after we are all loaded in the van, people start running back to the house for this or that.  We sigh and groan and roll our eyes at ourselves.  Sometimes we get really frustrated, and start passing the blame around.  “You’re always the last one out the door!”  (This is said to me.)  I reply, “Yeah, but as soon as I got in the van, you realized you had forgotten something!”

I guess this particular tradition has come to an end though, as we were visited on the beach by a ranger on this night who informed us that the park closes at sunset (in the past we were told 10 p.m. and the signs say the same).  He drove his truck back up to the entrance and returned with a fifteen passenger van to drive us back to the parking area.  Because it was dark, I don’t think he really realized what he was getting himself into.  Loading all of our stuff and our family into that van and then unloading it again a few minutes later was a little ridiculous.  He was friendly though, and didn’t seem to mind too much.  I asked him to send my apologies home to his wife, since we kept him at work late.

(My favorite, close to us, park.  Caledon State Park.)

p.s.  Job’s new trick is the fake pout face as seen in the series of three photos of him crawling then sitting there being silly.  Silas had a fake pout face too, which eventually turned into a real pout face which he now sports on a regular basis.  I’ve suggested to the older kids that maybe we don’t actually want to teach Job to pout.  My words most likely fell on deaf ears.  Oh, and the shoes–several asked to see my new magenta shoes.  I asked for gray shoes.  The importance of fit over fashion was gently explained to me.  Last week, A friend commented with what I suspect was a touch of sarcasm, “They’re so you, Ginny!”


  1. I love little Sebastian Job!

    I’m so sorry your walks are at an end! 🙁

    It looks magnificent.

  2. I love that last photo of you and Job. Just beautiful.

  3. Love all the silhouette photos of the littles on the dock. Beautiful tradition. Hope you can continue it in some fashion in the future.

  4. I usually lurk, but Job’s little smushy pout face made me laugh.

  5. your shoes are so cheerful! what brand are they?

  6. Magnificent photos. I enjoy the way you capture your sweet family. So many good ones in this post, it’s hard to narrow down a few to comment on, but Keats with the snake silhouetted in front of the sunset, wow… and Job is brimming with personality!

  7. I hope it’s not weird, but I emailed the park about their closing time and this was their response:
    “I am sorry for the confusion. The park for day use opens at 8 and closes at sunset. The park closes at 10:00 for campers. We now have a primitive camp site, that can be reached by hiking to it or by the canoeing/kayaking. We also have some night time programs that are done after sunset. The participants of the programs stay together and leave at the same time. When cars are in the parking lot that do not belong to campers or someone on the program, we need to make sure they are not lost or hurt. Finding someone in the dark without a clue where they might be becomes a search that includes more than the park staff. I hope this helps with the confusion.”
    They really ought to be more clear with their signage!

  8. I love your shoes, but I have to admit something. In the photos I thought they belonged to your daughter. I also wonder what those fruits sitting on the table are. It looks like the green one is growing off the stem sideways. Thanks for the lovely pictures.

  9. Yes Gunny. I too checked the web site for this park and it says 10pm. Don’t stop your tradition until you check with the park.
    Love your photos!

  10. I would totally call the state park system and ask around a bit. It is entirely possible that the ranger was wrong, especially if the signs say 10pm. We had a similar thing happen at our local state park. The ranger was NOT nice and was writing everyone tickets. The sign only said “sunset” and it was not dark yet. My mother challenged it in court, and now all parks state-wide are required to post the exact time the park is closing. They have to follow their own rules, too, even if they don’t like it!

  11. Beautiful photos as always. Your are so blessed to have such a fun family.

  12. I love this tradition! What a shame about the park closing earlier. Your pictures a so peaceful!

  13. I seriously LOVE the shoes. What kind of carrier is Jonny wearing Job in? I showed my husband and told him I need to get one “for him” (i think i may have told him that if i could just get the babyhawk i’d never need another carrier). but, oh, how i want an ergo.

    • It’s a Boba carrier. I have to say, the Ergo is much better. Ours has nearly disintegrated though (we bought it when Lark was a newborn), and I haven’t been able to afford a new one!

  14. Beautiful day. Beautiful family. Beautiful pictures.

  15. I love seeing the whole big family together. My husband and his brother were recently scolded by police for staying in the park past dark too, but he was just waiting in the parking lot by the car to lecture them. I love the slowly encroaching darkness.

  16. I LOVE Job’s pouty face!

  17. Ginny,
    The pictures at sunset are so beautiful. And I love that smiley face picture of Job, so cute! Bracken has a pouty face he likes to use as well. 🙂


  18. Désolée, en français : les dernières photos me font penser à des tableaux de Georges de La Tour… magnifique !

  19. Did you sneak a snake picture in? 😉

  20. beth lehman says:

    such lovely pictures and a lovely tradition…. and i agree with the other reader… it may be worth either double checking or just trying again another time!!

  21. Such gorgeous pictures! And the Fake Pout Face…oh, my goodness! So stinkin’ cute! 🙂

  22. I love the shoes… I have a gray pair of shoes. My 14 year old son told me that they looked like “Old Lady Shoes” and they were boring. Since I was not about to spend more money on different shoes, I bought bright neon pink she laces for them. Then I asked him what he thought. He said, ” I like it! They are more hip… Less old lady looking.” That was good enough for me!

    I wish you plenty of healthy walks with your kids in your cool, new shoes!

  23. In the first photo, with your daughter looking at the flowers. Do you or someone know the name of the tall dark pink or red flowers? I saw these as a child, and never knew the name. Love the pics.

  24. Job’s face! How adorable. You caught some great shots. I love seeing your family. Such a blessing!!

  25. Debi Miller says:

    Love the shoes! I think we all need cheerful shoes that make us smile!

  26. well that stinks. i guess they need to change their sign. 😛
    lovely photos.

  27. Ha ha! That fake pouty face is exactly what my 14 month old sports! Right now I’m struggling with a 3.5 year old who thinks it’s a good idea to teach the 14 month old how to scream really loudly. I mean, really loudly. She thinks it’s hilarious. Me? Not so much. Especially when I’m on the phone.

  28. What a scare! When I read the topic “The End” I thought that this was a posting telling that you are done blogging. And my heart sank. What a relief to read that this is not a case! All of a sudden I realized how much I enjoy reading your blog and I wanted to let you know that. So thank you for writing and oh what a bummer about the park, but yes, maybe worth checking if the rules changed or if it was “just some mix up”.

  29. I’d keep doing it. Heavens. I love the photos of you.

  30. Your photos are so beautiful!!

  31. I hope this isn’t the end of your lovely tradition. I’m a snoop, so I went and checked the park website which has the hours posted of 8am to 10pm. I guess that maybe your ranger was A) hungry and wanted to go home early, or B) worried about how you were going to make it back in the dark with your children. Might be worth double checking.

    I’m so sorry, but the pouty face is a particularly adorable one.

  32. Looks like you all had a great time. 🙂 Looks like a lot of fun.

  33. fun traditions! the shoes are fun too 🙂 love these pictures. God is with you.

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