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!”

Evening on the Meadow

I may have overdone it with the photos this time, so I won’t say much.  On Friday, Seth and Keats had their piano lessons early so that we could leave for Big Meadows after lunch.  After lunch became four o’clock.  We didn’t reach the meadow until nearly seven.  The kids were hoping the blueberries would be ripe.  I was hoping the fawns would be out frolicking.  We didn’t get our wishes, but it was beautiful nonetheless.  Driving two and a half hours just to reach Big Meadows is entirely worth it, if only to close my eyes and breathe the air.  We’ll have to go back in a couple of weeks to try again.

p.s. On our trip we saw two bears, a dozen or so adult deer, one fawn, a garter snake, one raccoon, and one owl that swooped in front of our van on the way home.