This is the weekend I say farewell to summer. Our church (and another church from the same city) have a gathering in Maine on the coast. There are dorm rooms for most folks but those who are frugal, and/or like it more peaceful can opt to camp at an appreciably lower overall cost. I am all about both those things, so my family has always camped, regardless of the weather.
We have camped there when it is 40 degrees at night. When it has been raining. When it has been so foggy it was hard to see. But this year, the goddess graced us with a weekend of amazing beauty. Temps so warm I let the kids play in the ocean. Cool nights that made sleeping easy but not so cold that anyone was needing extra fleece in their sleeping bags.
It is a weekend where my kids (and all the other kids there) get probably more freedom to wander and explore than they do in their day to day lives. Rob opted to camp with a friend from youth group. He checked in with me via text and at meals. He always texted "Love you" at night as I did him.
KC and his group of pals from church made and sold jewelry and art. They created a skit for the talent show. They climbed trees and wandered around sharing the grandiose thoughts that 11 and 12 year old boys have.
Lissa had her group of friends. Her "bestie" was there and they did a gymnastics routine together for the talent show. She played in the water, danced in the sand, ran around like the crazy wild young girl she is.
Chet helps all the folks who arrive on Friday night. He knows the lay out of the conference center and helps bring belongings to the correct room, provides directions on parking cars and is generally very helpful. After meals he bussed dishes and before breakfast he swept the dining hall and got all the chairs out.
The kids and I also spent some time together. We walked the beach and found a pooch that played soccer with my kids. Actually she sort of ate the ball but they all had a blast together. We found sea glass to bring home. We ran races and toasted marshmallows, sang and told silly jokes.
And I had alone time. Well, kid-free time. Time when I walked the beach with friends and we talked and caught up on each others life. I have lots of friends so there were multiple walks which incidently was very good for my fitbit numbers! LOL I tried a new beer at the gathering before supper on Saturday night. I had time to read, time to enjoy the sun. Time to star gaze. Time to watch my bare feet make foot prints on Saturdays walk. Time to watch my sneaker shod shoes make prints on the last walk today before we left to drive home.
Walking with my shoes on was symbolic. It was about me getting ready to embrace the seasons change. Fall is nearly here and I am such a child of summer. But there is much to be gained by finding and enjoying the beauty of each season. So I really work at this. Today I literally made steps toward fall.
Once home, there was laundry and all the camping gear had to be cleaned and put away for next season. This too, is a step towards fall. I am ready now, I think. The laundry bin is empty, the gear cleaned and stored. Corn shocks decorate our front post and tiny gourds are beside the door. Blessed be.