Monday, June 23, 2014


A few weeks ago, I got a bee in my bonnet to go camping.
I don't know if it was the drive over to Chelan on Memorial Day weekend to help my Grandpa move or the onset of summer but I knew we needed to act on the idea quickly. A few text messages, some quick campsite research and six days later we found ourselves on Highway 2 stuffed like sardines around the essentials for outdoor living.
 Since June is so fickle in Western Washington we headed over to the mountains in hopes of ensuring a successful (read dry) first camping trip for the season. Two hours and a few pit stops later we pulled into the Upper Johnny Creek campsite just outside of Leavenworth and began setting up our nylon home for the next two nights. 
 Almost immediately, the kids ran into the woods, found sticks, got poked by a few bushes, and came back to our campsite with a fine layer of dirt already covering their hands and legs. Right then, I knew the next few days were going to be near perfection.

 Just as I suspected, the next two days contained all the things that deem a camping trip as delightful. There was a hike near a glacial raging river, alpine wildflowers lining the path with their delicate beauty. Though there may have been more than one point along the trail where the number of children needing to be carried outnumbered the available adult arms, backs, or shoulders. We'd still do it over again.

 There were numerous treks in the woods to find "fire tending" sticks and immediate fire etiquette lessons for three little burgeoning pyros. Boys and fire, the fascination and obsession is instant.   

 There were hot breakfasts with warm cups of coffee and hot chocolate in the morning. Delicious dinners followed by almost immediate and constant pleas for s'mores. Lots and lots of s'mores. There were giggling kids who were delighted to be sleeping in such close quarters to their siblings and adult conversation around the fire late into the evening.



Like I said, it was perfection and left us all eager for future trips to come.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

10 on the 10th

The late-spring sun beats down warming the earth and our souls alike. 
Sweat beads on tiny noses and pleas for less clothing quickly follow. 
I pry open the bottle of sunscreen left abandoned to it's winter home in the closet and say a silent prayer that it will keep my children's creamy white skin safe. 

 Articles of extra clothing fly off their bodies in eager anticipation of what awaits outside.  The swish of Lycra, the slapping of naked feet against pavement and wood as tiny legs propel themselves to the cool dampness of the lawn. They wait.

 The nozzle sings a staccato song in squeaky protest of disuse; rubber creaks and groans as it swells and fills with cool water rushing to fill it's hollow void. There's a spit, a sputter and a final whoosh as the water forces it's way out of the sprinkler head into a glorious fountain. Sunlight greats the droplets and momentarily transforms the gentle cascade to a crystalline state.

 Bodies blur in motion. Cool water meets hot skin and a simultaneous shriek of shock and relief fills the air. Over and over they gallop, hop and dodge through the arms of their watery escape.
With teeth chattering they retreat to the warmth of their terry-cloth islands. Off goes the water. The ground is sodden and their wrinkled skin tells the story of their water-filled escapades.
There is truly no greater combination than sunshine and water.