I have been absent as of late, probably because I have also been absent from home these past 5 weeks. When your offspring start lamenting about leaving, you know it's been too much. We are generally 'home' people. We do like to travel, but as a rule we are home over the summer. I suppose that has been due to the fact that we build, then move...etc etc. This July has been an exceptionally busy time. I would like to say that I have mastered the art of packing, leaving, and un-packing, but it still seems to be a nemesis of mine. I am trying to do it nicely, as in patiently. Trying...
We have thoroughly enjoyed each trip though. Boring is not a word that I would attach to our month. Our week-ends have been filled with travelling, family, fellowship, friends, mild panic, berries, and way to much food. Each trip has been different from the next in circumstance and location, but ALL have added to the memory bank.
We met up with friends at Shaw's Point, around 2.5 hours from our home. The weather wasn't great but our friends spoiled us terribly with boat rentals and fishing. Our kids have been waiting to catch fish for years already and this time each and every child caught plenty of them! I'm not sure what was more fun, watching the kids or watching the dad's try to keep up with them! We came home exhausted, but it was worth it.
The Church we attend holds an annual 'Church In The Park' event at a beautiful campground 40 minutes away. We decided to camp that week-end which made Sunday morning much more relaxed. To make it even better, a sister and her family came and camped with us from Thursday to Sunday. We could hardly believe how easy camping has become (once you are packed) with our families. The kids are all old enough to bike around and take the younger ones to the park...what a treat! The trip did start out a little stressful. Just as we were getting ready to pull off our yard, my overactive nose smelled an odd smell. Like burning electrical stuff, important stuff. Within seconds smoke was billowing into the truck cab and the kids and I bailed out while Gord unhooked everything and pulled the truck away from the buildings...in case the truck caught fire. Not re-assuring. In the end, it was something relatively minor. One speed on our AC went, but thankfully we have 4 speeds left :)
This was a such a beautiful trip, although un-planned as most funerals are. We were privileged to attend the Homegoing of a dear man whom I have known for years. The emphasis was on Hope and Salvation and it was beautifully presented. His family honoured him well and we were blessed to be a part of it. I have always viewed their family as an extension of my own, and was disappointed to learn that we weren't related. But it never mattered, they felt like 'Home' to me and Gord was finally able to meet most of them, which is almost funny because they are his relatives. I have long tried to explain my sentiment for the family to Gord, and after we left for home, I asked him "Do you know what I mean now, why they feel like family?" He got it. Some people are gifted that way. It's wonderful when your family and extended family gives you that strong connection, and it's an added wonder when you get it from from others simply because of our ties in Christ.
And then things got stressful. I had a hard time prepping for my family's camping trip, mainly because we were headed in the same direction that we had the following week, except this was only 7.5 hours one way. We weren't able to leave until after Gord finished work so we knew it would be a long night. Also, we were going to be 'roughing' it with my family in a tent. It's been years since we used a tent, but I was adamant that we would not freeze. One thing made it easier, because of the distance and the fact that we couldn't take our trailer, my mom volunteered to take care of all the meals. Oh yes, we gladly accepted!
We were on schedule to pull in at midnight and were only 30 minutes from the camp when we lost all the oil in our van. Thankfully we were able to pull over just as we were coming into Vanderhoof, but there we stood, stranded on the side of the road at 11:30pm. An officer drove by and called a tow truck for us, which was painful because we only needed to tow it to a dealership which was in our sights...$$$. My brother-in-law hadn't reached the camp yet so he turned around and picked us and all our camping gear up. We arrived at 12:30 and I'm ashamed to say that I wasn't in a chipper mood and my attitude was less than stellar. Here we have the silver linings. (a) The week-end before when we were passing through, we left our tent, and mattresses with my parents and my sisters were kind enough to set everything up for us. (b) We WERE thankful that we didn't break down in the Pine Pass which would have been hours from our destination, and no cell service. (c) My sister, in an attempt to lighten my mood, told me that now I could go pick the treasured Huckleberries!! It worked.
Gord had to get a ride home with my sister while I stayed in Prince George waiting for my vehicle to be repaired. Thankfully it was covered under a recall notice and we will be reimbursed for the towing bill.
I was also humbled by the willingness of people to help. From a brother towing it to a T***** dealership an hour away, to a friend lending us a dolly to help the process along. At one point I had 3 men, all former truckers, looking at my vehicle and assessing everything. Between the three of them there was close to 100 years experience...that helps.
The icing on the cake was the extra time spent with my family and the fact that my mom took me huckleberry picking. What a treat, what a thrill! I would have loved to go again, but I needed to get home by Wednesday so that we could prepare to leave again on Friday. And that is where I find myself now. The loading and packing is finished, and I find myself with a few spare minutes to write out this months happenings.
The details of TRIP #5 are yet to be determined, but I am sincerely hoping that nothing will go wrong with our vehicle this time. TRIP #4 had other challenges for some of my family. One sister reached camp with a flat tire, and when I arrived at my parents home, it was to a basement partially under water from a busted water line in the washroom. Thankfully the damage was minimal.
Of course nothing is without it's lighter moments. My son, one who should be old enough to know better, learned the importance of 'Never Cry Wolf' when we were picking berries. He is constantly trying to trick me, but this time he did...and I was not impressed. Huckleberries grow well at a higher elevation so we were picking on a mountain side, deep in bear territory. Every now and then I would have to rest my achy back, and would scan the hillside for signs of animals..well aware of the fact that we could run into bears. At one point, my child (love him) yelled "BEAR!" Pretty sure I shot up like a rocket with fear on my face, to which he responded "Kidding." I will not elaborate on the conversation that took place, but in a nutshell, it was made very clear that one does not yell 'bear' in bear country unless there actually is one.
And just like that we are ready to hit the road.....hopefully I will have nothing but good things to report on Monday :)