The biggest event in my family’s life is our annual trip to Glen Rose, Texas. If you’ve read my blog for long, you know this! It’s been going on since 1988, this October camping trip with the Conroe Home Educators, now known as the Conroe Area Christian Home Educators (CACHE), and we’ve only missed one year.
We’re on the way, even as I type. It’s a three-day campout, but we’ve always tried to go early and stay late! Bill and Dannye have been able to go for the entire week several years now. This year we had to cut back because of Bill’s work, so we are going today through Monday. We got a really late start, so it will be interesting to see how the setting up of tents in the dusk/dark goes!
Which brings us to another difference in this year: tent camping rather than RV camping. Most years we’ve been able to borrow Bill’s folks’ camper, but this year it is unavailable. So we have loaded enough tents to house a small city, along with all the stuff we could think of that we will need. The first time Emily camped with us was one of the few times we had to tent camp. She was amused – well, perhaps amazed is a better description – of how we camp. If it’s hot, Bill brings a window unit a/c for our tent. If it’s cold, we bring a heater or two. And always – I mean ALWAYS – Bill sets me up a bathroom tent. I told him that if he wants me along on these trips, I will not go traipsing across the campground in the middle of the night to find the bathhouse! It isn’t gonna happen!
During our years of homeschooling, this event was the most looked forward to of any we participated in. Our support group was in it’s early stages, and was pretty small back then. We all had pretty much the same mindset, the same goals, and even the same fears. The legality of homeschooling was still up in the air. Some of us were afraid we weren’t capable of educating our children. All of us wanted our children to have a greater heart for their families than for their peers, and we all especially wanted our children to love Jesus more than any earthly thing. We clung to each other, and our children revelled in each other’s company.
Glen Rose camping trip was the one time of year that the children got to hang together as a group for three days and nights! In the kids’ younger days, they swam in the Brazos River during the day or played football in the fields of the campground, and played flashlight tag, and hide and seek, and war at night. Moms and Dads stayed up late to talk – and talk! There was a freedom about that wonderful campground because it was rather open, possibly an old pecan orchard.
We could see and hear our children, yet they had the freedom to run and play with abandon! As the kids grew older, they would gather in the evenings around someone’s campfire and do what young people do – talk and laugh and sing! So much fun was had around those many campfires! Marshmallows roasted, apples dipped in caramel, hot chocolate steaming. Talking, laughing, praying, praising.
This year I have a small dread about our annual Glen Rose trip. Empty nest is WAY more painful during times like this! For me, the children is what makes the event. Our children aren’t children any longer. And this year, Bo & Em are in Colorado for a dear friend’s wedding this weekend, so our grandbabies aren’t here either!
Last year, Arulai and Titus made our camping trip feel like the old days.
Titus was only a few months old, and Arulai was three…and excited about EVERYTHING! She loved the tent, she loved the camper, she loved the river, and she loved the campfire!
We had so much fun with them, and so enjoyed having Bo, Em, and Dannye all together.
As we draw closer to our destination, I can feel the old excitement creeping into my veins. I love this place, even though this year it is evokes a bit of sadness in the nostalgia, I am so glad we came. The pics above are from last year (or earlier), but soon I will most assuredly be putting up photos from this trip. I hope your weekend is delightful!
God bless your day!