We'll start at the very beginning, a very good place to start :)
For years our cousins and their families have gone camping together at Lake Roosevelt and for some dumb reason we've never thought to invite ourselves along...until this summer, when we discovered that the first part of our road trip coincided perfectly with the second week of their camping extravaganza. 'Let us come!' we cried, and they very sweetly welcomed us with open arms.
I would like to point out here that we had not even been near a campground for three long years; Texas is not particularly conducive to this kind of outdoor activity. And so our poor collection of tents and lanterns and other camping paraphernalia sat in our 150 degree attic, gathering dust and feeling sorry for itself. We felt sorry for ourselves, too, because three years is much too long.
I would also like to point out that I love everything about camping: fingers that are sticky from S'mores, hair that smells like campfire smoke, snuggling down in sleeping bags at night, waking up to chirping birds in the morning, feet that are filthy from traipsing through the trees in flip flops, an excuse to eat Spam with wild abandon, being a little bit irresponsible about teeth brushing because there are much better things to do than hike down to the bathroom. And then, when we're able to do all of that on the shore of a lake with people we love, it kind of defies description.
This picture is one of my favorites. My husband is a teller of tales; he has a treasure trove from which to pull, mostly from when he was growing up but also from his beloved comic books, and he recounts them all with enormous amounts of delight. Not long after we arrived, he told one of his classics, and ever after, all of the little ones kept clamoring for more and more and more stories. Here they are, passing the popcorn, and listening to Uncle Scrooge and the Lost Crown of Ghengis Khan, although their very favorite was a real-life account from Jan Michael's early years which involved hijinks in a Sears bathroom. They asked for the re-telling of it so often that when it was time for us to go, they had memorized all of the crucial parts and could quote it right along with him :)
Both of us have hearts that are full to the brim because of our time together; we could not have asked for a sweeter send-off to our WA summer. Thank you, cousins! We love you!