I am not famous for my camping skills. Ha Ha, yes I can hear the laughter of my family and friends. I have camped, but I don't really like heat, bugs, lying on the ground, smelling like a campfire, and many of the other hazards of camping. For the last 3 years I have been actively involved in Cub Scouts, and I even managed to avoid camping in a big way there. My son and I have camped twice with the Scouts so far. Once at Cub Scout Camp when he was a WEBELOS II in order to earn his Arrow of Light, and again as a WEBELOS II at Scoutland during the WEBELOS Woods event. Neither was a horrible experience, however, for a girl who must bathe at least once a day, not exactly comfortable either.

Next week the church that my husband attends is hosting a weekend of camping in Cherokee NC. Okay that is in the mountains where the weather is cooler, but I don't think the bugs will take a vacation, and I have to travel to shower.

YET.... I am going into this with a very positive attitude, I am actually looking forward to spending time with my kids and no TV or DS games. I will enjoy my first opportunity to spend some extended time with new friends. I will let you know how it goes.


Things remembered, new events, and all the other stuff going on...

There are so many things going on with the various people in my life, that I can hardly keep up.

Lets see..Probably paramount on the mind right this second is my Daddy's second marriage. Yes I am 35 years old and I still call him Daddy. I don't know why, my brother and sister have both made the transition to calling him Dad, but I guess as the first girl he will always be my Daddy.

My parents divorced 26 years ago, my Mama remarried the same year the divorce was final and is still married to that wonderful man. Yet, alas, Daddy has not found that woman that he wanted to share his life with. There were two women with which he engaged in long term relationships. One of those ladies is the mother of my half sister. The other was a shrew of a woman who kept my brother and I seperated from my Daddy for a good number of years. She was mean, manipulative, and did everything she could to damage and hurt. We are all glad that she is no longer in his life. This new lady is a sweet and thoughtful person, willing to come to the home of my mother for my birthday dinner. She and my Daddy have only been dating each other for since May of this year. The wedding is set for August 15.... yes I know how quick that is, and trust me we have all had our little period of "concern". The concern is behind me! I thought for a while, what could this be... I know my Daddy and I know that he isn't a easy man to live with. He is a perfectionist, who has lived alone for 26 years.... that can't be good. I wish her all the best, and I hope she is patient. I look forward to getting to know her and spending time with her. I am also looking forward to the wedding, I found out last week that I getting to plan the recpetion! YAY! One of my secret desires would be to work in wedding planning. This is so much fun for me, and I am so excited. I feel that getting to be involved is a gift from God. See I love my family and I always want to help, however, I do realize that there are others who have a larger say in the process. So I am very thankful for this opportunity to serve and help those that I love. And.... if you have any cool ideas for the reception, pass them on.

There is another "thing" heavy on my heart, which will be a little elusive. I have a wonderful friend who I love so much, and is going through a horrible time right now. It has been a long road and it is a scary one. My prayers are for her constantly and I pray even now that she will just keep moving forward and taking the baby steps toward the light. It is there, even though it is a little dim from time to time.

Then there is the grandparents. I have one set of living grandparents, they have been married for 59 years this September. I will not tell you that it has been a fairy tale marriage, but they do love each other, of that I am sure. My GrandDaddy is 85 & my Nannie is 76. I love them both so much, which is what makes their aging so hard for me. Not that I don't expect them to age, not that I think they will live forever... but to watch the ones I love so dearly wither away is simple heart breaking. It takes my breath when I look at my GrandDaddy, the once strong virile man, who I watched in awe as a child. I tried to go as many places as I could with him, I met him at the barn every morning while I was there to see him milk the cows. I rode with him to the sale barn in the old orange truck with a huge cow penned in the back stomping big holes in the bed of the truck as we stopped for gas. I watched him sit each morning and late into the night reading his bible at the table, writing letters to his sisters and other relatives. These days I get to see him about once a month. I go over and sit and we catch up, how is he feeling, what do the doctors say, what is he doing differently to keep himself going. We talk about his garden and ours, we talk about the kids and what they are up to, we talk about family and friends and he tells me stories about things that happened years ago. His memory is good, sometimes seems better than mine, but his body is stooped, his legs and belly swell, he has little control over his movements and I see the end. Everytime I am there I kiss him and say, I want you to be here the next time I come... and I mean it. I wish that he would never leave me, that he would be sitting in the chair on the back "deck" or piddling in the garden for the rest of my life so that I don't ever have to say good bye.

For those of you who know me you know that I am crying right now. I am an emotional person, I always have been, I cry for the good, the bad, the sad and the hurt. Which means in this crazy world I do a lot of crying. Crying is okay, it cleanse the soul and removes some of the residual that makes you hazy. My birthday was this week and my son told my mother, "old women are very emotional, Mama cries everyday".... now I just turned 35 so I take offense to the "old women".... but one day he will see, like me that old isn't a number.

As you can probably tell, we spent the holiday weekend with family. My family and my sweet hubby's family all live within 15 miles of each other, with the large chunk living even closer. We attended the same church, our parents graduated high school together, even shared the same sitter for a little while. Our families have known each other for years, and through us we have been family for 16 years now. So it is so easy to go home because they are mostly all in one spot. We can make a 10 min drive down the road and be at somebody's house. We "camp" at my Mama's she and my Step-Dad built a new home 6 years ago right across the driveway from the mobile home I grew up in, last year put in a pool. It is where we all congregate, we pile in with all our stuff, strip off our clothes and slide into swimsuits, we dive and jump, we snack and feast. We make trips to the store to "pickup" stuff that we need. We hug and kiss and play games, we sing and dance, we pick on each other and prod out the information... we laugh and we love, we drink beer, wine, mudslides and sweet tea, we tell stories that we all know and still laugh at them. It is home and everyone feels loved and comfortable and happy, and if we don't we take a break. Nothing is expected... just be who you are.

Well I have rambled enough for tonight....