I had hopes for spending some time alone in the woods, with the camping trip. Last year, we stayed in a different place, and there I walked through a trail in the woods and it was beautiful. I heard the wind whisper through the trees. I had similar hopes for something like that this time around.

The campground we visited this past weekend is most definitely a beautiful place. I drove around the property and saw tall pines and abundant evergreens, and many stone walls lining edges of quiet roads. I saw an old log cabin surrounded by a bountiful flower garden. I saw several old towers, and wondered what they were used for.

WeΒ  arrived at the campground at 3:30 pm on Friday and then arrived home on Sunday the same time. In 48 hours it is possible to do the following: put up and take down a tent, cook breakfast twice (eggs, sausage, hash browns), roast hot dogs for dinner, go out for pizza nearby one night, worship 3 times (Fri. night, Sat. night and Sun. morning, one hour each), spend 4 hours swimming (and boating) at the lake on Sat. afternoon, bike around- here and there, roast marshmallows, made pudgy pies, and participate in a search and rescue flashlight game at night (something like capture the flag). I guess one can pack a lot of things in 48 hours. That also includes sleeping– or trying to, that is! I think the kids did sleep… I did not sleep Friday night, but the upside of not sleeping one night is that I was tired enough to actually sleep some on Sat. night!Β  With all of this, there was little time for much else. So, yes, I had a busy time in the woods…and the fragrance of the woods and the campfire smoke come back with us, lingering on clothes and hair… and they invite me to visit again….

My thankful list for the past two weeks:

331. watching “Emma”, a wonderful movie production with my daughter in our own little movie marathon the weekend before last. Delightful! It’s so fun to have a girl old enough now to watch these together. Am I the only one who wonders what it would be like to live back then? I know it’s not all lovely like the movies, but… I like the dresses! πŸ™‚ And I like more, of course… like the dancing scene– several different enchanting little dances– and the people back then knew how to do them all? I wonder about it. I wish some things, like the dances, for example, did not change. Emma could also paint and play the piano. Hmmm. It makes me think. She, of course, had some lessons to learn in meddling, but overall, she realized when she had made a mistake, and eventually rightfully assumed the blame for her mistakes and lack of insight– not blaming others. She wasn’t perfect… but I did enjoy her character (at least in the movie; I haven’t read the book). I did enjoy the ending. I’m not sure how closely the movie I watched (a Masterpiece Theater production) matches the book.

332. a nice quiet 10 days spent at home, while the kids got over the chicken pox, full of rest, some creative projects, games, and movies

333. an abundance of glorious sunshine

334. getting some clean-up done in the basement

335. watching water-striders dance on the river

336. taking a walk last Sunday night with my 8 year old biking along, and observing life around the neighborhood: a woman taking an elderly woman in a wheelchair on a walk; boys skateboarding; people biking; other folks walking; a man mowing his lawn; another man fixing a window; a dog watching us from the window; the numerous bunnies that scatter along our path.

337. a busy weekend camping, with the kids having various adventures swimming, paddle-boating, canoeing, biking, etc.

338. While much of the country is thirsty for rain, I was quite thankful not to have rain fall this past weekend. We were in a tent… and I’m not so sure we’d have stayed dry. And that tent— is now officially too small! It was big enough 4 years ago, when the kids were smaller, but now…!Β  We fit, but barely.

339. Thanks to a friend for lending us air mattresses and a mat…oh so thankful for that!!! Gravel wouldn’t have made such a nice bed. This is way beyond the “Princess and the Pea”; thinkΒ  rather— a whole garden of tiny rocks! πŸ™‚

340. On Friday night, the sky was clear and we walked to a field and looked at the night sky and saw thousands of stars; saw the Milky Way! What a gorgeous sight. One inquisitive child started asking questions: what are stars? what are stars made of? I couldn’t remember all the answers and said we’d have to look it up later. We found the Big Dipper, Little Dipper and the North Star. Sometimes all you can do is look at beauty and not know the answers to how or why, like so much that is beautiful in this world. It did make me wonder– why are there stars in the sky? What would we think, if there weren’t stars? So much poetry, music, ideas, have come from the night sky. Would we be dreaming as much, marveling as much… if there weren’t stars? I recall reading when God showed Abraham the night sky and told him he’d have as many descendants as stars in the night sky… what did Abraham think? Didn’t it give him a dream? hope? a vision of God’s plan and the future? Does the starry night sky offer some hope for us too, for me? The celestial skies are indeed a wonder. I can’t fathom what is beyond the universe we cannot see, where stars are born and die… but, I do know Who is behind it, though I don’t understand much of it….

341. That same night… we heard coyotes in the distance (I was assured– it was a FAR distance)! It was the first time I heard coyotes howl. I can be thankful… because I could hear them and they were so far away! ha! πŸ™‚

342. I can’t believe it is August 1st already… but I am thankful it is still warm, no it is HOT…hot enough to still go swimming outdoors. You never know, in the summer around here, what to expect– cool or warm. Warm or hot is not a given, so I am very thankful!

343. My daughter is excited and anxious to go ahead and start some of her school work. I still haven’t ordered most of it. I’m happy that she’s ready to go!

344. Even in the midst of summer, in the beautiful sun, my mind sometimes does wander to think of what is coming (I almost don’t want to say it, to mention it, to think of it… the hard, cold, bitter winter). I am incredibly thankful for summer, but I always know what is coming. Winter– with heavy snow, bitter winds, brutal cold—Β  is most definitely a surety around here. I enjoy summer, as much as I can.

345. Thankful to come home and sleep in my own bed. πŸ™‚

346. white hydrangeas, in the backyard

Linking with Ann and her community in giving thanks: