Our Weekend In the Woods

by Stefani on 27-July-2009

Well, we made it back to suburbia from our jaunt in the woods. And while the woods were just as unbearably hot, the time spent with lots of family and few distractions was just what we needed. 

We worked puzzles around the crowded kitchen table, and we crammed too many bodies into one bed to watch movies. We laughed until our cheeks hurt and we cried some too. We suckered an uncle into building a fire in the camp shack for a weenie roast, despite the heat. We harvested what is likely the end of the tomato crop. We found some good excuses to use the beloved pocket knives. We roamed cow fields in a golf cart. We went to town to cruise the Walmart and visit the planetarium. We sat around the table telling old tales, catching up on local gossip and comparing notes on the relentless business of aging. 

I was reminded, again, how good it is to be a part of a clan. Each time my youngest heard how he talks almost as much as my great grandmother did; every time my oldest heard how his grandpa would be proud that he can play Wildwood Flower on the fiddle, just like he did; when my middle boy was told that his great grandpa picked a guitar and laughed all the time too… well I couldn't help but feel like my men are beginning to understand what it means to belong. 

I take a lot of comfort in the fact that as ridiculous as it is that my husband and I were just 20 and now we're approaching 40 (well, HE is approaching 40…. I am an undisclosed number of years behind him :-), as hard as it is to watch my granny moving slower and tiring more easily, as strange as it is to be at the grown-up's table talking about ailments and the economy, it's going to be alright. Behind us, there is a new generation… a group of young boys who are slowly but surely growing to love their place and their people. It is as it should be. 

So yes, we soaked it all in. We stayed up too late. We ate too much, and the time went all too fast. We miss it already. 

We missed it as soon as we couldn't see Granny in the review mirror anymore. 

Here's a little taste of our brand of heaven:

Fire ShackRomp In The FieldsThe CrickThe Last Of The MatersOh How He Loves The Pocket KnifeShackstersMy Granny

We hope y'all have found as many reasons to take some long deep breaths and enjoy right here, right now. 

Myrnie July 27, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Aww, what sweet memories. (And your granny reminds me SO much of my great-aunts, down in Alabama. Lovely, lovely ladies!) Glad you had such a great time 🙂 (And sorry to hear about your computer!)

darlene July 28, 2009 at 12:04 am

your granny looks awesome, sounds like good times!

Diane July 28, 2009 at 4:13 am

What a beautiful post, friend. It IS strange to be at the grown-up table now, isn’t it?! How’d that happen? I love your granny vicariously, thank you for sharing her : )

Elissa July 28, 2009 at 4:35 am

if you’re selling shares of that brand… i’m buying!

Valarie Budayr July 28, 2009 at 4:55 am

It looks like you had such a great time. Aren’t “family times” just wonderful ? We’re in the middle of our tomato harvest here. There’s a lot more canning to do. 🙂

Dana July 28, 2009 at 5:55 am

Sounds perfect. The picture of you granny reminds me so much of my own that I got a little choked up.

BOATBABY July 28, 2009 at 8:45 am

That Granny waving shot did me in (sniff sniff). How sweet!

Lia July 28, 2009 at 8:49 am

There’s nothing quite as good as having family in the country. Well, maybe living in it yourself would be as good. Glad to hear y’all had such a lovely time.

heather at brown robin July 28, 2009 at 11:08 am

You have a way of making me get all choked up while I’m grinning. Don’t ever stop that, you hear?! So… I’ve become a “leave a comment once in a blue moon kind of girl” since you started your blog, but I’m still keeping up. Watching your beginning days of blogging and the process you went through is one of the things that inspired me to take the risk and begin. I wanted to let you know that I’m having a giveaway for my first blog birthday today. It’s open through Fri. All ya gotta do is leave a comment. Thanks for the inspiration! You are still one of the best blog writers I have ever come across.


Erin Eckernode July 28, 2009 at 12:00 pm

wow, I loved this post. We too recently had a trip to the woods with my family and lots of cousins. You make it sound so lovely.

Melinda July 28, 2009 at 12:04 pm

That wave is as sweet as can be..

steadymom July 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Handsome, handsome boys!


this little light July 28, 2009 at 2:05 pm

This reminds me so much of my “clan.” We live in a town where my husband and I both related to everyone, which is a blessing and a curse! The photos remind me alot of rural Georgia, where I live. I really relate to this post!

Regina July 28, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Wonderful stories -every one a keeper and repeater!!! I know what you mean about missing a place as you drive away. Well put!

Lisa Clarke July 28, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Suddenly I’m remembering the summers of my childhood: grandparents, cousins, parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, all gathered at my grandparents’ home in the country, playing UNO and drinking ice cream sodas.

There’s nothing like that in our lives anymore, and this post is making me think how much that really needs to change! Thanks for that.

Pam July 29, 2009 at 5:56 am

This post is so rich in words and photos. Thank you for sharing your weekend with us.

Sarah Jackson July 29, 2009 at 7:30 am

I love this so much. You summed up exactly why we go back to the cabin at the beach every year. That place is the repository of 4 generations of family memories, and we make new ones every year. Good stuff, my friend.

Oh, and your granny’s housedress? Perfect. I want one. 🙂

Relyn July 29, 2009 at 11:59 am

When I was a kid I so wanted to join the laughter at the grownups table. Then, when I got there, I remember thinking how strange it was. We were just in Oregon visiting Jeffrey’s family. We had trips to the coast instead of cow fields, but it was much the same. At our big turkey dinner/feast we had a kids table and an grownups table, too. But, we ended up with all the grownups having a kid in their laps. Much better to be all together like that.

Relyn July 29, 2009 at 12:00 pm

By the way, the youngest kid in question was nearly eight. Big kids in our laps. They didn’t want to miss anything.

Cassandra July 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Sounds like memories were made! We’re heading to the woods this weekend…for a whole week! We can hardly wait.

It was pretty cute the other day when we were out in the yard enjoying the kiddie pool and my eldest was watching butterflies fly around and said to me suddenly, “The Blue Yonder boys catch butterflies! In their nets!” I thought it was pretty sweet that that was the first thing she thought of when she saw them fluttering about.

Stefani July 29, 2009 at 7:46 pm

How the heck DID that happen?
How did I get here?
“Letting the days go by…. ”

Stefani July 29, 2009 at 7:46 pm

oh if only I could bottle it!

Stefani July 29, 2009 at 7:47 pm

well… we MAY get some fall tomatoes, but I just don’t know. The heat is so bad this year. I’m not sure we can get anything to grow. Enjoy some for us okay?

Stefani July 29, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Well I think you’ve hit upon the ONLY thing that could be better!

Stefani July 29, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Well happy first birthday, Heather! I’m so glad that you jumped into the water, and that you’re still here along for our ride too! Thank you for that, and for your kindness!

Stefani July 29, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Girl, find you some country kin and drop in for a visit! 🙂

Stefani July 29, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Ha! I want some house dresses too! At what age do you suppose it’s okay to dispense all together with clothing that requires a waist?

This getting older business is hard, but there are the benefits, to be sure! My Granny says that every morning she watches Good Morning America, and then Regis, and then the View. I don’t think I’ve watched any uninterrupted morning TV in 8 years! I’m going to enjoy that one day. I really am.

Stefani July 29, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Oh yes. I hear that. They don’t stay at that table longer than it takes to spill something, that’s for sure. My favorite part anyway is when all the grown ups are pushed back from the table talking about how they shouldn’t have eaten all that, and the kids are asking when we can clear the stuff away and play cards. There’s so much to be said for a nice big table and a great big family to put around it.

Stefani July 29, 2009 at 7:54 pm

You have NO idea how happy it will make my butterfly man to know that your girls immediately thought of him and his net. He has always wanted to be a famous lepidopterist, and I think he might have just achieved that status!

I hope you guys soak up every last bit of fun to be had in the woods!

Sarah Jackson July 29, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Umm, Im wearing a loose trapeze dress right now and I have more of them
cut out and ready to sew. Its the only way to go when its 110 with a low

of 85 and youre outside chasing chickens and kids. 🙂

Cassandra July 29, 2009 at 9:25 pm

He’s definitely famous in our household! We’re going to do a bit of butterfly chasing. We’ve got quite a collection going (a live one, captured in photos) that we’ll share soon… We may need your little man’s help identifying…

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