Sunday, June 28, 2020

When life is getting a little too real

Jared decided that we needed a change of scenery, and, since Mom and Dad were both busy and working, he would plan it for us with all of his fifth grade smarts.  He did some research and decided that we could get away in a socially distant way if we camped out on BLM land near Empire Ranch, about 45 minutes away from home.  I was skeptical about this being a restful escape, since we were bringing the children with us, but Jared turned out to be spot on.  Our overnight camping trip on May 8-9 (right in the middle of finals for me and with two weeks of school left for the kids) was exactly what we needed.  
 When we got to the campground, we saw a van and a camper parked in the campground, but we never saw another living soul while we were there.  We wandered around and explored a bit.  There were some menacing clouds on the horizon, and a bit of wind, but no storm ever materialized. 
 We borrowed Colette's luggable loo, since there are no bathrooms out on BLM land.  Our kids made good use of it, seemingly unaware of their utter lack of privacy.  When we looked it up before we left home, all the information we found said that fires were permitted.  There was a "no fires" sign along the highway outside of Empire Ranch, so we decided to play it safe and make a tiny little fire with mostly coals. 
 B discovered a lot of dried out mud clods all around the camping area.  They looked like rocks, but when you dropped them or threw them, they broke into a million pieces.  B found this incredibly satisfying, and declared this the best day of his entire life as he gleefully smashed dirt clods up and down the dirt road into the campground. 
 Everyone slept pretty well.  I was up early, but this is the best night's sleep our kids have ever had on a camp out.  This was a quick trip, but we had all really needed a break from our responsibilities, from bad news, from routines, and from pressures.  We all needed some very satisfying dirt clod smashing in our lives. 
 On May 4, 2020, Cheyenne and Andrew welcomed Nathan Alexander Warnock to their family.  He is baby #5 for them, and cousin #8 on my side, and he is absolutely perfect.  My plan had been to fly or drive out to visit Cheyenne's family in Georgia right after school got out so that we could meet the new little guy, but the pandemic made that plan seem irresponsible, so we scrapped it.  We will have to continue to admire him from afar for a while longer.  For now we will just have to imagine holding all of this squishy sweetness.  We can't wait to meet you in person, Nate!
 While we were isolated, it seemed like a good time to do crazy things that no one would ever see.  B decided to do something wild with his hair (inspired by his cousin Ryan's crazy hair).
Whew.  It was time to check in for the very end of the school year.  Did it seem extra long to anyone else?

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