Beach Camping, Wind, & Hail, Oh My!

Last week we weren’t sure that our family beach campout was going to happen due to the rain in the forecast. But Friday at lunchtime, my dad told me that he was heading down to the campground and I decided to get a sitter for Midge to cover the hour and half before Greg got home. And with that, the boys and I went camping! I threw everything in the car in the hour between lunch and when Jake got home from school, and off we went.

What do you know, the weather was beautiful! Gorgeous clouds, blue sky, and our campsite had a perfect tree for climbing and fort making.

The “treehouse” became more and more elaborate as the hours and days continued. In fact, I heard that when Tyler got up early with Uncle Rick on Saturday and he was splitting palettes of wood for the fire, he turned to put the ax away and when he turned back Tyler had already taken the pieces that he just split over to the fort to build with!

On Friday night, as expected, the wind and rain swept in right about bedtime. My dad had helped me secure our rain fly on the tent so we were snug and dry. When the wind whipped up, the boys went crazy with excitement! Rain, wind, and yes, even hail pelted the roof of the tent while Jake screamed over and over, “This is TOTALLY AWESOME!!!” My mom told the boys stories to get them calmed down and they slept the whole night with rain splittering on the roof of our tent.

It rained all night, but we woke up to clear blue sky over the expanse of the ocean. I love camping. What could be better than hot chocolate in a tree fort with an ocean view?

Greg and Midge arrived at 8:00 a.m. (the night was too cold for her to camp) and she spent the day crawling around in her sleeper jammies through the dirt, as well as being passed around from relative to relative. By the afternoon it had really warmed up, and we gave my sister Amy a “Meet the Baby Shower” in the most beautiful (although not very conventional) shower location around. The pelicans were very obliging in flying by all day for my photographing pleasure.

Down below, my “boys” played on the near deserted beach. I think the rain had scared everyone else away.

By evening, worn out by a day of outdoor play, Jake was beat and went home with Greg and Midge at bedtime, leaving just Tyler and I to camp on Saturday night. The cousins and aunts and uncles all gathered around the fire to talk and laugh. Such a relaxing way to spend an evening. Unlike an evening spent in front of the t.v., an evening of conversation around a campfire really does unwind slowly and blissfully. One cousin plinks away on the ukelele, another organizes banana boats filled with chocolate and marshmallows to roast over the fire. The shushing waves flowing in and out all night. And we wake up to freshly made salsa and sausage breakfast burritoes after a night of snuggling in the sleeping bags.

What a grateful heart I had on Sunday morning as we drove home. I’m thankful for parents who help without even being asked when it’s time to take someone to the bathroom or entertain a boy or pack up a tent. Thankful for good weather. For God’s creation. For a family who enjoys being together. For a weekend away from the regular routine. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gifts.

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