Summer slips into September…

…with the third and final camping weekend for the Walkers.  And SUCH a weekend!  First of all, the waning of summer into the winds of autumn is my favourite season, even though we lack the blazing colours of the east coast.  Our tawny splendor lasts but about three weeks, and still these crisp fresh mornings, mellow blue and gold afternoons and hot-chocolate evenings warm my heart.

Camping for the third time proves what I had hoped would be true: it only gets easier as we go along.  (Granted, we got the trailer again this weekend, which is easier by far than the tent, but nonetheless…).  We camped with some good friends and relaxed completely for two blissful days and nights.  Oh, the highlights!

Pepsi can playtime (bobbing for cans?)

Outdoor bathtime

  • Tender grilled steak and fresh, juicy Taber corn on the cob
  • Roasted hot dogs around a fire blazing and sparking in the dark
  • Shooting stars above the guardian night-darkened fir trees
  • Long, lazy, light-hearted conversation with friends while our dear little ones slumbered
  • Sizzling breakfast bacon in the warmer-than-normal September morning with a toddler and two babies laughing and babbling at the table
  • River-time play with Sara in her shorts and shirt (we’d forgotten a bathing suit) – her shrieking laughter as she floated in the freezing water
  • Aliyah, for the first time, pulling herself to her feet on furniture in the trailer

She did it all by herself!!!

  • Little copy-cat children mimicking our every word – hearing first Sara and then Aliyah repeat “I know” to a comment I made (Aliyah in her sing-songy baby voice with her lips curved in a perfect “o”
  • Playground hilarity – Sara reaching for the sky with her toes on the “big girl swing” and Aliyah demanding a constant diet of the big yellow aphid-infested slide

Freedom!

Crazy

  • Relaxing family bike ride, the girls giggling in the chariot and then happily “sharing” a creamy popsickle

Purple popsickle lips

  • A lazy afternoon nap
  • The girls sharing the lower bed – hearing them chatter quietly in the morning (Aliyah: “babababa.”  Sara, softly: “shhhh…”).  (The “quietly” part didn’t last long).

Of course, not all was wonderful.  Some campers down the lane had an ENORMOUS (and probably very fun) party and played Johnny Cash (intermingled with various and sundry dance mixes) LOUDLY until midnight (we were tempted, early in the morning, to drive our vehicles in front of their campers, set off the alarms, and take a stroll).  We saw a wickedly ugly caterpillar on the cook-tent.  And…hmmm…I think that was all.  So clearly, the good outweighed the bad in this one.

A summation, then, of the Walker summer:

June – heartache beyond imagining, fear and an overwhelmingly daunting lifestyle change, combined with the support and love of friends, family, and people we don’t even know.

July – confusion, grief, exhaustion as we learned how to cope, dealt with constant baby vomit (different entirely from baby spit-up), watched our baby slip into lethargy and then transfer (rather suddenly with a new antibiotic) into a very energetic and quite hilarious little self; hope as we began to accept and walk in a new way of being with our family.

August – trips to Heritage Park and the zoo, visits with family and friends, watching Sara blossom into friendships with children her age and adapt easily to her sister’s new reality; not one but three (I’m including this weekend, even though it technically wasn’t August) successful, fun, and refreshing family camping trips.  Toting meds and syringes everywhere we go but realizing that they neither do nor will dominate our lives (neither will they dominate Aliyah’s life, if we have anything to say about it).

Fall looks quiet thus far, but with a few exciting new changes.   Sara will be starting dance classes in three weeks (she can talk of nearly nothing else; she is “so ‘sited!”).  We are currently in a state of renovation (er, our basement is; since we don’t do much besides laundry down there it isn’t affecting us too too much) and I can hardly wait to have a room in which to deposit all their toys!  (Do not burst my bubble and tell me that every room in the house will STILL be strewn with them after this!).  And hopefully Bob will be able to resume youth ministry again, something we had committed to before the craziness began.  Oh, and I’m hoping to do a little writing/revising in the future months – but we will see how that pans out.

Not a bad summer.  A hard one, but not a bad one.  So much to be thankful for!  May we remember to count our blessings rather than dwell on our hardfalls.  It’s a much happier place to be.

Happy

 

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