The house is cleared out (mostly), the packing and storing is done (mostly), and now we are at Ft. Wilderness for a few days of much needed rest. I can hear you saying, "Ah, yes, Ft. Wilderness. Because an epic year of exploring the beauty of the USA is only properly kicked off by camping in an artificially clean and safe "wilderness" experience, complete with costumed characters and campsites bedecked with approximately 42 inflatable decorations." I can explain. This is an annual group shindig with some of our absolute favorite people. We wouldn't care if it was a suburban mall parking lot -- as long as we get time with this crowd. And honestly, Disney is a pretty fun place to camp. This is kick back, socialize, don't worry about the kids (who are riding continual loops on various wheeled toys), eat, laugh, eat some more, etc. There is something very fitting about moving out of our home straight into this situation where I am reminded at every turn just exactly what I will miss the most while we are gone. I better post some funny pictures before I start the ugly cry.
There. I feel much better now.
We've already laughed hard enough to pee a little (OK, speaking only for myself). Lisa has stolen my towel from the shower, my youngest disturbed some bee/wasp/yellow jackets and got stung 4 times, and a squirrel got in our van to chew some Tupperware and poop on the dashboard. We made doughnuts for breakfast and let the youngest give us glittery shark tattoos. I have needed this so much. I could tell because by last Tuesday night Kevin had to tell me things twice and it still didn't stick. You know how you just have that limit where your brain can't do anymore? That's when you go for the glittery shark, my friend. And doughnuts.
Last night we tricked out our bikes with lights and glow sticks and garland and rode around the campground. As lovely as we were, we were nothing compared to a few campsites. Some stuff has to be seen to be believed.
We've had conversations, funny and serious, 80s music review blitzes, and delicious hot schmoes. This camping trip is always one of the highlights of our year. Everyone has been eager to hear the updates and details of our plans and they all say how excited they are for us and what a great adventure this will be and that they are envious. What I didn't know how to tell anyone (without breaking down into the ugly cry) is, "Sure, I am excited but I keep asking myself how I am going to get through the next 365 days without you all close by, pouring into my life, reminding me of who I am and whose I am." Am I gonna blubber every time I skype or watch church online or listen to Casey's CD?
I guess I'd rather leave this way, knowing we will miss and be missed, than to leave no connections and feel only neutral about this past eleven years. God has blessed us greatly with some truly amazing friends here. I'm just hoping they will be sure to plan the 2013 Ft. Wilderness trip in December so we can be there, along with Jose and the Bob T. Okay? Hint, hint.