In honor of the start of school, I figured a short composition on “what I did this summer” would be fitting. And my summer was truly glorious! I loved it. It was refreshing and life giving. There were some hard parts and some strange parts, but there were far more really, really good parts.
I mentioned a few posts ago that some health issues had kept me from being attentive with my blog. My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of this year. So the biggest “hard part” of my summer was her bilateral mastectomy. As you can imagine, there were so many feels that went along with this. Some of those being prompted by the fact that I had to have the genetic testing done myself.
For those of you who aspire to mutantdom- well, my sister has made it. She is a BRCA mutant. I’m not going to lie, when she told me, there was a part of me that only heard the word “mutant”. I keep asking her when she will begin to shape shift or teleport. She keeps reminding me she isn’t that kind of mutant. So, I made her this: (You’re welcome XMEN fans who are as annoyed with Jean Grey as the rest of us. Oh, and before you are offended by this post, please remember, we laugh so that we don’t cry. )
Then we spent 4 weeks at a Young Life camp in Weaverville, NC. Although upon arrival at camp, I had a rough couple of weeks as I sorted out my “feels” from the week before – testing and surgery and all that jazz. But the rest…the rest was beyond explanation. My girls awoke, dressed…sometimes in clean clothes, and ran out the door, only to materialize for sustenance.
We woke in the mornings to clear blue skies and a herd of horses in the field next to our cabin. We watched literally hundreds of teenagers pour off buses, expectantly ready for the best week of their lives. We sat with them while they heard the gospel – the greatest love story about the most sacrificial rescue plan ever enacted. We lived for these weeks with other families who had come to Windy Gap just like us, to help lead high school kids to the cross. That was one of the awesome parts of my summer.
After our 4 weeks were completed at camp, we went camping…actual tent camping. We left Asheville and drove to Michigan. We were packed like sardines. We had 4 weeks worth of clothing and belongings from camp, plus allllllllllll our camping gear. Oh….and our dog, Charlie. She’s a French Brittany and she is pretty amazing and if she could talk, I’m 100% sure she would sound just like Apple Jack from the new My Little Ponies. The night after my sister had her big surgery, I went back to my mother-in-law’s house where we were staying. While I was putting the girls to bed, Charlie ate an entire bottle of junior ibuprofen. Then I took her to the emergency vet where she stayed in the puppy ICU for 48 hours. THAT was one of the strange parts of my summer.
Since she was in the car with us, on the way to Michigan, you can surmise that, no, Charlie did not die. So add that to the feels I was disecting my first week of camp. Anyway, 11 hours and many, many bathroom stops later, we arrived at our destination. Charlie stayed with some family friends while the 5 of us went camping.
We camped for 6 days at 2 different destinations. We swam in Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix. We witnessed sun sets we will never forget. My husband and I sat up by the fire at night and talked, or didn’t talk. We just sat and were still and it was wonderful. We had such special time with our girls. This is definitely a family vacation we will remember and talk about forever. That was the other really, really good part of my summer.
So, 6 weeks later, we are home. We are settling back in to our routines. School kicks off in a matter of days and my magical creatures are one year further in school. One year closer to going on their own family vacations. So, I will be remembering and savoring hiking a mountain with my girls, watching them dance in the waves of Lake Michigan, hearing their little night noises from inside the tent as we shared a drink by the fire, watching them run unburdened and carefree across Windy Gap, seeing them balance on a paddle board for the first time and all of us sitting in awe and wonder beneath the rolling oranges, pinks and purples of the most magnificent sunset.
In a nut shell, what did I do this summer? I made really magical memories. Oh, and I may or may not have decided that when the zombie apocalypse begins, my family will bug out to a pre-planned destination on Lake Michigan…where we will have tree cover and an endless supply of fresh water and fish.
(this message has been approved by a certified BRCA mutant)