I know that when I type, “Lake Home” it probably encompasses a variety of thoughts into your head; peaceful, serene, laid back, dreamy, a place worth vacationing to. But for us, the words that now come into our heads are the contrast of the ones mentioned above. I’ll let you go back and insert those words. Therefore, we needed to get a way for a few days. Take a step away from this FIXER UPPER and hopefully come “home” refreshed and ready to get with it!
Our two oldest daughters were already scheduled to go on a fun trip with their grandparents and cousins to Florida for a week. We decided to join them and drive it. UGH! I find the longest drive in the world is down the Florida Panhandle. We weren’t looking forward to that.
My husband and I then decided to keep it closer to home and explore what was around us. I have mentioned in the past that I enjoy camping. My memories growing up camping in Northern New Mexico and Colorado are so rich and full. I want the same for my children. I believe these outdoor, overnight stays helped in the developing of my faith in God as a child. And I believe it can even help us as adults too. Get away from concrete. Get away from neon, flashing lights. Get away from city sounds but listen to the sounds of nature. Nature can be loud but in a way that soothes and repairs your nerves.
We decided on Arkansas to be our getaway, only about 3.5 hours away. Let me just say Arkansas is a BEAUTIFUL state! I have several close friends who live in Arkansas and I contacted the friends that lived the closest to where we would be camping. My girlfriend expressed her desire to have fond memories of camping with her children so she and her husband loaded them up and joined us for a night.
We had a wonderful time, minus trying to fall asleep and get comfortable laying on top of our sleeping bags in 90 degree temps. It was what we needed for a few days and it was good to take a little trip with our youngest son, Canon, and spend some one on one time with him. He really took to fishing. We never caught anything but he loved the action of throwing his little line out into the water. To our amazement and amusement he was really AWESOME at it. One morning I woke up to hearing the tent zipper being unzipped. Canon was getting ready to walk out. I groggily asked him, “Where are you going?” Without skipping a beat he replied, “I’m going fishin!” He’s 3. So you know we couldn’t let that happen unless mommy and daddy were there. That prompted us to get up and get moving because he was obsessed with “fishing” and wouldn’t get off the subject of taking him “fishing.” It really is so very cute to see little boys mimicking the actions of grown men. I now will have memories and LOTS of pictures of Canon standing in a middle of the Caddo River, looking so BIG and yet so small fishing with his daddy.
One new activity that we have recently discovered as being TONS of fun is kayaking and canoeing. Living near a lake has encouraged us to try new physical activities. For Father’s Day we bought Jonathan a kayak. We didn’t spend a whole lot of money on it because we weren’t sure if this would be something he or we would all enjoy. But now that we have all tried it, I think we may have a fleet of kayaks hanging in our garage at some point. To me Kayaks are like bikes for the water. You can’t all jump into one kayak ( I guess that is what boats and canoes are for). It is an individual vessel steered by one person. We took the kayak with us to Arkansas and talk about peaceful and enjoyable.
Since the three of us couldn’t all ride in one kayak. We rented a canoe for a 4 hour canoe ride down the Caddo river. We boarded a small bus and went up about 15 minutes north and were dropped off by the river. We had so much fun and it was nice to have the water to cool us off as we traveled downstream.
There will be things I take away from this trip and memories I’ll cherish as well as lessons on what not to do and to do next time. We were tired from our little mini-vacation. I look forward to having our entire family go out again. Is camping uncomfortable at times? Yes! But the discomfort will be forgotten and the memories will stand till the day I die.