Last week I lifted my head and realized it was fall.
By that, I mean it was really fall. Not the fall that starts on the autumnal equinox, the fall-in-name-only kind of fall. I’m talking the kind of fall with kaleidoscopic leaves and that special, crisp-yet-warm way the light falls when we’re at this particular angle to the sun.
This time of year always sort of sneaks up on me, sliding and slithering around in the hall until one day it just bursts in all HELLO, DIDJA MISS ME?.
Well, yes. Yes, Fall, I missed you quite a lot.
About the same time fall bursts in on me each year, I get a sense of urgency that the coming weekend will be the Last Nice Weekend of the Year and therefore, we must plan, schedule, and do EVERYTHING we did not do over the summer when every weekend was a nice weekend and yet we lay lolling in the air conditioning.
Friday night, Laurel entered a fishing tournament. It was cold. Damned cold, really. See, this fishing tournament was supposed to happen back in September, but seeing as how the floods, they came a-roarin’ every time our town had an event scheduled…well, the kids ended up fishing last Friday night. And it was cold. It wasn’t more than 40 degrees out there, and just about anyone can tell you that these temperate-climate fish ’round here weren’t going to bite.
And they didn’t.
But the kids were troupers and while Laurel fished — really fished — Ethan sort of flirted with it and then lost interest, choosing instead to throw things in the lake (including his big sister’s needlenose pliers). He also tried his hand as a black cat — I don’t know what these things are called, they must have a name, but is there anyone who has been able to resist sticking their heads in one?
Saturday, Greg and I toured state parks. We didn’t exactly plan it that way. We wanted to camp at Washington State Park, but when we got there they had no more electric sites left and we didn’t have enough blankets to feel comfortable boondocking it. St. Francois State Park? Also full. By this time dejection was setting in. Meramec State Park, however, had 20 sites left. Renewed, we high-tailed it over hill and dale to Sullivan, Missouri, where we secured a site.
And we hiked. And it was beautiful.
We don’t have many more photos of our stay. We just enjoyed the evening near the fire, watched a movie in the camper, caught up with each other, and drifted off to sleep. It was only our second time in our pop-up but we absolutely LOVED it. I did, anyway.
Sunday morning, we returned, and shaved Greg’s head so he can be Joe the Plumber for Halloween. I’ve not convinced him to let me post photos yet, but I think he pulls it off nicely! Keep checking back!