Tuesday, July 16, 2013

To The Mountains

Jason and I loved camping.
It was something that was a part of both of our childhoods and when we were dating we spent lots of time camping out on the beach and in the jungle. When we moved back home to California we made it a point to take at least a couple of camping trips a year... Ozzie was seven months old the first time he went camping.
A few years ago we were camping at one of our favorite spots up in the mountains when Jason reconnected with some old friends. He began playing poker with them and when they invited us to come along on their annual family camping trip, we decided to go. He had been playing with them for awhile (and had known most of them for a long time) but I had yet to meet them and was pretty anxious. I can be awkward. I've never had the easiest time making friends... I'm a lot better about it now, but I've spent most of my life without a huge circle of friends. I find it difficult to make small talk and always seem to say exactly the wrong thing. But, he kept reassuring me that it would be great, that they were all very laid back and he thought we would all get along well.
He was right.
The group of friends I made on that trip have become as important to me as my own family. For the first time I felt accepted and it really gave me the confidence I needed to develop other friendships,  all on my own. They've been with us, through all of this. Jason & I talked about the trip this summer, one we both knew he would not be making. He made me promise to go and to keep going.
And so I am. I would be lying if I said I was looking forward to it. In a way, yes. That was his favorite place on earth, those mountains were his personal paradise. His spirit is there, but it is everywhere for me and I'm worried that it may be overwhelming to be there without him. But the kids are especially excited... and as I write this my twelve year old is vaccuuming out my car and planning out how we are going to pack everything in. He watched and helped his dad enough times that he obviously feels that it is a job that now falls to him. (I will be double checking, of course, but I'm confident he'll do a good job.) He's mentioned that I should probably have my oil changed before the trip. It makes me incredibly proud and unbearably sad.
So, off we go. Another first. But, we will be surrounded by loved ones and I've always been a big believer in the power of fresh air, bright stars and s' mores (... not to mention my friend David's excellent bloody mary's) to ease lifes troubles.

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