They say in Texas the state religion is football. And certainly in the fall and winter that is true. But in the summer there is another religion…….going to the river. There are many different rivers appropriate for floating, sitting and swimming and everyone has their favorite. For us it is the Frio River.
Kids, Grandkids, Ex Wives, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents, Moms, Dads and assorted friends gather en masse at Garner State Park for a week long set of family bonding. When Edward and I first got together he didn’t go for the first couple of years and I know that he missed it. So as time went on and things healed it became clear to me that it was important that we go.
We go because it is important to be part of the collective family gathering and we are blessed because as a whole we all get along very well. And so we go for at least part of the week……and arrive home happy, worn out, memory cards packed with pictures and exhausted.
We get to sleep in a tent on this trip because our trailer is in use and surprisingly I don’t mind it at all. Even though it was hot, hot, hot during the day it was pleasant by bedtime. It was cool to lay in bed and be able to see the stars……not that I layed there long. I hit that bed and crashed and burned every single night and slept like a rock. Even the group of young adults drinking and playing Texas Size Jenga didn’t wake me up! The only thing we didn’t like was there wasn’t a place to take naps except for one late afternoon when there was a little rain shower. So a couple of times we drove the car to find a shady empty campsite so we could lay back the seats and sleep.
There were about 18 people in the two campsites counting all of the little ones and it was non-stop activity. Most of the activity took place in the water where it was bearable during the day. We got our favorite swimming hole each day and spent hours. Thanks to generous use of sunscreen there weren’t too many burns although my back got a little toasty.
Edward and I took advantage of the dark quiet evenings and took the lantern to the swimming hole a couple of times. The stars from the water were amazing! We also took one of the hay rides through the park and learned more about its history.
And we had lots of time to bond with the grandkids. They are each amazing kids and have such great personalities. Little David cracked us up all the time with his faces and expressions. Giuli loves to be the center of attention. Lilly is getting bigger and going out more on her own. Little Edward climbed to the top of Old Baldy with the big boys and went to the dance without his mom and dad for the first time. Emilio is a jokester and always greets me with a hug. And Emily….oh little Emily is the princess of the family and she knows it. Baby Ryan might be joining us next year, I sure hope he does to complete the group.
But as all good times do they come to an end. Everyone made it home safe and sound–and now it’s less than a month until our Garner week! Our Garner week is wonderful in a different was–it’s full of quiet, quality one on one time and lots of rest. And I can’t wait!