Sunday, June 15, 2014

Family Memories

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. If you're like me, you don't really feel like you deserve all the attention and the day serves to make you want to be a better man. I've been rather nostalgic and feeling blessed today. Here are a couple of random memories picked from the stream flowing through my head today. The first is of sleeping in an orange plastic tube tent with my dad on the Appalachian Trail back in the mid-70s. I remember my pack was heavy and we had snow flurries. I think that was the first backpacking trip for both of us, and it was character building and it was wonderful. The second, more recent, memory was waking up 3 years ago on a windy June morning on Comanche Peak at Philmont Scout Ranch in northeast New Mexico. It was extremely windy and cold that morning, and as I was waking, I remember noticing a fog in the distance and thinking how odd it was to have fog when it was so cold and windy. A minute later, I realized my error. It wasn't fog; it was a snow-blowing storm cloud scraping across the mountain. It was snowing! In June! It was time to get up anyway, so I woke Joshua, and we immediately decided to get off the mountain as quickly as possible. In that wind, folding a 2-man tent was a 4 person job, but the whole Scout crew mobilized and we bugged out in a flash and hurried down the trail not stopping for breakfast until we reached a lower altitude and were out of the wind. I could continue with stories of hail and lighting and huge waves that swamp a canoe in a heartbeat, but you're already tired of reading. The point is this: Some of the best family moments are formed in adversity. Every family knows this intuitively. These are the stories we share when we're sitting around telling and retelling our stories. This is the stuff of life. No journey worth taking is easy.

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