Brent and Jack are fishing for coho, Sawyer is scaling a tree with his friend who lives across the street, Clementine is sleeping, and I just added more wood to the fire. Leaves fall from the linden tree outside the window and the smell of roasted pumpkin seeds hangs in the air.
In the last few weeks we've begun to settle into our familiar fall routine. The firewood's been stacked, the sandbox is covered, cookie recipes have been relocated, and I'm finding a moment to blog.
For a second we thought about going somewhere new and exciting this summer. There is a lingering part of a younger version of me who would like to check off something else from my wishful travel list. And yet there is something that just feels so right about a family vacation tradition.
Thus we embarked on our fourth family vacation to Flathead Lake in Montana. For the record I will state that Brent's mental health did suffer for the two days that it took us to get there. I'm pretty sure that being stuck in the car with the four of us is Brent's personal version of medieval torture, but I regaled him with internet trivia about John Day and Lewis and Clark. Let's just assume he appreciated that.
It's always worth it once you get there.
I read two books. We ate ten pounds of cherries and a $9 loaf of bread. Brent gave us all diving lessons. Clementine wore her sunglasses for the entire trip.
The boys remembered their adventures from the last time we came. Jack asked repeatedly why we can't move to the cabin. "But Mom, everything is so perfect here!"
Brent and I drank so much huckleberry beer that we ended the week with a carload of empty bottles. We asked at the grocery store if there was a place we could recycle them. "I don't know," said the clerk. "Let me get my manager."
Long story short: We ended up driving our beer bottles all the way back to the fine state of Oregon, where glass recycling procedure is common knowledge.
Montana is not quite perfect, Jack.
Mental health restored. New memories made. Almost a Christmas card worthy family picture. The wishful travel list will wait.
Montana 2016? Stay tuned. I could definitely use more diving lessons.