For the Love of It...

My Family, for certain, was planted in the correct and proper State.
Maine caters - in every way - to the deep love for the outdoors that lives within each one of them.
Kev said to me just this morning:  "I was made to be outside."
He lives and breathes it.  It brings him joy.  It clears his mind. And it gives him peace.
Every single outdoor sport he loves, and he is quickly instilling that love into each of our children.

I count myself as one of those Lovers of the outdoors, as well.... whenever my fingers and toes aren't freezing.  When they are, I'd like to move to Florida and kiss the cold good-bye.  I'm a hypocritical Mainer.  I mostly love it.  And then there are a few weeks when I mostly don't.  But, my family is cute and I love them, so I'm usually up for one of their crazy adventure ideas no matter the weather outside...and no matter their crazy scheme...
Ironically, whatever minnows don't die by the fishing....the remainder become "pets."
We have had "Happy Hurricane" Birthday parties when the birthday was planned in advance with every single activity to take place outside. When morning dawned, we were literally in the midst of a torrential rainstorm....yet we plowed ahead with the plans anyway.  We played Minute to Win It games in our crazy old redneck garage.  Dad made camp fudge on a burner stove in the doorway, so we wouldn't choke on the fumes.  The guys rigged up a tarp so we could still have our hot dog roast...with a little smudge fire literally burning in the midst of a ginormous puddle.  Insanity.  And London was one month old at the time!  And the funniest part of it all, was that I was trying to relieve myself from a little bit of crazy, because we usually go camping on the boys' birthdays, and I wasn't feeling up for it with a newborn.  But, like I said - my family's cute - so we moved forward with little boy dreams of adventure.

Other times, we've hiked up Mount Battie in the middle of winter, pitched a a little tent and tucked inside out of the wind to drink hot chocolate and have snacks, and then loaded ourselves onto a couple of sleds for the downhill ride of our lives back to the car.
Camp Coffee.  On ice.  
One summer, a friend told us about this awesome fishing spot with a barely noticeable trail...that if we could find, we would follow to the top where we'd discover a lake with the most beautiful of views and some awesome spots to explore.  We only had two boys at the time of this adventure, so I backpacked a two year old Jesse; and Kev loaded his back with fishing poles, food, water, bug spray, and whatever else we thought we'd need....and we adventured and explored...with the thrill (and bit of fear) that we had zero clue as to where we were going, and the possibility that we might just not make it home.
Jig fishing.  
Every year for the big boys' birthdays, we go camping with the grandparents - no matter the weather...and we've started branching out from the more "gourmet" forms of camping that have actual bathrooms and the wilderness-y campgrounds deep in the wild with rushing rivers for our showers, and miles of forest as our playgrounds...

This is my children's childhood.
This was MY childhood.

I grew up flying down rivers in homemade canoes with trashbags for raincoats, and five gallon pickle buckets as my chair.  We tented in gravel pits, and overnighted in camps built by my Grampy with holes in the floor where one night a skunk roamed around while we laid in our beds in silence hoping it wouldn't spray.  In the wintertime, my dad and his brothers went on snowmobile adventures for miles while the cousins hung on for dear lives to handmade dogsleds that were pulled behind.  We explored for days the wilds of the Allagash and were caught in a thunder and lightning storm while in the middle of a lake.  We paddled hard to shore, broke into a camp(!), and stayed inside til it passed.  Then we left a note with our address, apologizing for the break-in, (We actually found the key while squashed together in the outhouse, which was the first place we ran).  Weeks after we got home, we received a letter back telling us how happy they were that their placed saved us, and if ever we were back in the area to stop by for a visit!
Notice London's very own pink ice fishing trap.  Thank you, Heritage Tackle.
My childhood memories.
My heritage.
Crazy, blissy memories stored forever in my heart.

And I am CERTAIN,  my own sweet Mama would maybe have preferred a beach house vacation, or a hotel once in awhile where she didn't have to freezer pack meals for days on end in the Wild.  But she did it. She happily went along for the ride...packing extra clothes for cold nights, and fun food for the tales around the fire.  Our Family Vacation Adventures always came with the best snacks. She told the best campfire stories, and she joined in with the crazy.  Dad and his brothers - with mom joining in - would take us on "spook walks" through the woods at night. They would build bonfires higher than the camp itself.  They'd take us for swims in the river, and warm up the truck for us in the middle of the night when we woke up floating in our tents during rainstorms.
"I want to hold it.  I want to touch it."
(Then I want to stick my fish hands deep into the communal chip bag.....)
And so that's what I'm trying to re-create.
And Kev has that same built in DNA of adventure.
He is the planner of the Crazy...and whenever I'm tempted to simply stay home, because it honestly would be so much easier...especially with babies and toddlers....I remember my Mama.

And so I pack the fun snacks.
I hold on for the ride.
And if my kids can say they had half the childhood that I experienced...then we will have succeeded.

1 comment:

Emily Hansen said...

Your blogs are always so heartfelt. And each time I take the time to read them they make me cry. Hard. You are such a blessing to many. I love you Amy. <3