Our August was a month full of activities: the end of school, my stepmother's funeral, work, and home improvement projects. We also managed to fit in a camping trip with our son Jonathan, his wife, Tawnya, 2 granddaughters, Jenna (8) and Gabby (7), and our 2 dogs, Sunny and Lucy, our 8-month old lab-pointer mix pup.
The plan was to camp near a reservoir that David remembered going to with his grandparents when he was young. Memory must have enlarged the lake in his mind because there wasn't much there now. We set off to find another place to camp. David and I both like exploring little traveled roads, and most of the time we have a good experience. This time, however, we saw a promising camp area, and went down a road that was little more than a cattle trail with a grass-covered stream beside it. Unfortunately, we didn't see the stream until it was too late.
Four hours, 2 jacks, a bunch of rocks that Tawnya collected while I entertained the girls, and several choice words later, we were back on solid ground. It was a pretty area, though.
We eventually found a better camping spot, and spent the rest of the weekend relaxing, visiting, playing with the girls and the dogs, reading (I brought a James Thurber book; it was great), fishing, and some more exploring of the countryside (without further mishap). David also found a horse pasturing. He brought the horse back to camp, made a bridle, and after exploring for a while, found its home. He enjoyed being on horseback again, even though he was sore afterward. It was all worth the effort of packing up and going.
A few weeks later we went on a day hike to see a waterfall with our daughter Brittany and her family. The day was perfect for hiking: not to hot, with an occasional rain shower to keep us cool. Her husband, Wes, and son Dylan had been there before and were our guides. Part of the trail was steep and rocky, but Wes and David were good to help me over the roughest parts. Sunny was also there by my side; we decided he would have pushed me up over the hard parts if he could have. The view at the end of the hike was worth all of the effort to get there.
So it is with life. We go farther with help and encouragement from friends and families. Especially when we get to steep, rocky parts and we don't know what lies ahead. And when we put forth effort and faith to keep going, we are rewarded by strengthened friendships and spectacular views that we couldn't see when we were struggling up the path.