Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Family Camp '17

Something my children and I have looked forward to all year was our next family camp in TN. We planned it LAST year for this year, that's how much fun we had and were eager to do it again! I remember when we would camp with our cousins when I was a kid and it is very fond memories for me, so it makes me happy that my kids are enjoying that same thing. They love waking up with their cousins and planning out adventures for the day. All. Day. Long!
This year was no different. It was definitely an adventure, and even through what we might could consider problems or challenges, I told myself and the kids that we would look back on this time and say... "Remember that time when we went camping and this happened???" It will make things more memorable. 
During the trip up to Kingston, we were delayed a good bit because of wrecks. Come to find out the wreck was a motorcycle that was in line right before me at the gas station just a half hour before. It was startling to see... I pray that the driver is ok. 

Then as we eased up a bit further, my sister and her family had a flat on their trailer and no spare. We finally made it up to them after waiting so long in traffic and were able to pick them up and get off the road to a weigh station that was out of service. We were able to wait there while the men went to get a new tire and get it on. 

So many ways we could have looked at this as big problems, but as I think about it and I said it that day... If we had been traveling at a normal 70 mph... if that tire blew, it could very likely have been a different story. Thankfully we were all just moving along slowly. 

And when the men went to get the tire repaired, they pulled into a tire store and there was a guy we went to church with! The Lord was gracious to us for sure. Darryl helped them fix the tire and get everything up and going again to get back on the road. 
We got to camp and set everything up and had a nice evening. 

The next morning we had a big breakfast planned of breakfast burritos! 
Some cooked, some tended fire, some watched the littles as they played, some made coffee, some washed dishes... everyone had a hand in making it such a great time.

Then that night as the evening progressed, we had a few warnings about some bad weather coming in. There had been a chance all day, but nothing ever came about, so we were hoping that the weather would not be a big deal for the evening... but that wasn't the case. 

As we sat around talking and drinking coffee, we started getting a bit more serious warnings about the weather... not just rain, but storms... heavy storms. 
As the storms grew closer, we realized that we were directly in the path. 
Then a confirmed tornado only 20 min away. 
We knew we had to do something. 
Thankfully Paige grew up in Kingston and had plenty of connections. She found us an empty house that was in her family and we were able to go and take shelter in its basement for the evening. As we were driving over the storm started coming through. It was a very scary experience. The wind and rain wasn't coming down but coming in from the side! Debris, rain, wind, fog... it was frightening to drive through. 
Praise the Lord, we all made it ok and were able to take refuge in the basement of her Aunt's old house. 
Some of us slept very well. ;) Lil cutie!
The next morning was spent packing up all our soaked camping gear and heading back home because the next day was supposed to be more of the same... our trip was cut two days short, but we enjoyed what time we were able to have. And it doesn't deter me in the least to want to go again. That's just part of it. You deal with it and move on. 

So family camp this year was a little different... but it was still great and we will have fun memories to think back on. 
"Hey... remember that time we went camping and the tornado was coming through and we slept all night in an empty houses basement???" 
Good times.

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