Alrighty, where was I? Oh yes- we ran our May Thirsty Thursday 5K and then the next day Erin, Isaac and Jim packed up and headed to camp. Hickory Run, that is, in the Poconos, with roughly half of our church. Every Memorial Day weekend a large group of families from church go camping together, and we have loved joining this tradition. We have neighboring campsites reserved a year in advance, so just about everyone around us is someone we know.
(Now that I think of it, it's a great way to get out and yet NOT meet new people...)
Any-hoo, going camping with this crowd has been a blessing. Our little church has families living far and wide around the Reading area, and we don't often get opportunities to simply sit and casually enjoy one another. This is a splendid way to do so. No phones, well, mostly. No deadlines, appointments, errands, or other regular mundane tasks to draw us away from one another. Simply sleeping in tents (or campers), foraging for food, (meaning- checking out what's cooking over other's campfires) going for hikes, or not, and sitting around the fire as night falls, cooking S'mores and swapping stories. Nice.
This year was slightly altered since there was also a wedding that many of us were going to attend on Saturday. This is why I stayed home the first night. (Not, as is popularly believed, to avoid the set-up at the campsite. Really!)
Saturday morning dawned bright and early, and I met the sunrise with two friends as we went out for a lovely morning run at 5:30 am. Watching the sky come to light as the birds woke up and serenaded us was a perfect beginning to the day. I think we went for 5 miles, but I can't be sure. Whatever the distance, I broke my own personal record for time of day- which worked out so well that I'll be doing it again. Beating the heat and not taking time away from any other activities in the day are worth it!
So Kate came with me to the wedding and Erin rode back from the campsite with one of the ladies who had gone up the night before. We met at the church and were blessed to see the dear young couple joined in holy matrimony. I cried. So simply beautiful. So Christ honoring. Praise the Lord.
After the wedding Kate and Erin joined the camping group who were going to the reception and I hopped into the Mini- after changing shoes- and drove straight to Hickory Run.
Jim and Isaac had enjoyed an adventurous morning, going to the boulder field with the rest of the non-wedding-attenders. There had been a thunderstorm overnight and they found it necessary to redesign some of the sleeping arrangements. (I, for one, feel that a single 6 person tent on the site of a family of 5 is quite sufficient. Others believe, however, that covering every square inch of our site with tents for individual sleeping arrangements is required. You may sense a tang of tension over this issue. You'd be correct.)
After I arrived and changed clothes- I wasn't blending in with the rest of the campers by driving up in a Mini Cooper dressed for a wedding- we went to a folk-music performance elsewhere at the park with another couple of the families.
The rest of the story of our weekend is told in the photos that I took, which you can see in two albums following. One album chronicles the majority of our weekend, the other encompasses our excursion to Hickory Falls on Sunday afternoon, where many of the kids went cliff jumping from the waterfall.
I'll close by saying simply that a good time was had by all, if only too brief, and nobody was killed. We can hardly wait for next year!