Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude. – Louie Schwartzberg

Hello My Dears,

My wish was to experience gratitude on Thanksgiving by being close to nature and doing something different that felt real.  My 8 year old daughter shared with me, during one of our breakfast conversations, that nature already knows everything.  When the birds are chirping, they are tell us something. If we can’t understand them yet, it is ok…one day we will. I asked, what if we don’t like the sound of birds chirping? According to my daughter, it just means we are going thru something and that maybe one day we will understand that nature just wants to tell us to love and be kind.

If our families are small or even dysfunctional, we can still celebrate gratitude in small doses one day at time. It doesn’t have to be done all on one day called Thanksgiving.  Sometimes friends are our chosen family. The special friends who can see us for who we are and call bullshit when we are acting out of fear and insecurity. Of course, we have to be true to ourselves first before anyone else can be.

Favorite Moments: Thanksgiving Camping @ Lake Somerville Park

Making smores, drinking wine, and enjoying conversations by the bonfire.
Setting up the Thanksgiving table with the kids.
A love for grilling.
Best gumbo made with love by family.
When kids can freely play and make new friends.
One wish, to grow old together.
Grateful for these moments with loved ones.

Trip Details:

Destination: Lake Somerville Park in Texas at Birch Creek Unit- Old Hickory, Site #78 and #80. 2 hour road trip from Houston to the campsite. Drove 60 mph or slower due to swaying pop up camper thanks to hub’s rigged bike rack. We are not doing that again.

Campsite: 3 out of 4 campsite units were closed due to the aftermath of Harvey.  Old Hickory is more private with lots of bushes and trees. It is not an open setting where you see your neighbors. Restrooms were moderately clean with warm water for showers.

People:  First time family camping trip for most. 4 -5 families with at least a dozen kids. Loved watching them freely play.

Good Eats:  Potluck with friends. Thanksgiving dinner, BBQ chicken, Gumbo, BBQ pork skewers with vermicelli noodles,  etc.

Unplugged Activities: growing old together, spending quality time with family and friends, eating all day, drinking beer and wine (15% alcohol just delicious), grilling, fishing, smores, biking, trail walking, bonfire, kids freely playing and making new friends.

Lessons Learned: no racking bikes on the back of pop up, disposable plates/utensils means less work, rain boots and gloves would be helpful if washing dishes in the cold, space heaters needed for 40 degree nights, continue to improve on packing less.

With gratitude,

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