Our camping trip was a success, even if it wasn’t our greatest. Oddly enough, I think our greatest trip is also the worst one; it was definitely the most memorable. This was pleasant, if not overwhelmingly fun.
While we were gone, I had a lot of time to ponder things. One of which was that Aubrey’s and my roles have reversed. She drove while I sat in the passenger seat and read. She did most of the work while I sat and played. She pulled my float around the river, rescued me from a cicada, and helped me in and out of my tube. I have no doubt in my mind that she will make an extremely patient and fantastic mother one day.
I realized that I’ve been taking her out to the Frio River for twenty years now. I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed. I’ve been going out there for all my life. Some of my earliest memories are either on the rocks at Neal’s, in the water, or at the Colvin’s cabin. I looked at some of the pictures hanging on the wall at Neal’s Dining Room and realized some of them were taken in my childhood, although I’m certainly not in any of them.
This trip was somewhat sad in that Garner State Park used to be a beautiful place to take a family. Now it is dirty and in disrepair. Cigarette butts littered the ground, the bathrooms were unusable due to the filth, while the shelters had torn screens and broken doors. I don’t think we’ll be going back there. There are better places to camp in Texas.
One of my favorite things about camping trips with Aubrey is singing on the drive. She has a different playlist than I do, so while most of her songs were artists I’ve introduced her to, they were songs I haven’t heard in a while. On the drive back, we listened to Chantal Kreviazuk’s “Feel’s Like Home To Me.” I remembered back to when I used to feel that way about the Frio River and Concan. No matter how crappy my life was, every moment spent out there was good. That was home. I felt like I could breathe and be myself.
This time, hearing that song made me think about my husband. I couldn’t wait to get home; partly because of the air conditioning, partly because of the hot shower, but mostly because I missed him terribly. More than anyone, anything, or anywhere else, he is my home. He is where I want to be. Not that I can’t or don’t go places without him, but when I do, I just want to get back to where he is. This summer has made me realize over and over that while my wanderlust will never truly leave, I don’t want to wander without my husband. Seeing amazing things without him just makes everything blah and colorless.
When he and I went out to Alpine a couple of weeks ago, although there was next to nothing to do out there, I had a blast. We laughed, played, and joked through the entire weekend. I don’t need a fancy vacation destination if Ron is with me. Just being with him is fun, in and of itself.
While I’m glad I had this time with my daughter, I’m even more glad to spend tonight with my husband. It’s good to be home.