Camping, Canoeing & Canoodling {Masterpiece Weekend}

These weekend features are to remind us of all the INGs of life. The Doing. The Nothing. The Speaking (of the Holy Spirit). The Listening (of our hearts).

Masterpiece WeekendAs we near the end of one season and launch into the next, the in-between can be tricky. In this vein, I’ll share with you a few of our family’s favorite end-of-summer INGs. Maybe it will give you some ideas for your own family to employ or things to put on next summer’s Wish List. We like to jam-pack every last little bit of fun and family time into these fleetingly glorious days. But I’m warning you: it’s not for the faint of heart.

CAMPING – This is where we do things we don’t normally do. You know, like have hot dogs for dinner and packaged oatmeal for breakfast (both things that are looked upon as a rare delicacy in our household). After a fine and fancy dinner complete with ketchup, mustard and relish, we pull out the s’more fixings. Now cooking s’mores can be a laborious task, one that I am not very good at due to my lifelong struggle with patience. I have been known to occasionally burn the marshmallow beyond the point of recognition, and then fling aforementioned burnt fluff deep into the woods for some unsuspecting woodland creature to find. It’s all part of the family camping experience.

CANOEING – I’m learning to be more adventuresome in spite of my urban bent — even when rain and frigid lake water is involved and wet jeans are inevitable. Here’s my weekend confessional: I really really don’t want to be that mom who just sits on the sidelines taking pictures, watching the rest of her family have all the fun. Sometimes I go and do things out of fear — fear of becoming her.

camping collageCANOODLING – Can be defined as “snuggling, kissing, and hugging on the one(s) you love.” (Please note: I am using it in the family sense, not the nauseating lovey-dovey Urban Dictionary definition.) I love this word; and it’s super fun to say. Care to say it with me? Ca-noo-dling. Fun, huh? It was first introduced to me in Manchester, England in reference to an older couple cuddling in a darkened corner of a quaint little pub (and when I say older, I mean old like a fine wine). Camping brings out the snuggly side of us. We pile in camp chairs and cuddle under blankets, telling stories while burning…err…cooking food. And as the evening air cools, we throw more wood on the fire and canoodle the night away.

Now if you do not have the ability or time to hit the great outdoors, I have a little suggestion. Download Rend Collective’s Campfire album. It’s complete with crackling fire sounds and the best versions of Be Thou My Vision and 10,000 Reasons I’ve ever laid ears on. Seriously…so good!

May this very first weekend of September find you basking in the last bits of summer and enjoying these lingering days of warmth set to the soundtrack of youthful exuberance and childish glee.  May you push back the worries of tomorrow and simply soak in TODAY! Happy weekend, friends!


Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.

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