Nine years. Each day really is better than the last.
Since our anniversary (March 31) bumped up against the annual Luza Family Easter Camping Trip, E took the day off. We went out for a nice lunch at Z’Tejas. That afternoon, we loaded the car and headed to Dime Box.
Easter with his family is one of the first things E wanted to introduce me to. That first year I attended, he was so excited to show me how they all would run to the bridge when a train would come by. He told me how we’d sit around the campfire drinking beer and just talking. Friday, everyone suffered together by fasting for Good Friday…and then Saturday was a big BBQ with brisket and all the trimmings. My first Easter with his family was the first year that the bridge was missing, so I never got to experience the nightly run. In the last couple of years, we’ve cut out the big BBQ and opted, instead, for burgers and dogs. It’s just easier. But the rest was about the same. Last year, E’s mom built a nice metal building with six garage doors. We can get in from any bad weather and have a safe place to store things between visits. And, over time, several of us (mostly Chad) have trimmed roads and paths, installed sinks and water lines, cut trails, and hauled wood.
The “annual Luza Family Easter Camping Trip” was not all of those things this year.
- not annual since no other family camped and/or not camping since we were the only ones who did
- less family since some families couldn’t attend
- nothing about it was Easter this year, either
- since “everyone was only there for ~2 hours, I’m not sure it’s fair to call it a trip, either
So, I guess it was the “not-exactly-annual Luza most-of-the-family spring meal and visit”. I love E, but being alone and sleeping in a tent for three days is not how I’d have planned to spend our anniversary. I wish people had told us that they weren’t camping; I could have found much better uses of my time. In part, we gave up some of our anniversary celebration so that we could be with family. We can go be alone at Dime Box ~any day of the year but it’s not something we ever elect to do. For us, Easter is about being with his family.
The weather had threatened to be bad, but it was probably the prettiest and most temperate weather we’ve had at any Easter I’ve been to. We were never too hot or too cold. 20 minutes of sprinkles lulled us to sleep one night. Two of the mornings had a medium dew. One evening, E and I were entertained by a bunny eating wildflowers from the stem to the blossom. OMG funny! Another morning, I heard a rustling and saw 3-4 more playing chase in the woods. And, like in 2007, it was just warm enough to stir the snakes. E and I saw two in Dime Box, and E found a Western Cottonmouth at Bobby & Patty’s.
Friday afternoon, we gave up and headed to Brenham to see Bobby & Patty’s place. They’ve done a bunch of work since we were last there (in ~2000 or so). After grabbing some lunch, we returned to find a snake sunning next to the barn. He didn’t look poisonous to me and was facing away, so I tapped the tip of his tail with my boot. He slowly slithered away from us, which caused Patty to squeal and squirm. Bobby pinned him with a shovel. We were all quite entertained by Patty as she held the handle of the shovel while Bobby finished him off with a sharp shooter.We were lucky enough to be there when Nathan arrived with his new fiance, Kelly. We not only got to meet her, we all played a game of Screw Your Neighbor. So, we got to know her better than just a meeting. (Apparently, while we were gone, a couple of people wandered out to Dime Box to do some work out there.)
The good news is that a couple of the grandkids want to bring back some of what the “annual Luza Family Easter Camping Trip” used to be. Hopefully, they’ll remember that next year even if the weather threatens to be less than perfect.
For the first time, E and I were among some of the first to leave Easter. We live farther away, now, but we were also ready to be home. On the way out, one brother-in-law gave me a small gift and said something very sweet to me…he made me tear up with a very flattering compliment.