Growing up: On camping, weddings, and spending time with family.
Every year on Memorial Day weekend, my family has been going to the same campground since before I can remember. We've moved around the campground a little bit, but for the most part, weve even camped in generally the same spot. The people who come with us cycle and change every year, they've done a lot of work to improve the muddiness and ease of getting out to the tideflats, and in the last six years or so implemented the "ShrimpFest", a street fair in town during the same weekend - but through all these changes, one thing stays the same. My family.
On this trip, I've brought a whole array of different friends along throughout the years. I've met boys, I've gone swimming, I've stayed huddled up inside because of the rain, I've learned to dig for clams, I've decided I hate digging for clams, I've developed a monster skill for shucking oysters. I've roasted marshmallows, made hotdogs, had my first drink of alcohol, started to drive myself to the campground, and hiked to the waterfall nearly every year.
There were two years that I didn't get to go on this camping trip. One year was when Wrockstock fell on Memorial Day weekend. The other was when LeakyCon did. Obviously both of those events were a total blast, but there was a tiny hole inside me where camping with my family should have been. So now, no matter what, I always try to go.
This year was no different. I brought Eia (just like last year), we took the ferry over (because it's faster) and though I had to leave early to get home for a wedding, every moment I spent there was a style of fun I can't even explain to someone who hasn't been going on this camping trip longer than their memory allows them to recall. :)
Weddings are a funny thing. I went to plenty when I was younger; aunts and uncles, older cousins, family friends. Pretty standard. In my family, we generally dance to a lot of Polka music. The younger, hipper relatives throw in some Top 40, confusing the grandparents. Everyone dances and eats and stays up way later than we're generally allowed and I sat at the kid's table.
But now? Now I've been going to friends' weddings. People I know from high school, from YouTube, from college. People my age. And it's really strange to adjust to. I start to see my friends' last names change on Facebook. I no longer sit at a kid's table, because weddings are no longer a "grown up thing to do", they're something my friends are starting to do. And I'm not a kid. When did this happen? When did I get so old?
My friends Tara and Alexander got married on Sunday, and I've net met two people more right for each other. The wedding took place inside the Space Needle, the ceremony was full of little nerdy inside jokes and the food was delicious. We danced, we took photos with silly props, and there was no Polka music to be heard anywhere. Like most people, I'm sure, being there made me daydream about my own wedding someday. Will it be perfect? Will people walk away feeling as happy and content as I did, leaving Tara and Alexander's wedding? I hope so.
3. SPENDING TIME WITH FAMILY.
Basically, my uncle Lonnie and aunt Tina live in Alaska and have 6 adorable children I don't get to see nearly enough. The kids are all under the age of ten, and are the sweetest children I have ever met. On Wednesday I got to go to a baseball game with them here in the city, as they're in town visiting various family members. That's all there is to the story really.
I have such a large family, strewn out across the whole of the United States; I'm really starting to cherish any time I get with any of them. As I get older and busier, I've realize how hard it can be to make time for the important people in your life if they don't live next door. I never want to fall out of touch with my family, so these kind of experiences are important.
Feeling a little sentimental today thinking about all of this stuff. I'm sure the answer to this is yes, but do any of you struggle with this nostalgia of growing up more and more lately? It doesn't help I'm still making these photo albums, carefully applying my memories in the pages of books, making it that much more final how in the past they are. It's such a combination of happy and sad, I can't help it when I get all sappy like this. xD
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