When I was growing up at least once a summer my parents, brothers and I would go camping. Not the glamping that’s available now with central air, a fluffy bed and fully stocked kitchen, but the camping with canvas tents, sleeping bags and cooking over a campfire. We would bring cards for games (Uno anyone?) and I would always bring books to read in the afternoons between the daily visit to the beach* and dinner getting started.
One thing my brothers, and I occasionally, attempted to do to help pass the time when camping was to carve sticks. We tried to make our own marshmallow roasting sticks with the fallen branches among the trees around our campsite. The longer the stick, the more mistakes that could be made before it got too small for anything but kindling.
We tried to create fun while we were away from the electronics at the time (TV, phone and the lovely dial-up internet we had at our house) and sometimes it was easier than others. Summers are hot in Texas and start a LOT sooner than Ohio summers do, but I didn’t know that growing up and only knew then that unless there was a breeze happening while trying to relax away from the “beach” attempting to carve out quiet time with a book without it leaving me a sweaty gross mess wasn’t going to happen.
Today is September 1st, and I like to think that summer in Texas seems to have started back in oh, March, and definitely isn’t done with us yet. I thought I knew what humidity was before I experienced a Texas summer, but I was woefully wrong. Also, just a heads up, but do your utmost to NOT be 7-9 months pregnant when going through a Texas summer, trust me.
Thankfully, glamping has become more commonplace and also having central air is kinda key to surviving the triple digits we get on a regular basis. I just feel for those in hotter areas (I’m looking at you Cali and Arizona) who have to also wrestle with wildfires.
Camping used to be a last hurrah for our family before school resumed in late August. It was fun to have a long weekend or even a weeks worth of campfires, aimless bike rides and hunting for rocks and fun trails to explore before going back to a new school year.
School recently started for Munchkin and it’s distance learning, so he’s using the dining room for his classroom currently. There is hope that the infection rates will slowly decline enough for all kiddos to return to school, but the pessimistic side of me isn’t holding too strongly to that hope. Thankfully his school has been keeping parents aware of the situations as they stand for in-person and distance learning options and that’s been very helpful in this uncertainty that 2020 has become.
Since the pandemic began I’ve seen news stories online, emails in my inbox and comments in social media discussing about how to carve out productive spaces in the time of Quarantine. Thankfully Mister, Munchkin, Little Miss and I all have the spaces to be productive without being too close and I am very thankful for that; though that space tends to get a little crowded when the kids want to cuddle, snuggle or just see why my phone is making funny noises. (ah, low glucose alerts. Startling kiddos since 2013)
I have used some of that carved out space to unwind at night watching different YouTube videos. I came across one channel in particular that is made by a woodworker who makes amazing creations out of wood and occasionally wood and resin combinations. He literally carves out amazing creations out of what might be considered scrap pieces of wood by other people. He makes my feeble attempts at carving a marshmallow roasting stick seem like I tried to recreate Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man from a simple stick figure.
The artist carves out beautiful creations out of seemingly useless stumps of wood and turns them into high quality pieces of beautiful art. He reminds me of the amazing handiwork of God that is the human race. God made us out of seemingly useless dust and added His divine breath to create us. (Isn’t that awesome to fathom?)
I want to leave you with this fact: God loves you no matter your age, stage, color, or how you feel about Him.