We recently spent a wonderful couple of days in Georgia with one of my dearest college friends and her family. Actually, I feel really quite ancient when I realize I have known Martha for almost 19 years!
We’ve gone from this . . .
to this . . .
She and her husband joyfully opened their home to all eight of us. I told Martha, and I’ll tell all of you, that if she doesn’t have the gift of hospitality, then she could’ve fooled me.
My daughters and her daughter got all crafty and melted a lot of plastic beads to make pieces of art.
And the boys were in Star Wars and LEGO Heaven!
But, by far — BY FAR –, for my children, the highlight of our time with the Borders was the time spent at the river. I was completely out of my comfort zone down by the murky, muddy, algae-covered water with spiders crawling around and bees buzzing about and tiny fish and frogs at my feet. But my children loved every second of it. They caught fish with their bare hands (albeit nearly dead fish) and they gooped algae up on their heads. It didn’t bother them one bit that they couldn’t see their feet through the brown water. It probably never crossed their minds that anything — absolutely ANYTHING! — could be below the surface of that nasty water. No, they splashed and dove with wild abandon. And I tried not to think about how much antibacterial soap it would take to kill whatever was getting on their skin and in their ears and up their noses.
They learned to canoe. With adult help . . .
and without . . .
I think being in the canoe without an adult went to their heads and gave them a sense of power.
They would row the canoe out, loaded down with kids.
And one, by one, they’d jump off.
And then they’d pull the empty canoe back in to shore.
They did this over . . .
and over . . .
and over . . .
With the occasional break to check for dangerous pirates downriver . . .
and to save a fish’s life (or perhaps, just to prolong its torture).
And they stopped every now and then to stomp through the algae . . .
or to pile it on their heads.
Did that picture make you say, “Ewwwww”? Because I definitely was cringing when he did it. And I was hoping there is no brain-eating amoeba in Georgia like there is in Florida. Ewwwww.
Though I enjoyed Jim’s big, homemade breakfasts and Martha’s fajitas and the afternoon nap and the late-night chat at the dining room table, the highlight for my children was most certainly the muddy waters of the Ocoee River.