Fall Break

In my mind, I have a well calculated schedule. In reality, however, everything on that schedule takes considerably longer than I thought, and I am always running five paces behind despite my best effort.

This past weekend a nearby campground held their annual Fall Halloween Festival. We have went for the last several years. It is a weekend that is full of activities for the kids and it is something they always look forward to. In years past, I have taken, Griffin and Ruthie, out of school a little early to start our weekend. This year, however, the camping trip and their Fall Break overlapped. The kids were actually out of school on Friday. In my mind, that meant we could leave around 10:00 AM. However, this is the part were reality sets in.

Griffin was sick on Wednesday and didn’t go to school. This was the start of my well-orchestrated plan beginning to unfold. I had several things that needed to get done that simply didn’t happen that day. I had bills that needed to be paid, carpet that needed vacuumed, a mountain of dirty clothes that needed washed, a camper that needed packed, and the list went on. I knew very little of it was going to get done on Thursday as I would be working a long shift. It was already time to develop a new plan of attack. My revised plan would be to get up early on Friday, get my “chores” done, and leave before noon. No problem.

When the kids awoke, I informed them we were going to do a few things around the house before we left. “The more you help, the sooner we get to leave.” Now you can imagine the joy in their faces.

As my Grandma used to say, “I have done half a days work before you even get out of bed.” While I had gotten a lot done before my kids feet hit the floor, I doubt I will ever work as hard as her. She was amazing.

Nonetheless, it would not have been well received if my kids would have started complaining. Thankfully they must have sensed that and kept their thoughts to themselves.

At some point it became evident that my goal of leaving at noon was unobtainable. It was about that same time that I realized it was raining. I suddenly wasn’t in a huge hurry to go and sit in the rain.

Earlier, I had asked, Ruthie, to “Put the clothes in the washer into the dryer and put a dryer sheet in it.”

Shortly before we left she asked, “Was I supposed to start the dryer?”.

Umm…YES! I guess I didn’t say that though.

While their were a few breakdowns in communication, the to-do-list was complete close enough to done. Finally at 1:30, we pulled out of the driveway and the rain showers continued.

We arrived to the park in between rain showers. Thankfully, a friend came to my aid and was able to back my camper into my site. This is usually Dan’s department, but he was still at work. I went about doing the tasks I knew how to do. I turned on the gas, plugged in the camper, and placed the over-sized rug in front of the door. With the help of my mother-in-law and one phone call to Dan, I managed to figure out how to set-up our canopy. Success.

It was time to go enjoy the first activity of the weekend with my kids, pumpkin carving…in the 50 degree weather as it sprinkled. We were doing a fabulous job carving our pumpkins as the sprinkles began to get fatter. Now I wasn’t even looking at the sky (I was concentrating on our masterpieces) when the sky decided to let loose. So, back to the camper we headed, carrying our partially carved, wet, and messy pumpkins.

“Dad can help you finish them tomorrow.”

I was over the pumpkins.

By Saturday morning the rain had stopped. This was great because there were several outdoor activities planned for the day. The first on the list was a Halloween Egg Hunt.


Now, while I am often running a few paces behind, this is one activity you can not be late for.

Like all egg hunts, the loot disappears fast…


The day continued with a scavenger hunt…for some.  I went back to the camper to warm up.

Griffin managed to complete carving his pumpkin by himself just in time to head off to the bounce houses. I swear, this is camping on steroids. There is NEVER a dull moment.

That evening a witch, Darth Vader, and a clone trooper invaded the campground, along with several other characters and masked people. Before long, their treat bags were full and their bodies began to tire…apparently, even imaginary characters need to go to bed.

Sunday morning, came all to early, but it was time to rise and shine. We travelled to a neighboring town to attend church. When we returned to our camper, the sun began to shine. The kids ran and played. It was a beautiful afternoon.

Eventually, however, all good things must come to end.

So, even though the weekend didn’t start as planned, it was wonderful.

It was the kind of weekend you want to hang onto a little longer.


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646 thoughts on “Fall Break

  1. Your stories and the way you tell them remind me so much about some of the adventures we would have as we were raising our children. And now here we are grandparents to 3. Your children will treasure these stories you tell of them about their young lives. It will be a joy for them to look back on refreshing their memories when they are adults.