I've gone camping every Memorial Day weekend that I can remember. The extended family gathers at my parents' camp, a peninsula of oak trees surrounded by acres of cattails up on the river. About every ten years or so, we get a weekend of hot, sunny weather that fools us all into thinking it's summer, luring us into the icy river water. Most of the time, though, the last weekend in May is cold and rainy, not exactly swimming weather.
On Saturday, the air was cold but the sun was shining. I spread an old blanket out on a patch of grass and stretched out to take a nap. Close to the ground, in what scientists call the boundary layer, the air was warm and I could feel the spring sun against my jeans and sweatshirt. Taking a nap outside on a spring day is an incredibly peaceful experience. Unless of course, your frisbee-playing teenage sons decide to make your sleeping body some kind of target.
I was just waking up when I heard a frisbee swoosh by, just above my head. I sat up to yell at Boy in Black, and another frisbee cut by on the left, just barely missing my shoulder. "Cut it out!" I yelled, and in response, another frisbee zoomed by on my right, just inches from my hip.
I heard laughter, and realized that we had spectators. My parents, sitting comfortably in the shade, began chiming in with admiring comments. "Wow, what good aim Boy in Black has. Nice shot, Shaggy Hair!"
"I'm trying to sleep!" I screamed. Another frisbee swooshed by, so close that my hair stood up in the wave of moving air. More laughter came from the unsympathetic crowd in the lawn chairs.
Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter, lying on a blanket over near one of the tents, looked up from her book. "The more you scream, the more you just encourage them." She smiled smugly from the frisbee-free zone. I ignored her.
"If you hit me even once, you're losing your frisbee privileges!"
Boy in Black just laughed.
Outnumbered, I put the blanket over my head and tried to go back to sleep, ignoring the flying disks that hurtled past centimeters above me.
The sunshine didn't last, and much of the weekend was rainy, cold, or windy. But despite the coolness, it still felt good to be outside. My father gave With-a-Why his first sailing lesson. We played numerous games of cards. My husband and I took a long walk on the country roads up in the hills above the camp. We had a bocce tournament, old folks against the young folks, and the old folks won by a point. We sat around the campfire on Saturday night, with musical entertainment by my sons. Despite the cool weather, it felt like the beginning of summer.
The view from the end of the dock.