We're packing the beach towels and the beach umbrella, the tents and the ice chest, and whatever camping equipment we can fit into our vehicle. It's time for our August vacation, the week we traditionally take with just the six of us. Our house is so often filled with extras or extended family that it's nice once each year to spend a week with my husband and kids.
I don't know how much longer this kind of vacation will be possible: this coming year is my daughter's senior year in college. It's slowly starting to hit me that my kids just might grow up and move away someday. Then again, I still take vacations with my parents. And Schoolteacher Niece, who recently finished her grad work at Big City School With a Name That Sounds Like a South American Country, just accepted a job teaching in Snowstorm Region, proof that maybe not all of the younger generation will desert us.
August means that soon my oldest two will be moving back to campus, leaving the house much quieter. But for another week at least, we'll all be together, jammed in a car or tent or huddled in the tiny shade of a beach umbrella, arguing about where to go next or what activity we want to do. We'll swim in the ocean, take a ferryboat to an island where we'll rent bikes, walk marinas and fishing piers in the evening, hike along a cliff, explore an old seaport, fly kites on the beach, sit by the campfire at night, and play cards in the tent long after dark. Boy in Black says there will be some Ultimate Frisbee playing as well, even if the teams are small. One more week of camping and swimming and sunshine before it's time to think about fall semester.