As I sat at the campfire, I could hear acorns dropping all around me, and squirrels scurrying from branch to branch. It felt like September.
Ten of us gathered at my parents’ camp for Labor Day weekend. The sunset came early, and with the dark came the cold. We’re not the type of family who buys sleeping bags for each person: instead we have a communal pile of old blankets and quilts, which we supplement by bringing blankets and pillows from home. Fighting over the blankets on the first cold night of September is a tradition.
My husband and I managed to snag enough blankets to keep us warm in our little tent, but my daughter reported that sharing an old sleeping bag with her little brother didn’t work so well. “We were warm enough, but I couldn’t move.”
Despite the cold nights, the river water was warm, the way it always is in early September, and the sun shone brightly. On the island, we left our usual spot, high up in the wind, and retreated to the lee side of the island where we could spread our towels on the rock and absorb the heat. I swam with my daughter and Schoolteacher Niece out to the little shoal, where we lay like seals in the shallow water. “So long as you keep your body in the water, you can’t feel the wind,” said my niece.
Sunny cool days are great for lying on the ground and doing absolutely nothing. That’s always the best part about being at camp.
That's my daughter and two of my nieces in the photo.