Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Everyday Life In The Campground

Camping here is simply delightful. Large, quiet, shady camping spaces and miles of walking trails, though I'm not doing any of that these days. It's still summer and quite hot so I happily use it as an excuse. Most daytime highs reach near 90. Whew.

Our campsite
The camera made it's way out of the drawer again one day while Wayne washed the car. I snapped a few pictures of our surroundings.  During this, the very hot part of late summer, few locals come here to camp. Most of our neighbors are here for construction work assignments.  One would be hard pressed to find more than just a couple of people on the grounds any weekday afternoon. Lexie and Ozzie frequently go out unleashed -- though they don't really know what else to do except follow Wayne and me as they would if they were leashed.

Looking directly across from our campsite.
The only negative I can report on this campground is the proximity of two shooting ranges. With hunting season coming up, we found the frequency of gunshots increased with each passing week.  Ozzie is afraid of loud noises, so it was troublesome for all of us to hear the target practices late in the afternoons and on weekends.
The view directly from our dining table.
The building to the far left is a group shelter that is often used on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. 
This is the log home of the original settlers of this area, built in 1883. It was donated to the park by the family's descendants and is scheduled to become an important historical part of the park.

The cabin is in view looking back from our campsite.
Acres of grassy fields surround us. 
The adjacent county park has a very nice marked 5K walking / running track that goes along the outside edge of the campground. It is frequented, most every afternoon, by local high school runners.  The picture below is a part of the track where we can see them from our campsite several hundred yards away.

The park also has a nice twelve acre fishing lake that's restocked with catfish annually. While many folks from up north won't eat farm fresh catfish... well... I'm from the south and I can appreciate the delicacy of a golden fried catfish fillet and a plate of hush puppies.

I think a fishing license is not required to fish in the lake.
A small $1.50 fee daily permit must be paid though.

Another view of the lake.
It's about 200 yards from our campsite. 
This is the third installment of posts I'd neglected during the time of my brother's recent illness.

September brought a couple of setbacks for Macky. He was in and out of the hospital several times. A reaction to one of his medication's landed him him there for more than a week with huge areas of bloody red splotches all over his feet and lower legs. Seems he just can't catch a break and I find myself expecting the worst at any time.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Family Reunion - Labor Day 2014

This is the second of several upcoming posts in arrears.

Knowing how seriously ill he was, I conciously decided not to capture my anguish and broken heart over my brother's health on the blog. After all, the original idea of blogging was to replace the camping scrapbooks I'd kept before retirement -- good memories. Enjoyable and full of laughter while looking at pictures and remembering where we'd traveled.  I feared Macky's impending death would haunt me enough without memoralizing these difficult days in writing and in pictures to review over and over again as I aged.  My camera was put away in a drawer.

Nevertheless, good things happened as they always do and I decided to go back and post at least most of what's happened in late August, September, October and early November.

Macky was released from University of Alabama Medical Center Hospital in Birmingham just days before our 8-day marathon drive from the Puget Sound in Washington to North Alabama.

Although his health was frail and his prognosis poor, Macky was feeling well enough to enjoy frequent afternoon visits us at the campground. As August came to an end and September began, several of our family members began asking about visiting him. Knowing Macky could take a turn for the worse any day, I was happy to oblige the many inquiries by inviting everyone to a Labor Day family gathering.

A nice group of some favorite family members arrived and we sweltered in the humidity under the shade of the great oak tree that towered over our campsite.  We ate good food, shared old memories, laughed and had a good time.  My camera even came out of the drawer for a limited engagement.

Sam and Missy, Patricia, Vickie, Teresa, Frieda, Martha and Carlie.

Going clockwise, starting at the left. Standing is Jeanine holding her grandson, Donna, Macky, Bruce, Mike and  Peggy, Teresa, Sam, Missy, Patricia, Bruce and Carlie and Freida.

More of the same folks, with the addition of of Wayne and Jeanine's husband, whose name I forgot. Maybe Keith? 
It has been years since I'd seen most of these relatives from our Mother's family.  Such a good time.