Friday, August 1, 2014

The Great Out-of-Doors, A Family Tradition

LeGrand, Pauline and Vera Anderson
My mother Pauline Anderson Harward 
with her parents LeGrand and Vera
camping in Idaho, cir. 1939

For many people vacationing in the great out-of-doors during the summer months is a must, and it can often become a family tradition. Perhaps it was the same for my own ancestors.

My great grandmother, Hattie Anderson in front with pan
Cir. 1935

As a child growing up, my family never camped in a tent together and I remember we only owned one sleeping bag back then. But twice my parents rented a camper which Dad put in the back of his truck and off we went exploring the world. Now that was cozy! Much more often, we stayed in the cabins of friends and relatives. It didn't seem to matter how and where we stayed, the memories were still made and kept.

My Harward Family at Fish Lake, Utah in 1969

Me with my siblings and mother in 1970
Dad was always behind the camera!

Houseboating at Lake Powell, Utah  in 1975 with my Harward family

My parents and all of their children and grandchildren 
at my brother Paul's cabin in Fish Lake in 1999

After I married, my husband and I became tenters! Whenever we traveled during the summer months, we found places we could tent camp, because it was very economical, and we really enjoyed it. We went traveling with our tents almost every summer during the years we reared our children and saw much of our beautiful country and western Canada. On one trip one of my daughters exclaimed loudly after seeing all of the beauty she could stand, "When you've seen one tree, you've seen 'em all." But today she loves to camp--even in the trees.

My daughter Cassy and her husband
putting up their tent in 2002

Since tent camping has been such a strong tradition with our family, my husband and I, together with our children and grandchildren gather each summer to spend time camping--babies and all! The grandchildren love to make fires, swim in the creeks, catch water skippers, collect rocks, make crafts, sing Grandpa's silly boy scout songs and make and eat s'mores. It gets pretty crazy. 

Eppich family camping July 2014

This summer as I was sitting around our smokey campfire trying to breathe and clean the dirt out from under my fingernails at the same time, several grandchildren were leaping around me with hot, toasted marshmallows barely hanging from roasting sticks. When I looked at the left over s'mores smeared across their dirt-stained faces, I thought to myself, "Maybe I am getting too old for all of this and perhaps my children and grandchildren will never remember our camping times together anyway."

 How could any grandmother not want to kiss a SWEET face like this one?

But after I got home, put all of the gear away, had a long shower and slept in my own bed, I decided I should probably hang in there a little longer. Who knows, maybe my grandchildren will share memorable experiences from our family camping trips with their children and grandchildren and continue on our tradition. Then it all will be worth it!

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