So I don't have any pictures to go with this post at the moment. I am at work. The best pictures are at my parents' house. So we will just have to go without.
My family camps. It's one constant thing I can remember from my childhood. Numerous times each summer.....whether it was at a forest service cabin or in a trailer. Didn't matter. We were out in the wilderness. And having the times of our lives. The four of us kids were inseperable. I'm serious. The best of friends that were ever had. Me and the three boys. One of which really is my brother; the other two were cousins, but I do consider them brothers.
Our days camping were spent floating rivers, riding our bikes, playing wiffle ball, taking hikes to discover the land around us, lounging in the hot springs (pooping in the hot springs............oh yes, that's another story! And I'm innocent in this one, swear!), and many other truly countless adventures along the way.
Our nights consisted of excellent dinners and sitting around the campfire. Sometimes, various friends (of ours or our parents) would join us. Sometimes they stayed. Sometimes they snuck out, apparently scared off by .... well, I'm not sure what. Our campfire singing? But it was funny nonetheless. We grew up on "old" country music - I'm talkin' Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Jr., and of course, David Allan Coe. Outlaw country men, so they have been named.
One memorable camping trip, we decided to take along one of my best friends, Shoshauna. She didn't have the best family life and was really going through a hard time, so, I asked my parents if it would be ok if she came along and got out of the drama, so to speak. This was sort of a bigger vacation (we were going to Lagoon, and then camping afterwards), so I wasn't sure what my parents, or her parents for that matter, were going to say. But the decision was handed down and Shoshauna was allowed to go. We were STOKED. We had an amazing time in Lagoon. And after our adventures there were over, we continued on our journey to the mountains of Utah, where we camped. Shoshauna had never been camping with us, so this was a new experience for her. She knew everyone on the trip though, because like I said, she was one of my best friends. We played softball together and she often stayed at our house to get away from her own family. So for her to hang with me and the boys was quite normal. And this vacation was no different.
Well, one evening, we were all performing our usual evening ritual: sitting on the tailgates of the trucks, or in lawn chairs, take your pick, singing along to the music, I'm sure roasting marshmallows, and telling stories. Well, the infamous David Allan Coe song "You Never Even Called Me By My Name" came on. This is my family's "song". It was a tradition when it came on to sing at the top of your lungs.................except for one part. The song had "damn" in it. And we children were just too young to say that word. We would plead with our parents to just let us sing it, justifying it by saying it was part of the song and we were just singing along. It never worked. Anyway - I got off-point. So there we all were, singing along to this song. Except for Shoshauna. She had never heard the song. So she was just watching, in almost disbelief, as to what was transpiring around her.....by these loons, who had her camping, out in the middle of nowhere, in another state no less! I'm sure she was absolutely mortified! Well, there is a little interlude in the song where DAC tells a little story. And after his interlude, he breaks back into song. So we all sit, quietly listening to this interlude. I'm sure Shoshauna thinks the madness had ended. Well the song comes back in and we all belt out the lyrics. THE.LOOK.ON.HER.FACE. Priceless. Absolutely priceless. Almost a mixture of fear, shock, and amusement. I think she may have wet her pants!
Well, fast forward to my wedding this year. I'll go ahead and estimate that this is 13 (?) years later. 12? 13? Again, if I could see the pictures, I could give you a better estimate. But I'll stick with 12 or 13 years. I had secretly conspired with my DJ to have that same David Allan Coe song played as the second to last song at the reception. And I had him introduce the song by clearing the dance floor and having the original 8 of us out there to sing it once again. And we did. We belted that song like old times. And we kids said "damn" this time too. I'm sure that was like 15 years of built up frustration coming out, lol!!
And do you know who was at my wedding? My good friend, Shoshauna. And as the 8 of us were standing there in our circle, singing our song, we pulled Shoshauna over with us and she sang along. And she knew the words this time. And I can't even begin to describe how it felt to stand there, on MY night, with 9 people that have been there since childhood, and belt out a song that has brought so many memories to each of us.
And that, my friends, is a night I will never forget.