My Uncle David came to visit this week. If you've been here a while, you've kept up with the cast of characters. Mitzi is my cousin who lives here in Ashland, and David is her dad, my dad's baby brother. I've always adored my Uncle David. He was wild and cool and funny and rebellious when I was a kid, and I just wanted him to think I was cool too. I guess I still do. He's a bit less wild and rebellious these days, but still one of the coolest, funniest guys I know, and it was so much fun to have him camped here with us, and to spend more one-to-one time with him than I ever have before. Most of the time families get together for birthdays and weddings and holidays, and even though it's nice to have everyone together, I usually come away feeling like I didn't actually talk to anyone. This visit was nice because we were next door neighbors, and had time to walk the dogs together and just hang out and visit. We went up to one of the mountain lakes yesterday to pick up a load of firewood for the park, and had the nicest time afterward, sitting in one of the shady, cool campsites up there, watching the lake and Mt. McLoughlin. We turned the camera on each other, not interested in getting everybody in one shot. No family portraits. No silly endless posing. Just a couple of snapshots to remember the day.
Here's Uncle David and Ranger Rick. Cute, aren't they?
And Rick and me, strolling on the shore.
Click to enlarge. It's a beautiful view.
The biggest our group got this week was 5 of us, when Mitzi and Ron came out to the lake for a swim, or we all went to dinner last night. It was perfect. We're a lively group, to say the least. OK, we're loud, and we all talk at once and laugh and tell jokes. We can clear a restaurant full of timid people in nothin' flat, but the ones who stay always wind up listening in and participating. We can't help it. We are jovial. But we all got to talk and visit and enjoy each other over a small table and some good Chinese food. I recommend the small family get-together. Give it a try. You'll get to know some of your favorite people better, and the planning and coordinating take practically nothing.
Waving good-bye to Uncle David this morning, I started a mental list of other relatives I'd like to visit and spend some smaller, quieter time with. This lifestyle will let us do that, which is a real gift, along with so many other gifts that come with living small and simply and portably. Here we come, folks. I know most of you don't read this, but here's fair warning. Expect us in your driveway sometime soon.