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Filed under: Family Camping, Nature & Wildlife

A Change of Life–Part 1

February 20, 2011 by · 2 Comments 


I must admit, I am a bit verclempt. I am in a bit of a quandary. Usually by now I am in full “summer-trip-planning” mode. This year, however, I am perched on the horns of a dilemma.

At a campfire

Ryan, Meghan and Kate at a campfire

Always in the past, I have been planning trips to include our children, at least the two or three that were currently living at home. These trips were taken for about two weeks in the height of summer, generally the third and fourth weeks in July. Our oldest daughter, Katie, has not accompanied us on these trips for some time (about 6 years) as she “fell in love” in her junior year of high school and could not bear to be separated for an entire two weeks from her beau, (that was three suitors ago), much less to go camping!

Our trip out east: Meg's last trip with us!

So rather than travel with us to traverse this beautiful country and see all that it has to offer, she elected to spend her two weeks with grandma—so she could see the boy.  It was an adjustment, traveling with two children rather than three; we transitioned to a group of four, when we had long been a party of five. We always missed her when she did not join us, but had taken the route, the year before we allowed her to stay home the first time, of forcing her to accompany us and a miserable time was had by all!

Atop Mt. Mansfield, VTOur youngest daughter, soon to turn 18, is a performer. Our hometown of Manitowoc, WI is home to one of the only entirely youth run community theatre companies in the country, the Peter Quince Performing Company. Each summer the group selects a production, often a musical, elects a director, producer, choreographer and the like, then spends from June through the end of July in nightly rehearsals. Finally, the first weekend of August, the company presents an entire production, with every bit of the work, from acting to directing to props to advertising, being done by company members who must be age 23 or younger. It is truly quite a feat—and a great learning experience. Meghan has been involved with the group for five summers now.


Meghan--eating at the Trapp Family Lodge

The first three summers, she would accompany us on our trip but take a significant amount of heat from her peers in the producing and directing roles about missing the last two weeks of rehearsal. Note: It was never a problem for Meghan—she was not the lead and always learned her songs, dances and lines very quickly and early in the summer so she was well prepared. But two summers ago, she asked to stay with Nanny so she could, perhaps land a lead role by indicating that she would have no conflicts during the summer…more to come.

For information about camping, check out Woodall’s camping articles.


2 Responses to “A Change of Life–Part 1”
  1. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy Dr. Berry,
    THEY WILL GROW UP!!!!!!!! You are a long ways from ‘empty-nest’ syndrome… For a little while,
    when they are in college, you’ll miss them and get to relax a little, BUT they graduate, get married(for a while), come back home with kidz and your summers are yours no longer!!!!!! Take that last one everywhere and get the travelin’ done; then you’ll have the memories!!!!

  2. Diane Berry says:

    Thanks for the advice Butterbean! Will keep that in mind. Still working on this issue! Appreciate the support!

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