the freedom of claiming a piece of the forest as your home for the weekend.
the sound of the babbling creek as I drifted off to sleep.
the stars twinkling in the dark sky beyond the smoke from the campfire.
hikes near the creek among the trees and wildflowers.
the nostalgic smell of the forest after the rain.
TheDog trotting through the trees and lounging in the sun.
reading, great conversation, card games and pass the pig.
contemplating why food cooked over a campfire tastes better than any other way.
wandering the art exhibited at the festival with a great friend in the nearly unbearable heat.
irridescent crackle glaze on exquisitely thrown pots.
being introduced as someone who "works" at the studio with him, the guy whose ability is way out of my league.
incredibly detailed pointellized watercolors.
the thought that I actually could do some of this.
street art, face painting and lemonade.
grilling with my slightly insane but wonderful family.
oohing and awing over the fireworks with my grandma on the eve of her 90th birthday.
TheDog playing with her 3 puppy friends, acting like a puppy herself.
choosing to hang out with my family instead of a boy, and not regretting it for a second.
reliving the days of our "private" fireworks display, as the neighborhood kids attempt to recreate the craziness of decades ago.
and the 4th of July must-have, home-made ice cream and fresh strawberries.
four generations celebrating the 9th decade of the eldest.
my niece in pigtails throwing rabbits at other people.
all-inclusive family pictures on the couch followed by a pillow fight.
great-grandma and great-granddaughter taking turns sticking their fingers in the cake, licking it off and giggling.
appreciation for the presents of love wrapped in pretty bows, but more so for the presence of love and loved-ones.
cards expressing love, admiration, thanks, and happiness.
working crazy hours, but only being in the office for one, and not minding any of them.
looking forward to seeing my co-workers after a week.
the opposing engineer's client calling my office to extol my virtues and competence.
and films under the stars that make you appreciate my friends and family even more.
...just a few tidbits from a too short/long weekend/week.