the other ranch- June 26

the other ranch

In my circles the ranch, always meant camp. Mo Ranch and where I spent most of my summers from ages 11-21. I haven't dedicated much writing to this place because it is one of the few things in my life that seems to be too big to tackle on paper. It is where I learned about friendship and family and first kisses ( well thanks to camp stewart dances) about being real and sharing a bathroom with 20 other girls, the importance of mail, my love for the late night conversation, the non-necessity of a hair dryer, that maybe jumping off a bridge isn't the best idea, some of my best practical jokes, that there is all kinds of grey, that sometimes it really hurts to send them home and lots lots more. Shaun has another ranch. One that he has spent almost as much time at, but in Colorado. There he learned to flyfish, how to sneak up on some elk, how to make gorp, how to clean a fish, just how much water a jeep can actually drive through. They are both beautiful: the Texas hill country and Stonewall Colorado. Ok, I know most people would pick CO hands down, but memories have made the first just as beautiful to me. Both serve meals family style and both mean sharing a bathroom with more than a few people. Both mean really hot naps in the afternoon and lots of walking. Mine had a river and forbidden ice machines and a chapel on the hill. His has snow capped peaks, bears ( yep we saw one), jeep trails and it's own chapel on the hill. It isn't marked with any cross or pews –but when you reach a summit there is something just a spiritual about it. Both are dusty and rocky and loud. Loud in a quiet sort of way. Lots of crickets and hummingbirds and the stars are so bright they almost scream at you. I have grown to love "the Ranch" along with Shaun and his family. My family, we are beach people – but there must be some mountain in me because I love forgetting what day it is, catching fish and just hanging out on the back porch with a good book. At the campfire one night I was getting a bit nostalgic for Mo and realized that i am happy to still have a Ranch in my summers.


onevoice said...

I know exactly what you mean regarding camp. I spent many a summer at "my" camp (Newk's Tennis Ranch) and I am extremely nostalgic about it. I would not be the same person had it not been for all my summers I spent at the Ranch. It really gets me in the mornings - there's just some smell in the air and I can almost picture everyone rising and heading for breakfast. It makes me sad, but glad that my kids can be campers too someday :)