What I learned this Summer – Reflections on my 17 year old’s list.

Kelsey's awesome shot of the Falls at Lake Weiss, AL.

As July ended, so did our visit with the children.  It is always wonderful to have them come and stay.  I miss the laughter and talks though, once they go back home, and find that my house is not as full with them gone.

As I go through and clean after their visits, it never fails that I find articles left behind by each of them.  Clothes, shoes, ipod cords, etc. are collected into little piles on the table, as I separate out what belongs to who.  This particular summer, I was fairly amused when I ran across a list constructed by my youngest daughter titled “What I Learned this Summer (Houston) (Towns County)”  {She lives in Houston with her dad and we live in Towns County}.

There were various things which she listed:

1. Never ask Calle for food. (Calle is my 21 year old)

2. Getting a learners permit is more difficult than people think.  (We tried to get one for her while she was here, but didn’t have the correct paperwork)

3. Jonathan only has one face expression. (I am assuming that is someone she knows in Houston)

4. Never hold a cat when its scared. (We have four kittens.)

5. Sitting on the side of a three person tube is not safe. (That one speaks for itself)

6. Lucky is fat. (Lucky is my dog, who is my best lake buddy, besides Kevin, and thinks he’s human)

7. Photography can be dangerous. (As a budding artist she takes tripod and camera and goes where no photographer has gone before)

8. Never follow Kyler on his “Adventures” (Kyler is my boyfriend’s 10 year old son)

9. Lakes are scary. (Tube episode)

10. Keagan’s band makes really good music. (Another friend)

Kyler at the base of the Falls at Lake Weiss

I think what struck me most about the list was the item “Don’t follow Kyler on any of his adventures.” I laughed, as I remembered the day we boated over the falls hidden in a little cove at Lake Weiss in Alabama.

The place is somewhat remote and away from the main course of traffic on the lake, in an area behind old brick pillars which still stand guard even after the rail road tracks which they held up years ago disappeared.  After anchoring your boat, you can either swim and hike back to the thunderous veil of water, or tie to the shoreline and follow a trail cut ages ago to the base, where you see Kyler (in the pic) sitting.  This particular day Kyler decided he and Kelsey should go hiking back there via the other side rather than the trail.  Some time had passed before I saw anything of them and I made Kevin go look for them, as I was getting rather concerned.  He took the trail, while his daughter, Carleigh and I soaked up the sun on the back of the boat.

A couple of hours passed before the group came back.  They were all very excited because they had made it back to the falls. (Last year was drought conditions, so the water wasn’t running).  Kevin proceeded to tell me that he watched from the other side as Kyler and Kelsey maneuvered around large boulders and pools of water, of which one time Kelsey held her tripod and camera over her head as the water got deeper.  He said he could see in their faces that both wanted to get there no matter what. ( So when Kelsey listed photography as being dangerous, I knew what she meant. )  I was proud of her for being so determined with her art and that she was so brave to follow Kyler, not on the easy trail, but over the harder obstacles.  (There is a lesson here.)

Reflecting upon the list with a grin, I measured it against myself – what had I learned this summer.    What transpired these past three months to make me stand up and take notice enough to make a list too?  Well I thought about it this whole week (which is why I have not blogged) and here is my “What I learned this Summer” list:

1.  Never say “I can’t” because Kevin is right behind me going “But you can, because you’re such an awesome woman.”

2.  Lucky IS fat, I’ve fed him way too much people food.

3. I have too many cats.  My kids are right, I’ll grow old and become the crazy cat lady.

4. My children, (even those who aren’t mine) are precious to me.

5. Summer was very busy and I’m glad school is starting soon.  (Did I just say that?)

6. Writing is only dangerous if poke your eye with the pencil.

7. I’d follow Kyler anytime on his adventures because he goes the most interesting places.

8. I’m glad I’m older so I don’t have to take any driving test or learner’s test.

9. I love our lake and camping, and look forward to next year with the kiddos out on the water.

Carleigh and Lucky

2 thoughts on “What I learned this Summer – Reflections on my 17 year old’s list.”

  1. Oh dear did I really leave that list there?? Oh well. My photos are so beautiful though. I would like to take more, but considering I cannot transport or fly there, I will have to wait.


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