Yesterday was a big day for me as my 13 year old son was coming home from Virginia after spending a month with my brother and his family. I had to head to the Portland airport to pick him up, which round trip equals nearly seven hours of driving. But it was well worth it because of the time spent with my son and listening to the stories of what a bunch of teenage boys do in rural Virginia to pass the days of summer.
(As many of you know, my brother and his wife have 12 kids with number 13 on the way. You can catch a glimpse into their life as a big, loving, never-a-dull-moment familyhere.)
Anyway, when we first talked about Killian heading out for a month, the old line, 'what's one more?' was somewhere in the conversation, and a week after school, Killian headed out to Virginia. Well, Killian had a really incredible time and it will be a month with the cousins that he will never forget. I wanted to share a few highlights from his trip.
1. When your nephew tells you, "We're going to experiment with a water bottle some vinegar and baking soda to try and make an airsoft grenade . Killian and I are going to make history or die trying." you should take them very seriously. And yes, vinegar does ruin the lawn.
2. Six boys fishing in a three-man unlicensed boat is basically a game of hide and seek from the boat cops. "Mom, you'd be proud of us. We didn't even use the shotgun to catch fish."
3. Calvary Chapel puts on an awesome youth camp. Killian knew it was going to be a good time when the camp director gave them the following tips:
"Do not to go running around outside in the woods at night. We have a bear problem."
"If you find a long black snake wrapped around your ankle, don't be afraid. If you find a diamondback rattler wrapped around your ankle, be VERRRY afraid."
4. A favorite past time in the car was the Roadkill game. It went something like this:
- One point for identifying the roadkill.
- Two points for identifying the sex.
All before you drive by it.
When I asked Killian, "Ok, so you see a possum on the side of the road and it's not on it's back. How in the world do you know what sex it is?"
His reply, "Mom, it's a natural hick instinct."
There you have it.
5. A neighbors tree crashed through my brother's fence and smashed a window during a horrific rain storm two nights before Killian had to leave. In Killian's words, "It was the hottest day of the whole month and we spent all day cleaning up the mess and cutting up that tree. But it ended up being a real blessing because Uncle Matt got to know the neighbor."
6. Bottle rockets will shoot off sideways if they are not secured deep inside the ant hill. If you light them pointing into the ant hill it kills more that way.
7. Eight boys. Eight Airsoft guns. A gazillion BB's. Good times.
8. There was a sighting of a guy who drives a truck completely painted in the Confederate flag. "Mom, that's enough to make a Redneck cry."
9. Getting your first tick is like coming of age. "Mom, you just light a match, blow it out and stick it on the tick. They come right out. No big deal." Mmmmmkay.
10. Killian's parting words to his cousins, who now consider him their brother, "Guys, I love you like a Redneck loves NASCAR."
Killian is already planning next years trip out to Virginia. After all, there are ant hills to conquer, bigger and better airsoft bombs to make and maybe they'll go for a new record of ten in the boat. Just leave the shotgun at home.