Once upon a time, a nana booked a yurt for a night so that she and the papa could take the seven local grandchildren camping for a night. Tents scare her any more, so a yurt seemed like a good compromise. There were very few dates available by the time she went looking, so she chose a date and hoped it would work.
But then Papa got scheduled to work out-of-state on that very same night, so Nana decided to be brave and take the beloved progeny by herself.
The bathrooms were a small hike away, so they all made a field trip of it every time someone needed "to go."
Unfortunately, Josh had a real trip, but Daniel, like every good Boy Scout, was prepared with a first aid kit.
Which was just as well, because Nana was woefully unprepared for gore.
Thomy had had a busy week and was tired and grumpy, so he ended up going home instead of staying the night.
Nana put together lots of craft supplies, and the favourite was the lanterns, made from plastic peanut butter jars, tissue paper, and battery-operated tealights. They were a big hit, so thanks to friend Brenda for the idea. Those lanterns added a cozy glow to the yurt all night long.
Daniel wanted to light the fire, but Kenzie insisted that he always got to do it, so she demonstrated a rather beautiful log cabin design that lit in a trice.
The lanterns kept watch.
They ate s'mores and hot dogs and sang "Under the Lilacs."
It goes something like this, only in a slightly different horrible way, without the "boom-chinga-chinga" thing.
[My sister and I learned the song when we were in Brownies in England, and this is the second generation that has learned it from me.
I am so proud.]
Nana was very thankful that no one fell into the fire.
How would she have explained that to the parents?
Nana didn't sleep well, as the mattress was like a rock (big surprise) so she woke up early. This rabbit was having a feast outside the yurt. He wasn't at all fazed by the presence of six rowdy children and their befuddled Nana, but she couldn't get a photo of his face to save her life.
Bat boxes in the morning sun. They were right next to the yurt, but no bats were spied.
Miss M stayed up way too late and slept in.
It made Nana happy that the grandkids were enchanted with the spirograph, which hasn't seen any use for about twenty years.
Nana had found a new giant bubble recipe and after everyone got tired of quiet crafts they broke out the wands, once again borrowed from friend Hope. Nana inadvertently left her camera on the night-time setting, so the pictures aren't very good, but they're all there is.
Young Jeff turned out to be the master bubble-blower.
Papa turned up just in time to get in on the last of the bubbles, play some ball with the boys, and help pack up.
Nana was very glad to see him!
Madelyn was especially fascinated with the squirrels, who hovered around, hoping for snacks.
They headed home around noon, delivered Jeff to his happy mama, then re-packed the car and took the five Mitchells out to the Ranch for the weekend while their parents escaped to Canada for an anniversary celebration.
Nana was so busy that it occurred to her at the end of the weekend that she had hardly taken any photos.
But they went swimming and ate and played games and ate and went swimming again and ate some more.
And Miss M was being ornery about something so Nana took her photo and she said "Me see" and when she saw it she said "Oh coot."
And she is.
And late Sunday night the parental types returned to the fold and everyone was very happy to see them.
And then Nana went gratefully to bed.