This year at Cow Camp

This year, as every year is, was different at Cow Camp. This year, Josh and I were able to be there for the FULL week and it was glorious. This year, Papa was able to make it back again and I have never seen him smile so much. This year, I had my own tent with my husband. This year, I was responsible for cooking a dinner for everybody. This year, my niece was old enough to experience all the joys that her mother once experienced at the same age. This year... this year was truly amazing in a way that I feel like Cow Camp hasn't been in a while, at least for me. Maybe I was just feeling particularly sentimental, but I think we all felt it in some way or another and that's what made it so magical. This year had a noticeably bittersweet tinge to it, as we all gloried in Papa being there again, even as we tried to come to terms with the fact that it very well could be his last year. This year, there was a definite shift in the dynamic as the aunts and uncles subtly tried to hand off more responsibility to their children, making for a slightly off-balanced feeling as we struggled to do what they have done for so many years. This year, the newest generation of Montgomery Clan members made for endless entertainment and I can't even begin to put into words what it meant to my heart to see my sister's daughter playing with my cousins' children in the exact same way we once all played together. Yes, this year, it was pure magic. 

The following picture is my absolute FAVORITE! My niece, with her daddy, fishing for the first time off of the dock where her mom, aunty, and uncle all learned how to fish when they were kids. I seriously teared up so many times watching Iris experience all the wonders of Cow Camp that I have loved and cherished for so long. "I'm CASTING!" she yelled from the dock. And when Brian went out fishing later in the evening and she saw him walking away with his fishing pole, she yelled across camp at him; "DADDY! I want to go FISHING!" Oh my heart. So amazing.

Later, Brian took her down the crick with him and they caught their first fish together! You can't tell in this picture but Iris was ecstatic! "I caught a fish!" she told me. "I caught a fish!"

This next picture makes my heart burst with happiness. It might not look like much of a photograph, most people probably wouldn't even give it a second glance, but to me, this picture is the ceremonial passing of the torch- or spatula, at the camp grill. Papa and Jeff have both stood where Josh is standing and now they watch the next generation moving in to provide dinner for our family. There are countless photos so similar to this one with any different combination of Montgomery relatives filling the different spots. To see my husband standing there, was absolutely breathtaking to me. And yes, I teared up in this moment also.

This is the look that Papa had on his face as he watched his great-grandchildren play. And he was always watching them.

My heart is just so full. <3 p="">


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