On Friday we'll be heading out for our annual family trip to the Frio River. Woot! I can't wait. There's just something liberating about being on what we call “river time” for a while. Only my son's cell phone works out there, so there are no interruptions or distractions. No fixing your hair. No makeup. No schedule whatsoever.
I think my son is already starting to panic just a little about the total disconnect. But at least his phone works, even if he can't bring his Xbox.
Last year the river was really up due to the flooding just before we went. It was great for floating and kayaking, at least until I got flipped out of my tube and took my niece out with me while trying desperately to fight the current and get back in. I still have the scar on my left knee from being dragged across the rocks by the current. All while my family looked on just down from where I was. They had grabbed some branches and held on to stay in place – and point – and laugh. I wasn't too happy about it at the time, but I'm sure I would have been laughing too, if the tables were turned.
“The look on your face!” my sister laughed.
“Hey, I almost died,” I replied, a little overdramatic. But there did seem to be some touch-and-go moments.
We have a funny story like that every year. We'll see who gets the laughs this time.
Volleyball is also a big hit. Especially for those who want to watch the players' sad lack of athleticism.
“Hey! That was yours! What are you doing!?”
“Who, me? I was swatting a mosquito. Wasn't ready. Serve it again.”
Balls hit the tops of heads. Balls are missed entirely with unbelievable poor timing. Balls are rocketed over the rooftop, under bushes, into trees. One year my nephew jumped in the game with a fork still in his hand. 
“Jarod! Put down the fork before you impale yourself!”
He's cute and good at a lot of things, but coordination isn't one of them.
I think part of the problem is that we go play right after we eat dinner. Uncoordinated people playing volleyball on really full stomachs is probably not the best idea. If we set up a video camera, I'm pretty sure some of the mishaps would go viral pretty quickly. Especially the ones where we accidentally hit each other.
That's not to say we don't have some athletic people in the family, but they are just so sadly outnumbered, they have to carry the team on their own.
My nieces are athletic, but that's with soccer. We have to keep reminding them that they can't use their feet. My daughter and son are good, as long as we keep them separated. And my niece's boyfriend is really good. Bless his heart.
The point is, that we are family, and we have a great time together. We eat too much, float for hours, sit in chairs in the shallow parts of the river and just relax, watch fireflies, roast marshmallows, watch the deer, and play board games.
It's the one time of year when everyone comes together if at all possible. Over the years, we've lost some of our group, and that has been very hard. But we keep going, as we know they would want us to.
I think they have some great seats now, from which to point and laugh at the rest of us.