Spend quality time together

Remember all the things you said you were going to do this summer when the chilly winds of winter were bearing down on you? I’m going to hike every week and swim most days and maybe get up for some camping in the mountains. Well, how’d that go for you? Hit and miss? A complete bust? Totally exceeded expectations?

My problem is that I make these vague plans (oxymoron?) but I forget to get the specifics hammered out, such as when or where or with whom. I want to go backpacking more next summer, I might declare in February, but it kind of ends there. I don’t get out a calendar or a map or a guide book.

So here I am at the end of summer trying to get some last-minute adventures in. We had a fun afternoon last weekend just hanging out at the little beach on the east side of Horsetooth Reservoir. It was an impromptu thing. The kids were home and Kristin wanted to go to the beach. We don’t really do that…but we did. And you know what? It was fun. We packed a little picnic, grabbed the lawn chairs and headed up. Sure it was crowded but that was part of the fun too. I guess I’m writing about it because it was a spontaneous thing that was way outside of our usual game. We took a little risk, and it turned out to be fun.

The main point is really to get out and have some family time together outside our normal routine. Something about getting out like that adds a dynamic that mixes up our interactions in a spontaneous way.

We do, in fact, have some things on the books…cabins for a few nights in the mountains, family reunion in Nebraska, but I’m hoping to motivate for the little day-in, day-out things: an outdoor movie, a free concert, a food truck night…anything that is a little out of the ordinary and involves leaving the house and not sitting around wondering why I’m bored.

Anyway, if you’re thinking a little bit the same way, you should check out Lynn Nichols story on page 8. She has a laundry list of ideas for you try out before the summer comes screeching to a halt. And they look like a lot of fun and don’t require a lot of cash or a full-day commitment.

And if you’re considering a nice hike on a local trail, Katie Harris has some ideas for you on page 10.

And of course, our family-free-time world doesn’t screech to a halt when school starts. The fall around here can be the best time of the year to get out and play together.