After a late night around the campfire, we all slept in until the sun baked the interior of the tent. One by one the sleepyheads joined me around our shaded picnic table for some cereal and milk before piling into our auto to spend the morning at the river again.
After cooling off for a couple hours, we returned to get dressed for our short trip to Lost Maples State Park to hike. I put together some lunchmeat sandwiches with mayo, refilled the cooler with ice, and we got on our way.
Hiking back into the park was invigorating. We saw a baby armadillo and heard several different birds, enjoyed just being out and about in nature but on the way back out, my toddler, Jonathan. had trouble keeping the pace and could not walk anymore, so even though I was tired out myself, I carried him, put him down a bit, then carried him some more until we made it back to the car.
This was our last day so we headed back early, changed clothes, packed and cleaned our campsite for an early departure before noon.
Finally buckled in and heading south toward home, we stopped at some shops in Uvalde, ate lunch in a diner, stopped along the way to play at roadside parks. We meandered wanting to make this trip last until after nine at night when I became really sleepy.
It was after dark when I saw signs for Falcon Dam State Park. Too tired even to pitch our tent, I pulled into a spot near a picnic table and we spread our sleeping bags on the seats of the car and on the benches and top of the picnic table.
The sound of the A/C units on the RVs beside us kept waking me up as well as the thought of someone who might have bad intentions coming upon us while my children slept out in the open, all exposed. Again I prayed. Fear left and an uncanny peace came over me in its place, then sleep overtook me.
I was way down on my cash with only a $20 bill and my gas guzzler needed more fuel too, so I stopped at the first place that was open, a Dairy Queen.
Five large ice cream cones were the "healthy" breakfast I provided my tribe. Of course, they thought it was all great! Only on vacation would their mom ever let them have so much sugar this early in the day. Little did they know why.
Looking back, the scare of the motorcycles lining the road near my campsite that first night, the feeling of insecurity in my ability to pitch a tent in the dark, the breakdown of my Lincoln Continental, and the night exposed in the open at Falcon Dam really spoke to me.
As I prayed for help, I was treated with kid gloves. Rather than having to strive, help met me at every turn.
Today, I am thankful for this experience and others that have taught me about God's provision.
"Be still and know that I am God." He whispers to me when things go crazy and don't make any sense.
"Be still and trust me. Just watch how I calm the storms in your life."