February 10, 2012

Camp Miller 2012, Wishing Lanterns and the Yurt.

Our family is very fortunate, in that for one of our annual extended holiday celebrations, we've had the unique opportunity to join together reunion-style at a beautiful old YMCA camp, tucked in the tall pines of a few miles of lake shore.  We gather in the main lodge, visit, play games, eat, & visit some more.  The kids run around in the large rec room below, playing dodge ball & other semi-organized games.  We are able to use the camp's cross country skis & hit the trails.  And we all pack our sleeping bags & pillows & bunk it in the bunk hall - winter camp style.  It's a great time.

This year my aunt Terry had a surprise planned for the kids:
Wishing lanterns that we let fly from the lake after dark.  They were beautiful.
Traditionally the launch of a Wish Lantern symbolizes the release of worries & problems.

  The kids were in awe.  Maybe us grown-ups were, too.
Dad (above), Terry & Uncle Bruce (below)
Beau and I, about to release our lantern. 
It was a fun family gathering, on the frozen lake, under the night sky. 
This year Mitch & I were given the privilege of staying in the Yurt.  I've been really fascinated with the yurt for a couple of years. 
Unique, sleeping in a canvas structure on the 7th of January in Minnesota. The wood stove was toasty, as long as we kept feeding it.
There was a beautiful pink sunrise over the lake that shone through the canvas walls in the morning. 
Lilly headed out on cross country skis with Carl & Ava after breakfast. 
She was a natural!
Good memories, here.  The kids absolutely love it. 
We look forward to next year. 

* Personal note: I have some mixed feelings about the wishing lanterns from an environmental point of view, but they're made of fire proof paper (as not to burn down any trees) which is biodegradable, and all things considered, they're much friendlier than several festive alternatives humans partake in. 

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