Juri and I went camping with my family this past weekend. We drove to St. Louis, and from there, down to Poplar Bluff (Van Buren) Missouri. I have quite a few memories of that place growing up. It was a spot we’d go to for vacation when I was little. Saying the Smick’s are outdoors kind of people is an understatement. I don’t do it enough, but when I do camp with family, I love it. You have the little nuances of the woods, creepy crawlies, animals that rustle the leaves nearby while you are trying to sleep, frying up potatoes and bacon outside over a flame. A chill of the morning and warming up with a nice fleece and putting a few sticks on the fire.
The main purpose of the trip was a family reunion. Dozens of family were there, some stayed in the park, some lived a few miles away. I got to talk to a lot of relatives, gave and received many hugs and kisses. Also, Juri and I went on her first canoe trip. I had my camera, safe and sound in a plastic baggie, even got some nice shots off with it. Everything was fine until I neglected to take it out of my pocket when I was helping my cousin fish out his lost paddle and life jacket from the river. The current sucked the baggie with my camera and driver’s license right out of my pocket. I try not to form attachments to things, but it’s hard you know. That camera took really great macro pictures, even good video. It cost me about 200 bucks, so I’m expectedly bummed. But the photos from the reunion including some nice canoe pictures were lost. That’s just heartbreaking.
But I noticed something kind of special. For me at least. As outgoing and goofy I sometimes can be, I’m actually pretty quiet. Since I don’t remember names all that well, I always feel a twinge talking with cousins that I don’t see very often. I’ll not know their girlfriend, or their married name or their kid’s names, so that bind makes me stay off to the side. But those missed opportunities to talk to family are wasteful, even rude. I was actually happy that my dad had told a bunch of people about the lost camera. Some family members came up to me to sympathize a little. And though I didn’t need sympathy, that loss was a perfect conversation starter. You wouldn’t think you’d need an icebreaker to talk to family, but you know how reunions are, there’s just as many strangers as close kin.
My aunt said that a cousin of mine lost his wallet on that same river and somebody found it a few weeks later and returned it. I won’t hold my breath, but if it does turn up, I might actually be able to get photos off the card. Flash memory is pretty durable. I’ve had a thumbdrive go through the laundry once or twice unscathed. We’ll see if it turns up. So now, I have to decide if I want a replacement camera.
We did not have a good weekend for electronics for sure. Juri has also lost her electronic translator dictionary and that costs more than the camera to replace. On the bright side, I didn’t have any ticks dug into my scrotum this time. That is a good trade.