As always, we had a lovely time at Grandpa's ranch. My family has celebrated our nation's birthday at the ranch every year since I can remember. When I was a kid, we brought only our old, stained, ripped clothes to the ranch because there was only one bathroom and about 50 people. The kids didn't have priority in the tub. Now things are a little more civilized (3 toilets, 3 showers, and a shaded bowery with picnic tables), and there are fewer people that stay at the cabin. (We still celebrate with the whole extended family, but most families opt to stay overnight at a motel in town.) There are still only two tiny bedrooms though, so everyone who stays at the cabin sleeps either on the deck or in a tent. I don't understand why my fellow Johnsons would ever choose a motel room over the rhythmic crickets, milky stars, and campfire aroma. My annual trip to the ranch nourishes me in a way that a schedule, a computer screen, and a pillowtop mattress never could.
I miss you Grandpa. We all do.