It started last Friday night.  A string of headlights as weary travelers wove through the pines in search of a cabin, a hotel room or Grandma’s house!  Sleepy children were gently lifted from their makeshift beds in the back seat and carried into a night alive with rattling crickets and the soulful sounds of a hoot owl, then tucked in for the night with the promise of fun to come on the morrow!

I look forward to this week every year, when the kiddos toss their books in their locker at school and head to Toledo Bend for that sneak peak of summer fun that is right around the corner – Spring Break!

I grew up on the coast, but each year in May, we traveled to East Texas for the family reunion.  It was always a time filled with anticipation and excitement and after going through the ritual of pinched cheeks and  smothering bear hugs, we were sent off to play!  I still remember kicking off my shoes and wiggling my toes down into the softest, whitest sand, a far cry from that sticky Gulf Coast gumbo.  The smell of the pines and the towering trees, the ground cloaked in pine straw and the biggest pine cones I had ever seen…for me, it was pure magic!    

I see that same look on the faces of the children who visit here and it makes me smile!  The week has been filled with 4-wheelers, camp fires, marshmallows and hot dogs!  All around the lake, you can hear the squeals and excitement from little people in brightly colored life jackets, munching on gummy worms and baiting their hooks with fishing worms, laughing and talking, their legs swinging off the end of piers, or perched on a boat seat with fishing poles bobbing and waving and the splash of a fish on the end of the line!   I just love seeing the big smiles that only fresh air, sunshine and just good old fashioned fun can bring!   It’s just inevitable at Toledo Bend -  video games can’t compete with this great big playground in the heart of the piney woods!

What a great week!