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The Slice: Anticipation makes vacation all the sweeter

If you head out early for a weekend walk or neighborhood bike ride, you might catch a glimpse.

Garage doors are up. And there, inside among the shadows, families pack their cars for camping trips or vacations.

Different families have varying approaches, of course. Sometimes there is a designated loadmaster, who handles everything. Down the block, it might be a group effort.

But for the passing onlooker, there’s one vignette especially worth observing.

Ever seen and heard a little kid offering assistance in determining what needs to be brought along on the trip?

“Should we bring this? How about this? Will we need a shovel?”

Stressed by trip planning and making sure the stove is turned off, not all parents have an abundance of patience for this. Others, though, have mastered the art of engaging a chatterbox child in a genial way while actually focusing on more pressing matters.

“I don’t know, Sport. We could need a shovel. But let’s leave it there for now.”

You might think of these noted-in-passing scenes as more of a Saturday thing. But you can see families getting ready for blast-off on Sunday mornings, too. Sometimes the first day of the week is the first day of a week off.

Naturally, you can’t take in all that much just passing by someone’s driveway. Still, you can see enough to prompt memories of long-ago travels and relationships.

“Should we bring the telescope?”

“Ask your father.”

It doesn’t have to be about looking back though. Seeing a family getting ready to hit the road early on a quiet weekend morning can be a reminder of the potential present in every new summer day.

Maybe a few of us forget that sometimes. But there’s no reminder like seeing a kid all but hopping with anticipation about what awaits up around the bend.

“Should we bring these binoculars, Dad?”

“That’s a good idea. We might see a pterodactyl.”

Today’s Slice question: Are some people you wouldn’t expect to be all that concerned about the environment turned into serious observers of local ecosystems because they have a lake place?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Next Sunday is the moon-landing anniversary.

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