Our Labor Day camping trip this year was at an old gold mining site in the Plumas National Forest. There are still lots of old cabins and shacks standing shuttered and ghostly in the forest around our campsite. Whenever I think of the gold rush the song My Darling Clementine comes to mind. It’s a song that I used to sing to Ellie often when she was a baby. Beyond the lullaby rhythm and catchy tune, I like how the song offers a glimpse into the hard life of a 49er or a settler back in the 1800’s. It tells a sad story, but it also shows how resilient and hopeful people are even in the harshest of circumstances.
We celebrated Ellie’s birthday in the forest this year. Although she already had a birthday party and a trip to Disneyland earlier this month! We didn’t actually plan any of this but she was so excited about her birthday that we had to give in. Because childhood is too short and I want to give her as many happy memories as I can.