On the Road Again: Back from Camping, and at Heartbeats ~ Soulstains

photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

Friday came and went without a Go Ask Daddy.

And the world? She kept spinning. I knew she would. I fell asleep 17 times Thursday night as I tried to write it. Seventeen is the limit. Seventeen is when I say, ‘no mas.’ If I wake up at 3:37, I’ll do it then. If not … maybe I’ll take Friday off.

Today, though, I’m at Debbie’s. She writes Heartbeats ~ Soulstains blog, Hers is an intriguing story I can’t do justice to. Go check her out yourself to see what I mean. I’ve written a guest post for her today about the lessons my kids have taught me.

Some of them came into play during that couple of days I didn’t check in for comments*.

Grace and friends on the Lake Norman Soccer Club float for the Independence Day parade.
Grace's view of fireworks over Lake Wylie.
Grace’s view of fireworks over Lake Wylie…
july4 lightstick
… and her glow-stick dance on the fishing dock one night later.







july4 sunrise
at sunrise at camp Pacheco …


... or sunset.
… or sunset on Lake Wylie.
You never know what will happen when the kids get a hold of your iPhone.
You never know what will happen when the kids get a hold of your iPhone.
"Daddy, it says right here ... DO NOT SIT ON LID."
“Daddy, it says right here … DO NOT SIT ON LID.”










It was a great run for my girls on the lake, too. Final count: 20 fish, including this baby largemouth bass Elise "wrestled" in.
It was a great run for my girls on the lake, too. Final count: 20 fish, including this baby largemouth bass Elise “wrestled” in.

The doe and me

On our way to the lake, I stepped into the woods because, well, nature called. I chose a lucky tree, unzipped, and felt one with the forest. I also felt eyes on me.
I looked up to see a kind and gorgeous doe looking me straight in the face. Mostly. She twitched her ears and looked me up and down again. What did she see in me? A new buck, marking his territory? An old stag, overstepping his bounds?
I zipped up, and at that, she bobbed her head, made three snorting sounds, and ran away.
Time will pass and years will fly by, mating seasons will come and go. But, that doe and me … we’ll always have McDowell Nature Preserve on Independence Day.
camping quote



  1. Heading over there myself now and I too took Friday and the weekend off from blogging. Felt good to not think about all this for a few days and think I may need to do it more often on weekends now to be honest 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Sometimes, you just need to step away – or at least schedule things out a little to free up your time. I did miss it, though.

      1. Totally agree. I did and didn’t miss it to be honest as crazy as that sounds!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I know what you mean.

  2. Yanic A. says:

    What a wonderful post! Great job… the story about the egg cracked me up (maybe pun intended!)… Have a great week Sir. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad you liked it Yanic – thanks for stopping by over there!

  3. Getting away from it all with the family is the best, and I’m glad you had a great time with the girls!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We did! Can’t wait to do it again.

  4. E. says:

    I’ve been wanting to go camping/backpacking for so long… *sigh* Soon, hopefully. Glad you had a good time. 🙂
    Deer are fascinating. I once (almost literally) ran into a doe and her two fawns while on a morning jog… One of the babies trotted up to me, sniffed my shoe, allowed me to pet it once and then ran off after its mother and sibling, who had tiptoed their way off the trail. I’m sure those fawns have had babies of their own by now, but I’ll always have that memory.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s good to get out, isn’t it E? We had a blast.

      Sweet that you were able to get so close. Years ago, I ran through a forest to get a first-aid kit for a kid on my soccer team who got stung by a bee.

      As I ran, three deer crossed me. They were heading away fast, and I could have reached out and smacked one on the flank, he was so close.

      I wonder how long until they’d have found me out there.

  5. Love your pictures, especially the sunset and the goofy selfie 🙂 Looks you had a fabulous time out there!
    Now I wonder… in doe-language what do three snorts mean?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m going with something really complimentary. Yep. Final answer.

  6. Kim says:

    Glad you enjoyed a true family weekend!!!
    I love Debbie’s blog – her story is truly amazing!!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It was a blast, Kim. I hope many readers will check out Debbie’s blog, too.

  7. ksbeth says:

    fabulous, i’m so glad you had this time together )

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m so ready to go back!

  8. laurie27wsmith says:

    Your absence was noted but I was too bloody sick to go looking Mate. I popped over to Debbie’s and read your blog there. Then I came back to comment, I don’t have to fill out stuff here. Loved it, I guess we need to look at life through the eyes of a child now and then. Even an egg shell is beautiful. So, Eli does do it in the woods, well take a pee at least. I often assist in the watering of the back yard too. Ours looks out to 7000 acres of grazing land and quite often a few curious cows stop and look. I know what they’re thinking, I know they’re wondering what on earth I do with it. They roll their big brown eyes, snort and wander off swishing their tails.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Hope you’re feeling better mate. If me skipping makes you sick, I’ll see to it it doesn’t happen. Often.

      Glad you went over to Debbie’s. That egg incident was so many years ago, but it really slowed me down and opened my eyes.

      speaking of opened eyes … the doe was either snickering or treating me like eye candy. I think she did linger – on my chocolate brown eyes. “If you had hooves … ” she was saying to herself, “I don’t care what my daddy would say.”

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        Yeah feeling much better mate, actually broke into song yesterday, frightened the roos, won’t do it again. That’s too funny about the doe, you’re right though they do stare. It’s a little unnerving actually. ‘If you had hooves.’ Oh that’s so funny.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Had I lingered any longer, we might have had Romeo and Juliet right there in the forest.

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        No stag party then?

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        No, I think the bucks might have taken offense to me marking my territory, mate.

      5. laurie27wsmith says:

        I guess so, besides you would have looked foolish rolling in mud.

      6. Eli Pacheco says:

        And I’m pretty sure at some point I’d have to square off with a buck. You can’t be a lover not a fighter when it comes to a buck.

      7. laurie27wsmith says:

        I’ve seen them fight mate, nope, lover it is in this case.

  9. What a lucky doe! Looks like you had a great weekend… can’t wait to check out your guestpost!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I heard she’s in therapy at the nature center.

      1. Maybe she’ll meet poor Bambi. They can support each other!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Woodland animals are hugely supportive of each other. Well, except for the carnivores.

  10. tamaralikecamera says:

    ha! Caroline’s comment made me burst out laughing and now everyone is looking at me funny. Yes, I’m reading blogs while Des tortures two cats and a dog hides from all of us.
    I’m so torn – do I stay here and enjoy these photos? Or do I go and read your new words? Both? At the same time??

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I say look at the pictures for 7 minutes, then go get the words. What Des does to the kittens will build character. The same cannot be said for what will become of that poor doe because of me.

    2. I often laugh out loud when reading… Good thing my main company is a toddler and two dogs… Other people would think I’m crazzzy!

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        The dogs think you’re loco.

  11. Kathy@kissingthefrog says:

    17 times? Really? I never make it to 17. I’m asleep waaaay before that! You’re a warrior. But I knew that already. Your girls are beautiful. Heading over to read your greatness.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You’re so good to me, Kathy.

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