Unless of course, you bring it home.
I brought back plenty from my camping trip to the Castor River in southeast Missouri.
A wicked sunburn graces my lower leg. My thighs still ache from the impromptu footrace I had with a 10-year-old Saturday night.
But when my skin cools and the muscles heal, the memories will linger.
The Castor River is more of a lifestyle than a venue.
It’s a place where people say “Good morning” and actually mean it, where a neighbor brings you a cup of coffee in the morning without asking.
Afternoons are spent swimming — even sitting — in the rock-bottomed waterway, telling tall tales with buddies. Bullfrogs can be heard in the evening, bellowing in the distance. Deer lurk in the glade, a four-wheeler ride away.
I saw old friends and met new ones, such as “Sonny,” the next-door neighbor who treated us like kings, and Eddie, who was 82 but acted 42, dancing the night away. We cooked breakfast and supper over a wood fire. We ate a neighbor’s fried potatoes right out of the skillet, using our fingers as forks.
The moments didn’t slip away. They were seized, celebrated, savored.
I will miss the river. It never disappoints.