Note: {I wasn’t planning on going into more details of our Alaska trip because I am trying to finish Texas Heart 🙂 But Grant insisted that I include this. So, here’s part 24.}


“Do you like camping?” Grant asked with a half-smile on his face.

We were still in Alaska, and it was approaching the last few days of my visit.

“Well . . .” I began, trying to think of how to explain my feelings on this topic in a way that wouldn’t cause Grant to immediately write me off as a prissy, girly-girl.  

“I like camping in theory. . .” I continued, trying not to smile as Grant’s half-smile turned ear-to-ear.
No, it’s not what you think!” I tried to clarify.  “I love being outdoors!” I knew it would be difficult to explain myself now. Great! I thought. What if long hikes into the wilderness and sleeping under the starry skies is something he’s always dreamed of doing with his future wife? 
“Grant, it’s not the being outside part that I have a problem with, just the sleeping outside part.” I wanted him to understand the huge difference there.

“Oh, I see,” Grant replied in a playful tone as if he was enjoying how much explanation was going into answering his question.
“Grant, it’s not that I haven’t tried to camp. I really have!” I was pleading with him now.

Now Grant had such a huge smile on his face that he was beginning to make me laugh.

I wasn’t lying about the trying part. There were quite a few nights growing up when my brothers would set up a tent in our wooded backyard to sleep outside. I would hang out in the tent until it was time to go to sleep. . .then I’d start to get scared.
I would peer out the screen flap and watch as my parents turned out the lights in the house as they went to bed.

It was so dark outside! 

I was determined to stay in the tent. We had brought games and snacks outside – all the things that make a campout fun. 
But. . .my heart was longing to go inside into the warm and safe house.
One night, I tried really hard to go to sleep in my sleeping bag when I heard a scratching noise on the side of the tent.

Scratch, scratch, scratch.

I could see the claw impressions on the thin tent lining. Any moment the terrible creature outside would most likely shred open the whole side of the tent.

After a few minutes of trembling in my sleeping bag and praying for God to make it go away, I finally couldn’t take it anymore. I unzipped the tent flap and ran as fast as I could to the house without looking back to see what creature was most assuredly chasing me. 
At the time, it never crossed my mind that the scratching was probably one of our cats.
I ran upstairs and collapsed on my wonderful, beloved bed. My bed that was right next to my parents’ room and where there were no creepy-crawly bugs or wild animals.
Ahh, safe at last!

I started to tell Grant about my failed childhood attempts at camping, but I could see that I was getting nowhere.

Okay, okay. . .” I finally decided to be honest with Grant and with myself, “Camping is not my thing.”

“Uh oh,” Grant said, still smiling. “Well, we are going camping this weekend.”

“Oh, okay.” I said slowly, waiting for Grant to explain.

Grant went on to tell me that the family I was staying with had previously planned a camping trip for this particular weekend. There was no reason for their plans to change since Grant and I had crashed them. And since Grant and I weren’t married yet, it would be inappropriate for me to stay behind at their house alone with Grant visiting every day. The best solution was for us to join them. They had been so gracious to invite us.

“It will be fine.” I quickly responded. “I’m sure I’ll have a great time.  I know I can do it.”

Grant raised his eyebrow and looked at me.

“Grant it will be great.” I was determined that this time, there would be no chickening out. I would stay the night in a tent because well, there would be no Broggi house to run inside to. We would be in the real wilderness.


We loaded up the truck with all of the camping supplies needed for the weekend. I kept telling myself constantly that I could do it and that it would be a ton of fun.

But I couldn’t ignore the fact that I didn’t feel well. I felt like I might be running a fever, but I didn’t want to say anything to Grant or to the family because I was afraid it would look like I was being a baby.

“GraceAnna, are you alright?” Grant asked as he noticed me leaning my head against the truck seat as we pulled out of the drive.

“Oh yeah, I’m fine, just a little tired.” I was hoping that was all that it was.

We started the three or so hour drive to Seward, the small fishing town that we would camp right outside of. It was evening, but it was still light, because it didn’t get dark this time of year.

Once we got out of Anchorage, the drive was breathtaking. We saw waterfalls flowing down the sides of mountains and a convocation of bald headed eagles sitting on a water bank.

I was enjoying every moment of our trip. I had never seen such wilderness beauty before. God’s creation was breathtaking and I forgot all about not feeling well.

We rounded one bend and I shouted, “Look, Grant a bear!!!”

Sure enough, there was a bear climbing up the side of a rock in the distance.

I leaned my head against the head rest again. There was no denying it, I wasn’t feeling well. But I still didn’t want to tell Grant.

Grant, I’m just going to rest for a little while.”

“That’s fine, GraceAnna. I’m just going to listen to a sermon.” Grant said as he hooked up his ipod in the small truck the two of us were driving in.

I didn’t want to sleep, I wanted to look at the beautiful scenery outside my window, but I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.

I closed my eyes and tried not to think of the bear we had just spotted on the cliff.


to be continued…

2 thoughts on “Texas Heart Part 24 {Starry Skies}

  1. haha, I did the SAME thing! My sister and I used to try to camp out in the back yard or at my grandparents' house, but I don't think I ever made it the whole night. To this day I'm not really a camping person, and I'm OK with that! Thanks for the message! I'll call you soon 🙂

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