I drove up to the Lake Placid Lodge with the girls tonight just to sit and watch the sunset. From the great lawn an unbridled view of the fantastic landscape spreads itself across the lake. Behind us people sit in refined clothing enjoying a gourmet meal as the sun lowers behind the mountains. The mountains appear like a set made of cardboard triangles in various shades of greenish grey. I see a family of ducks off to the side. Mother duck watches over her 12 little ones all huddled up like nap time at preschool. I realize that the most wonderful family portraits sometimes come pose-less and unexpected. This comes to mind as I think of our family dining experience from earlier tonight. We had spent dinner eating in a far less refined fashion. The word redneck comes to mind. Boxes of Annie’s were mixed together along with a big bag of frozen peas and some grilled chicken. Stuff of varying genres sat cluttered on the kitchen table and we opted not to deal with it. Rather, we all ventured out to the back stoop where we imagined up our own fine dining establishment. A bite of chicken and a roll down the hill would help the digestion process for the little ones, while tired parents eased their way through the evening. We laid no particular plans and we all felt relaxed. We should let down our guard like this more often. I think were better people for it. Like every time I come up here, by mid week, I have put down roots and found solace in solid family time. I wince at the thought of leaving knowing it will happen soon enough. But with comfort, I know this stays with me.