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Posts Tagged ‘Camping’

There’ll be hell to pay for this post. I will have all happy holidaying nature-lovers in a tizzy. Thor will rain down and strike me with his what are you thinking? club. I’ll be frowned upon by the Gods of all things multi-wheeled and RVQ’d and I hang my head in shame. I do.

But, as I watch my husband drip with sweat, nip his fingers, work harder than a pack mule and swear bloody murder over and over, my mind meanders across the fence to the other side where dark things grow.

Shaded tendrils of twisted tarnish creep and curl around my closing throat. Vicious vines slither through the naughty nooks and corroded crannies of my mind.

“Why?” They hiss.

We have a lovely backyard, a wonderful deck, running water and a conveniently located fridge and yet….sigh, and yet, we pack up everything including the kitchen sink and putt off into the wild blue yonder to snooze on gritty sheets and feast from swampy coolers. We cram our clothes into damp outside wardrobes and eat off paper and perfunctory plastic. It takes ten times longer to do things and the room service bell is long out of order.

Gearing up for a camping trip takes days and decamping, even longer and somehow, after six years of owning a tent trailer (we used to tent – shudder), we still don’t have it down pat. You’d think we’d be bursting from the Velcro seams at this point, but somehow there’s always a ten yard dash before every excursion which includes us whipping out the worn and weary Visa at least twenty times over.

So, back to the why. Well, like I said, it’s that blue yonder thing, the dream that we’re free as birds while living under an azure sky. I’m not a nature girl by any means, but there’s something to be said for cooking in the open air and sipping a cider while flipping the morning’s flapjacks. At what other time is booze before breakfast ok? Well, pretty much never.

And, as parents, we take solace in the knowledge that the teens we now drag along will one day look back and have memories they will probably distort, but at the very least, cherish. The swearing, sweating and screeching, the worrying, working and waiting, worthwhile. We’re learning what life’s all about and passing it on, but most importantly, we’re bonding. Our little family is growing into a well-oiled machine, albeit slow and somewhat painful.

I guess swampy and gritty bring out the rainbows.

Our home for the next ten days

Our home for the next ten days

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There was a time I was sure my holidays would include twenty-first floor, plush hotel rooms, clinking crystal glasses, Saks and Tiffany’s, white linen, azure water and yachts off the coast.

But, since being a slick, single city chick wasn’t in my cards, another kind of holiday eased into my delusions; cookouts, critters, damp pillows, stained beach chairs and smoke riddled hair.

It’s another world, this roughing it. Electricity vanished, flush toilets a distant memory, don’t even mention showers and forget about cell service. Packing up almost everything you own to go live in the forest could be considered a tad indicative of on setting insanity. It could be perceived as an adventure one could do without. Weak at heart beware. Material girls stay home. Roughing it is, no doubt, rough.

Everything we do here is ten times the work it is at home; the dishes are dirtier after we wash them, we’ve been wearing the same shorts for a week, our legs are coated in a semi-permanent sheath of sunscreen and dust.

But then voices echo in the trees, laughter ascends into the balloon blue sky, fast-moving spokes whir past, an icy beer meets a fiery sunset and that one marshmallow gets toasted to crisp yet gooey perfection.

Friends have bonded, kids have played, the old-fashioned get dirty kinda play, the stars have aligned symbolically and physically and there’s nothing but time to appreciate every little gratuity.

It is another world; a tousled, less embellished one than we’re used to, but one that allows a cider while flipping flapjacks, an all day read and a whole lot of not being perfect and I’ll be honest, it fills you up, like a red Solo cup…so join the party.

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