Monday, June 23, 2014

So You Think You Can Camp...

So this next story happened last summer, but I never got it posted, and I figured since in was camping season once again, I should post it now. 

                Last summer I decided I was a genuine camper.  For those of you who have read my view on camping in previous blog posts, you are probably wondering what metamorphic change took place.  Well, the year before I went camping and the weekend was great.  We had a drought so there was no mosquitoes and plenty of sun for the beach.  My airbed was topped with my egg crate and my fan plugged into my power strip with a perfect medium hum.  It was almost like a hotel only I could see the stars through my screen window on the tent.   I felt like a camping pro! So at the end of our trip I told my sis-in-law that next year I would come Thursday night with her,  even though Mike wouldn’t join us till Friday after he got out of work.  Her jaw fell open and hit the dried up thirsty grass.  Six months later, when it was time for her to make the reservation she called me to make sure I was SURE.  Yup!  I had never set up a tent in my life! But why not, my son is a boy scout, he’s always prepared, right?! 

                June arrived(2013) and it was time.  Mike loaded the truck and gave Josh a mini lesson the night before we left.  We arrived at our camp site and per the suggestions of my dad-in-law, we found a high spot, (he saw me scouting out a low luscious green spot that seemed quite comfy to me, thank goodness he didn’t let me put my tent there)  Once the location was set I went to work right away doing whatever Josh(14) told me, and with the help of my mom-in-law, the tent was up.  Then we left camp in a rush to catch Kate’s last ball game.   As I cheered my daughter on, I noticed the clouds seemed dark in the direction of our campsite just 40 min away.  Before I headed back to camp I called my mom-in-law, because if it was raining I WAS STAYING HOME for sure!!

“Well” Her voice sounded apprehensive over the receiver.  “ Just so you know,  it down poured while you were gone and your tent flooded, but we put your suitcases in the camper and your sis-in-law dumped out your tent and put it back together(“cause we wanted you to come back”- Jamie interjected into the phone.  lol) and a fan is blowing to dry it out.”

                Though I felt a pit forming in my stomach I still forged on.   Since I didn’t have time to set up the beds before we left, all our bedding was still in the van nice and dry.  This should still work.  Right?  As I began setting up my airbed and lying out sleeping bags it began to rain again.  And then it rained harder, and all of a sudden a steady stream of water was pouring through my roof right over top of one of the kids beds.  Josh grabbed a bucket to catch the stream and then we went to work on our rain fly, which apparently was on wrong.  We did manage to finally get it on correctly thanks to the help of my other sis-in-law Tonya. (Apparently it takes a village…to help me camp)  But by this time I was sopping wet crying on the phone to Michael, “I just want to go home, take a hot shower, and climb in my bed. “  But when I made the announcement of our departure to the kids Bo and Timmy had tears in their eyes.  We only camp once a year.  How could I be the lame mom who takes them home?  The rain let up and I decided to stick it out. 

                Finally, mostly dry and exhausted we were all tucked in bed.  The rain had stopped and things were looking up.  Just as I began to drift off to sleep I hear my cooler open. “Hmmm.  Jamie must have needed something out of my cooler.”  I thought to myself.  About 30 seconds later, I heard it slam shut again.  “Hmmmm.  That’s weird.”  I wondered.  Then it sounded like someone was digging through it … all of a sudden I jumped up, unzipped the door just in time to see a raccoon slam the top down and run off.

                “Those Damn Varments”  I said in frustration. 

                “Um, I am still awake.”  Josh said admonishing me with a laugh, for my choice of words in my annoyance.  

As I kept ranting looking for my flip flops, Josh said with concern. 

                “Mom!  Don’t get to close to the raccoon.  It will bite you. “ 

I thought his little protective side was cute.  In the absence of his dad he was taking care of me.  I huffed and puffed murmuring some opinions to myself about the 4 legged thief while I locked my cooler in my van.  The next morning the damages stolen deli meat, bitten tortilla shells, and some of my cheese was missing too.  Lol Oh well, nothing that a day at the beach can’t cure, right? Well, we had 2 hours of sun on the beach and the clouds rolled in.   As we began packing up we could see the down poor coming across the lake.  Despite our rush by the time we ran back to we were soaked!  And the rest of the day looked like this…


                Hide from the rain under camper awning

                Watched my Bro-in-law cook dinner… in the rain

                Watch kids play in the rain and mud puddles(at least this was entertaining)

                Mike arrived- THANK GOD!!!1

                Tent flooded again…I cried again…Mike fixed tent

                I loaded up sopping wet blankets into van to take to laundry mat to dry and try again

                My van wouldn’t start… I cried again…Mike fixed van(while I just sat in the divers seat with a bag of chocolate Jamie brought me when she saw me crying.

                Finally Blankets were dry…beds were made… and the rain finally stopped

                At least the last evening was dry and we all sat around the campfire laughing about the mishaps. And the next morning my bro- in- law, Charlie, surprised with a Mocha latte.  That sweetie. 

Yeah, so I thought I could camp.  Hmmmm.  Well, in the words of my sister in-law.  “Wow Jamie, I am impressed that you are still here.” 

So maybe I can camp.  lol


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