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>On Camping

July 21, 2010

Scooby has been gone for six days, and every time I pass his empty room, with the neatly-made bed, I want to cast myself upon his Pottery Barn quilt and wail.

I miss my boy. Utterly! I was doing pretty well, but the worries and fears are creeping in as the week progresses.

We just spoke on the phone. He told me: “Mom, I miss you more than I have ever missed you before.”


In an effort to THINK POSITIVE, I am re-publishing a post I wrote last summer after our trip to The Lake. I can picture him in all the familiar places we discovered last year, all the fun he’s having, and I WILL NOT THINK about anything else. Right? Right.

If you read this one last year, my apologies. My following was a round dozen back then, so, I thank you for sticking with me for so long. Come back tomorrow, or definitely Friday when my next Red Writing Hood foray into fiction will go up.

On Camping, July 2009

I never really wanted to go camping. I’m not a nature girl. I like hot water, clean toilets, shaved legs, and comfy beds. I do not like bugs, dirt, public restrooms, or poison oak.

But they begged. And they pleaded. I almost agreed until I found out Gabe was scheduled to be in Vegas for a conference.

No way, I said.
Not by myself, I wailed.
Who would pack the truck? Program the GPS? Clean the bugs off the windshield?

But they begged. And they pleaded.

I’m a big girl. I can try new things.

i agreed.
Two nights.
I can do this.

I took half a day off of work just to prepare…I bought groceries, organized gear. (Camping takes a lot of gear. At least my style of camping does.) The next morning, I was up at 4:30am in anticipation of my 5:30am alarm. The boys and I were pulling out of the driveway by 6:40.

I am officially a rock star.

Not bad, i thought! Now, type the address into the GPS and away we go.

But the GPS didn’t like the address I had. It also didn’t want to just send me to a town. I lost 30 minutes trying to convince the dadgum contraption just to navigate me somewhere near the campground. Finally, we came up with a point on the north tip of the lake and away we go.

Mom, can we watch a movie?

NO! Look out the window! Enjoy the view!
Look, tractors! Orange trees! *sniff sniff* GARLIC!
Check out the pretty resevoir!

I held them off for almost an hour and a half before I caved.

After a few other sundry obstacles…a jammed VHS player, goldfish down the pants, and one abrupt potty break…we hit the north point of the lake 4 hours later and the GPS happily informed me that I had arrived at my destination.

Except the lake was on my right.
The lake was supposed to be on my left.
Turnaround, try again.

The lake is still on my right.
It’s supposed to be on my left.

At this point, Scrappy is wailing in frustration at being in the car so long.

He’s tired. It’s naptime.
I’m tired. It’s naptime.
I try to call my dad but I can’t hear over Scrappy.

I get out of the truck and stand on the side of the roadl
On the wrong side of the lake.
And I start wailing in frustration myself.

A nice man then cautiously approached the crazy lady and offered directions.

Now the lake is on my left.
Good. Progress.

10 minutes later we are unloading.
It is 100 degrees. The only facilities are a spigot, four bathrooms with a toilet and a sink (no mirror – in hindsight, seeing oneself after two nights of camping is probably unwise).

Lots of bees. Lots of dirt.
I fail to see the allure, here, people.

An hour later we were on the beach. A breeze is blowing. We’re in the shade and perfectly comfortable. The water is about 80 degrees. No sooner had we arrived than Scoob was invited to join in a watergun fight by cousins he’d never met. They generously (and bravely) handed over an AK47 of water rifles and proceed to spend the next two hours joyfully destroying each other.

Then he was invited to go tubing behind Uncle Roger’s boat. Papa went along, so I took a deep breath and waved from the beach. He came back glowing and gloating over his triumph: I didn’t fall off, Mom!

Scrappy toddled about the waves like a mini Michelin man in his buoyancy vest. We ate peanut butter sandwiches in camp chairs, the breeze off the lake was perfect.

Evening brought hotdogs in the camper for the kids, a quick bath in the sink for me and I left to join my siblings and cousins for adult conversation, margaritas and burgers at Ducey’s on the other side of the lake.

There was a live band next door; we sat on the balcony in the balmy summer night for hours laughing and talking. At 9:30, all the lights on the dock and balcony went out.

Boats bobbed across the center of the lake.

And then fireworks.
Right in the middle of the lake. It was bliss.

It wasn’t the most pleasant of sleeps, but Scoob was in the tent with his cousin, and I slept without any critters in my bed, not arachnid, arthropod, nor child.

Morning brought a pleasant cool and a cup of Peet’s.

I’m starting to get it…

The day more time on the lake, tubing, pulling up at the dock and hopping out to grab some burgers, and finding an empty cove to enjoy them in. It felt like we were in a movie about summer.

We swam, we tubed. Scrappy nodded off in the corner, my hat pulled low over his eyes. Like an over-partied boater passed out in the corner.

We dropped anchor off Falls Beach and Scooby climbed the granite face for a go on the God-made waterslide. Formed by snow melt, he only did it once. Brrrr.

The evening brought a picnic on the beach, and more fun with the babies in the waves. The setting sun catches the malachite in the sand. The waves swirl with gold.

S’mores, sleeping kids, a glass of wine in a dixie cup by the fire with my family.

It’s good.

I bathed over a sink. I shaved my legs in a public restroom. I hosed down naked kids in broad daylight off the back of the camper. I didn’t wash my hair for 3 days. We fought meat bees for our food. Scooby became quite adept at “watering the trees.” Scrappy had dirt in places I won’t even tell you about. Coated in sunscreen and bug spray.

It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time, even more so because I shared it with my kids.

I get it, now.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2010 7:03 am

    >The second time around….it was better than the first. Good for you being a "let go and let God grow my kid" mom. And as a women who appreciates a hot shower, a fluffy mattress, and air conditioning to the point of distraction – you did good by your boys.

  2. July 22, 2010 12:43 am

    >Hi, first I want to thank you for stopping by my blog and becoming a new follower. I also want to let you know that I am your newest follower and have added you to my blog roll. I love this post. Being a Mommy is honestly…heartbreaking:)LOL Who knew we could love someone so unconditionally and then have to let them go before we really get to be part of their lives:( AS I explored your blog, I see we have loads in common. I look forward to reading more posts!Happy Mothering!Debi

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