"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Saturday, July 10, 2010

One with nature? Yeah right!

Man, I did not know you could still learn major things about your spouse after nearly 10 years of marriage.

We just got back from camping. I am a newbie to the whole game of roughing it. I will go right ahead and tell you that I am broke out like a toad-- worse than ever. Not because I got poison ivy, NO. You know how when I get stressed (often when my house is messy) I break out, and I told you my dermatologist said I was pretty much allergic to stress? Well, I think the stress of roughing it has won. I lost my battle with nature.

It was funny on the way there I was so excited and Ernie and I were just chatting away about everything and a lot about the marriage meeting our preacher held to encourage all of the couples in the church. I was basically bragging at how in our nearly 10 years of marriage we have never really fought, and NEVER yelled at each other. Welp! Haahaahaa, camping caused our first fight-- which will be left private, but I know now what the cliché, "not a happy camper" really means. It should have MY picture beside it in the dictionary.

The fire pit was the first thing to gross me out. Ewwww, ashes and nasty old paper towels left from the last campers and ashes, and ashes... ashes are really quite repulsive to me. The smell, the dust, the stains, and the idea that who knows exactly what those were before they became ashes... Yuck.

I set the campsite up as best as I could with my cute gingham table cloth, William's and Sonoma lanterns, set up a nice little cooking station, and put the coolers in just the right spot... Then we left our site and had some fun. Our fun ended with a prisonesque shower-- not that I have been in prison, but I imagine the privacy and cleanliness of the prison showers would give the campground a run for its money. So we got naked in front of anyone who happened to wander into the bathhouse and the girls and I showered with our shoes on. Fun times! Being naked in a cramped space and trying not to touch anything-- impossible. I felt cooler, yet strangely dirtier after the shower-- especially the second night when I forgot my crocs and had to shower bare footed. I am still squirming over the possible foot funk I could have contracted.

These are just my reactions to roughing it. The story gets worse or better depending on your point of view. Our first night there we went to bed around 10:30. We put all of our food in the tent except for the cooler. I locked it! I purposefully locked the cooler so that no critters could get into it. Then we got in the tent. I forgot pillows. Ugh, I, the woman who cannot sleep without 4 pillows each with their set purpose, was going to have to sleep with no pillow.

The next morning we wake and find I forgot to put the dog food away. The raccoons had taken my Tupperware container and opened it down in the woods and cleaned out every last bit of the dog’s food. I grinned and was glad to see my Tupperware was still useable, no longer air tight, but not mangled. I was also very impressed with those hairy little thieves at how they knew how to open a Tupperware container. You see they left little claw marks right at the flap side of the lid where you are supposed to grip the lid and pull it off. They knew! Impressive little imps!

We started to get out breakfast and cook (discovered I forgot cooking utensils). Hmmm, I thought I latched the cooler. Oh well, maybe not. Oh, where did our English muffins go? And the left over hamburgers from the night before-- Darned little monsters. They unlocked the cooler and raided our food. I was a little peeved now.

Ernie's makeshift flipper!

Ok, so this was the morning of the fight. I guess I can now honestly say I have yelled at my husband and the girls have witnessed that it is "ok" for their parents to argue. By midmorning I was prepared to leave a day early and NEVER camp again. I mean like NEVER! I took the girls swimming and cooled down and when we got back to the campsite, while Ernie was fishing, the squirrels tried to chew their way into my other, more expensive Tupperware container with cookies in it. They did not ruin it, or get into it, but they sure ate a lot of the lid and left the tiniest little teeth marks all over it. Good grief, nothing is safe ever in your fight against nature is it? You know the saying, "All's fair in love and war?" Well, here's one, "Everything’s game when you're outdoors."

Later that day while we were paddle boating around the lake it started to sprinkle. We all went back to camp and put anything that would ruin into the van and sat there and waited. It thundered and started pouring, but our site was perfect. We had an amazing canopy over our tent made by God. We sat dry watching everyone else get wet, then it broke through the tree tops and we went inside and napped through a 2 hour storm. We were pretty wet by the end and becoming seasoned campers quickly. The rest of the trip, I put on a happy camper smile and tried so hard to not grimace at the dirt. We went on a fun night hike and saw lots of bugs and then back to the prison shower. This time we were not alone. I think everyone and their nastiness wanted to take a shower. Well I have given birth to 2 children and after that modesty doesn't mean the same thing, but even Olivia was a little offended.

We slept much sounder that night and our cooler was in the van. All of our blankets were damp but we were tired enough for it not to matter.

This morning we sat around the fire and Olivia (here is where I have rubbed off on her) asked me a funny question (one I actually had considered myself in varying degrees). "Mommy, do you have a broom with you?" Me-- "No, why?" Olivia-- "Well, I just thought I would sweep up a little around here."

As we were packing, Ernie was taking down our cots and he made a funny comment about my 6 blankets. He wondered what I did with six blankets and what I would do if it were cold. I thought he knew I was high maintenance. He learned something about me after 10 years of marriage. Heehee, all I can do is laugh.

Well, after a crazy couple of days being "one with nature" our family returned home. I am in the middle of heaps of laundry and I have already bathed the dogs. I feel I need to dip myself in some hand sanitizer or a bleach filled tub, but overall the trip was chocked full of memories. I think that was my goal. Our first fight, our first storm in a tent, our first dealings with raccoons--Lots of firsts.

So like picking the meat off of the carcass of a rotisserie chicken, I will do it even though I do not like it. The trip was fun for the kids and Ernie. Next time, I will just be a little less expectant of cleanliness, I'll take hand sanitizer and pillows and cooking utensils and plaster on my happy camper smile.

The really neat playground.

The Chronicles of Narnia Story trail.


The storm!

I think he is wondering if the packing tape will hold (which is patching our enormous hole).

Below the center.

The center of the ceiling.

The puddle in the chair after the rain.

The night hike.

Breakfast of champs... graham crackers.

There was a ledge about a 2 foot drop down to where the dogs were tied up. Everytime Elvis wanted to go down (notice they are attached) he would jump down and Kiki would unknowingly fly to meet him. These posh-puppies were as bad as me about not wanting to get dirty.

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