Saturday, July 17, 2010

It’s that time

It’s been two years. Two long years. Since I’ve been camping. Growing up, probably the only thing I enjoyed about summers with my dad, was camping. He made sure we went every summer, and as often as possible. There were some summers where we’d go three or four times, but there were summers we’d go only once. I loved packing up the truck and driving the long windy roads to secret hideaways nobody knew about. I can remember my grandparents coming along once in their RV. Waking up in a tent, anxious to sneak out before Dad woke up. During any normal school year, getting up with the sun was something I never did. When camping, getting up with the sun was something I looked forward to. It seemed as it was a game. Who could be up first, Val or the Sun? I assure you, the sun always won. I loved sitting on a rock in front of the campfire, watching the last of it crackle from the night before, secretly wishing my sister was up too, but scared to death to go back into the tent and get her, for fear of waking up Dad.

My mom loved to camp, too. Her and my stepdad often took us camping during the summer. Oh the stories I have. One time I got to be on stage and sing Elvira by The Oak Ridge Boys. That was fun. It left one of my BFF’s and I with a memory we’ll share with our grandchildren. She’s having a baby next month, and I CAN’T WAIT to tell her little girl about how for 15 minutes, me and her mommy were superstars. I ♥ you, D!

As I grew up and started a family of my own, The X and I made sure we took the kids camping. We had some great times, and no matter how much bad blood there is between The X/his daughters and I, I promise that anytime one of them thinks about riding Sea Doo’s, they’ll giggle and flashback to the fun times we had on Kern River. No amount of hate can block the memories that weren’t so bad. :-)      (unless you count crashing them, flipping them over, and having to be towed back to land as bad times, they’ll still giggle.)

Every child needs a camping memory. Every adult needs a camping memory. I, as an adult, need more camping memories. I love camping.

I do, however, have one bad camping memory. When I was about 5, I had a favorite blankie. It was the bestest blankie ever. Hands down, no arguments. My dad tossed it and it accidentally landed on top of the heater. An instant hole the size of a cantaloupe was burned into my blankie. Oh Em Geeee @ the amount of trauma this caused me. I refused to get rid of it after that, and still toted it around wherever I went until I was about seven, burnt hole and all. Mom was pretty relieve when I finally gave it up. It had gotten pretty ratty after that.

I  miss waking up in a hot tent. I miss turning over, saying “i wish i hadn’t slept on the ground”. I miss the smell of a campfire. I miss complaining about the bugs. I miss sitting around playing Spades or Dominos. I miss walking over to an ice chest and having my hand freeze while I search around for what appears to be the only Water left. I miss leaving the campsite and going for a hike and not being afraid someone will steal whatever we’ve left behind. I miss peeing in the woods. I miss playing in the creek as it splashed past our campsite. I miss cuddling up with someone, trying to stay warm, as I fall asleep in my sleeping bag.

It’s summer, and that means it’s camping season. I think it’s time for a trip, deep into the woods. Want to join me?

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