This post could go in a million different directions and start at a million different points in time but I will start with this------>
Toward the end of LAST summer Marlee (the extroverted child who I am sure without a shadow of a doubt was sent directly from heaven to kick the 3 introverts that she shares a house with square in the ass) came to us and said "Mom and Dad can we PLEASE get more serious about camping?" She had a point....we weren't very serious. In fact, we had owned Ella (that's our 1955 Sportcraft camping trailer) for 6 years and only ever camped in our own backyard because....well....although I am a simple sort of gal...no fuss....not prissy....and not much scares me.....well...I am was a wuss when it came to the thought of actual for realsies camping. It was actually kind of laughable it you think about it. 6 years!
Now, don't get me wrong.....
♥ I am not afraid of ALL of that prep-work (that ahem...maybe seems just a wee bit silly when there are perfectly good hotel rooms with comfy beds and cooked-for-you breakfasts that can be booked in seconds with the click of a mouse.)
♥ I was not afraid of forgetting something and not having a store around for miles (....too much.)
♥ I wasn't even afraid of the thought of nuisance "neighbors" in the site next to ours (although I will admit that the thought of sharing my personal space with strangers does not and probably never will appeal to me)
♥ And...being raised in the country, I am most certainly not afraid of bears or rabid racoons despite the campsites website and brochures best efforts and repeated attempts in bold print to make me that way (....so much as I WAS afraid of peeing in public potties....or worse....the patch of potential poison ivy out behind the camper.)
I don't really know what was stopping us from camping besides just excuses and procrastination in the form of finishing up the "fixing up" phase of our little camper and just DOING IT!
I do know that one of my main fears was the fear of the unknown.
I hate the fear of the unknown.
I am a planner. I HAVE to know.....and the fact that we bought our camper for all of $100 (and we NEVER had any intention of using it for more than a playhouse for the kids and an outlet for my lifelong desire to "fix up" a vintage camper) coupled with the fact that the last known registration date was 1987 and we had no idea if she had been on the road at all in the last 30 years.....pardon me while I hyper-ventilate breath into my trusty paper bag real quick.....
In other words the low purchase price (why on earth was she so cheap?) and lack of knowledge had me scared paralyzed with fear about moving her after she was delivered (by flatbed) to our backyard. Somehow, breaking down in the hot summer sun with two kids, an aggravated Mr, and half of the contents of our house in the middle of nowhere just did NOT scream VACATION to me!!
No matter how cute and cozily she is decorated.
Anyway, the "Mom can we get serious thing" has kind of become a joke whenever we have briefly discussed camping over the past year. For instance when we gave Marlee the job of painting a wall and she complained....we were all "hey you're the one who wanted to get serious kid....this seriously needs to get done." Yeah....she pretty much loved that.
Anywho.....this past weekend we indeed got SO serious. And I am happy to report that it was amazing.
I mean what was my PROBLEM?
What Mom can't get on board with a not so far from home getaway that has her kids outside breathing fresh air all day and half of the night?
Or better yet has them both reading from books! Not kindles or some other device and best of all being quiet at the SAME time?
Or when they weren't being quiet they were at least getting along and joking with each other?
and has your 15 year old (who didn't want to camp even more than you didn't want to camp) smiling from ear to ear?
and your daughter snapping Instax pics so that she could art journal.....
half of the day away?
All while the Mr. WANTED to cook??? (man happy. man make fire.)
Walking Tacos....a meal that everyone loves, is super easy to clean up, lends itself well to camping, and that provokes no whining about the ingredients or taste?
And where the after-dinner Uno game goes on into the night as you all sit around a campfire laughing, and talking, and in between hands just listening to the silence...but for that one crazy camper in the distance who isn't so much a nuisance as he is...amidst the absence of television....very freaking entertaining!
Man I don't know what was stopping us.
I am just so glad that we finally went!
And when I looked out CamperElla's window on that second morning...after we had survived the unknown (and thankfully those overly-hyped rabid racoons) and saw my whole world sitting there....
in the sun that was shining down strong as if to remind me why summer is a magical season like no other...
I thought to myself.....I am SO happy that we got serious.
And that feeling kept on throughout the day and was only further solidified in moments whereby my boys were off fishing and I was following this spontaneous, bold, adventurous, smiling (and at the moment this pic was snapped ANYTHING but serious) girl back from the not-so-awful....although let's be honest they could smell a whole lot better bathrooms and I thought to myself.....
Let's do this again! Seriously.