Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Well, I did it.  I went camping.  

Camping was #3 on my Summer Bucket List, and it was one of those things I didn't really want to do at all, but felt like I needed to do so I could overcome my lack of desire for pretending to be homeless.  Or something.

My friend Rick has been organizing this camping trip for months.  He got the word out, reserved 27 sites for all 130 people attending, and scheduled it for the same weekend the good Lord decided to do something about the drought-like conditions we have been facing.   Since Rick has been tirelessly riding my back encouraging me to join in with the camping festivities for upwards of seven years, I can only conclude that as a special gift to me for finally accepting his heartfelt invitation, Rick worked it out with Jesus to bless me with unending torrential rain and chilled to the bone temperatures on my very first camping trip ever.  Rick, you are a gem.  Never change. (And seriously, thanks for all your hard work in organizing this beast of a trip.  You know we all have pneumonia now a ton of fun.)

Marshmallows?  Check.

I had no idea what to pack for my family of six, but I knew marshmallows were pretty vital.  So I definitely did well there.  Turns out it's also recommended that you bring some type of bedding for every person camping.  I may have failed a little there.  But, honestly, it was August.  Did the campground not get the memo about temperatures in August?

Perfect August camping weather.

When we arrived Friday night it was raining.  Still.  It was also cold.  This is when I thought, "I probably should have brought something other than flip-flops." (I also brought my running shoes, but for real, those things are expensive.  No way I was wearing them in the mud.)  Brian went with a few guys to set up the tent, and I stayed at the Field House with the kiddos and all the other families waiting out the rain.

Cutest thing ever.

This part of camping was actually fun.  I think it had to do with the electricity, heat, and running water.  (Or maybe the Field House gym that we decided to all chip in and rent so the bajillion kids running around wouldn't climb the walls with their stir-crazy freakoutedness.)  There was volleyball, basketball, and little girlies forming "braid lines".

The night kind of fell apart for me when two year old Ezra gently made his sleep needs known by doing a full back arch screaming fit.  This is when things got truly ... camptastic.

Brian and I left the girlies in the Field House so we could set up the playpen and cots in the tent so Ezra and I could sleep.  (It was still raining.)(And cold.)(I'm not complaining, I'm merely painting an accurate picture of the situation.) This is when I discovered the tent industry runs a major racket.

Isn't the sole purpose of a tent to provide shelter from the elements?  Well, apparently it's a well known fact that if you touch the tent it will lose it's wicking ability and leak like a sieve.  This is quite common when you set your tent up in the rain (like we did.)  If you want to know what it was like inside our tent, go stand in your shower and turn it on.  There were so many leaks in our tent, Brian had to stack the cots like bunk beds.

"Kelly, where did you sleep?"  I'll get to that.
I think it was when I was practicing the art of self-talk to convince myself that camping wasn't any worse than labor, jumped into the trunk of the van to unload something unreachable, and slammed the top of my head into the roof of the vehicle that I completely lost my stuff.  I might have said a monster swear word that I immediately took back, looked around frantically because I was at the church camping trip,  and finally put my head in my hands and sobbed like a baby.  My wailing sounded something like,


On a positive note, this is how I proved my merit as a camper on day one:

When my friend Karen was lamenting that the hot, delicious, homemade chili and corn chips she was serving her family on that rainy, miserable day was a meal served sans vegetable, I assured her I was pretty sure onion powder counted as a vegetable.

At that same meal, I thought about the precooked, frozen hot dogs I had in the cooler for my family that just needed to be warmed up over the camping stove and I was all, "yeeeee-aaaaah," and went to the little camp store and paid $1.25 each for their hot dogs the teenager behind the counter would warm up in a microwave.  Resourceful = me.

I was super helpful setting up the cots and playpen, fulling spazzing at Brian and saying things like, "DON'T PUT IT IN A PUDDLE!" which was a joke because our entire tent was a puddle.  I'm pretty sure enough puddles added together makes a pond.  Or some other small body of water.  I don't know.  Geography is not my strong suit.  But there was definitely a bay/delta/cove/lagoon inside our tent.

Don't worry;  day one finished on a good note.  And by that I mean I packed up Ezra and I left the campground at 9:00 p.m. to head home and sleep in a warm, dry bed.

Leaving the campground.  Notice the
evening sky and TORRENTIAL rain.
See ya, Sucka's!!!

So, to summarize day one of my first camping experience:

Do you know what would make camping awesome?  If it wasn't outside.

Stay tuned for tomorrows conclusion of Camptastic : Returning to the Scene of the Crime.  There may be an imaginary helicopter rescue involved.

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