Ah, camping. Dozing in the shade, relaxing with your family, sitting around the campfire, making s’mores. It all sounds so laid-back and leisurely.
It is, I suppose. After you’ve done all the work to get ready for it. Digging out the tent. Finding the tarp and the tent stakes and the sleeping bags. Finding room for the lawn chairs. Remembering to pack all the camping stuff that isn’t only camping stuff—like towels, sunscreen, bug spray, and a clothesline. Oh, and don’t forget a flashlight. And soap. All of that is before you even start thinking about food.
While the idea of camping is about leisure and relaxing, the reality is that making it happen takes a lot of effort. Camping isn’t for the lazy.
I seldom go camping myself.
(If any conclusions are drawn from the two previous statements, I really don’t want to hear about them.)
Then, of course, when you get home, you just have to unpack all that stuff and put it away. I did that part this week, after my extended family’s annual reunion last weekend. As I was draping the tent and the sleeping bags over the railing of the deck to air them out, a whiny little voice in my head popped up for just a millisecond. It said, “But I’m doing all this work, and I didn’t even use this stuff.”
It’s true; I didn’t. My son and his wife, who flew in for the reunion with their two little kids, slept in my tent. So I hauled a carload of stuff across the state, but I missed the actual camping.
I wasn’t there for the first night’s thunder, lightning, and heavy rain. I didn’t get to experience the second night’s rain, high wind, and broken tree branches. Instead, I was a few miles away, all by myself. In my motel room, with its hot shower, its dry bed, and its nice solid walls.
Alas. Oh, dear. Poor, poor me.
Does anyone need to borrow a tent for next year? Just call me.