Ryan and I are taking the kids camping tomorrow. What's that sudden chill - oh, my goodness, hell has frozen over! If you've known my family for any length of time, you would know that we are not, as they say, "camping people." We are hotel people. Ryan and I can both safely blame our parents for this lack of ruggedness. My dad thought "roughing it" meant a hotel without cable. Ryan's parents never went camping either, plus he dropped out of Scouts well before overnighters were required. He pretty much loathes camping. The annual Fathers and Sons campout is always scheduled on the exact same weekend as Ryan's Whine-a-palooza. Funny how that is.
I've had this growing inclination over the last year or two to spend more time out in nature. Something about communing with beauty and simplicity and growing things has been working its way under my skin. Which is strange, given that I'm not a real big fan of being outside. In general, I'm not fond of: bugs, extreme heat, extreme cold, dirt, and campfire smoke. I'd prefer a clean, climate-controlled, bug-and-smoke free space to vacation in - a.k.a. a hotel.
So the fact that we're taking our kids camping - voluntarily, no less - is something of a wonder. A friend told me about a deal that the KOA campgrounds (I refuse to call them 'kampgrounds' like they do - purposeful misspelling makes me want to throw things.) Their (c)abins this weekend are buy one night, stay the next free. So we get the whole weekend away for about $100. You know me and a good deal - even if it means sacrificing bodily comfort, we're doing it.
Here are a few things I'm expecting to have to deal with this weekend:
-not having the right equipment, i.e. sleeping bags, camp stove, cooler
-not knowing how to build a fire
-waking up at the crack of dawn
-bugs, dirt, and campfire smoke (if we can get a fire lit, see above)
But I'm not one to back away from a challenge, no sir! I come from tough stock, Connecticut farmers who worked from sunup to sundown in blistering heat and freezing cold. Am I going to let some measly bugs and dirt stand in the way of connecting with nature? No! I'm going out there and I'm not coming back until I'm a tree-hugging, dirt-loving, dutch-oven-cooking, honest-to-goodness camper. If I had pioneer ancestors, I'd make them proud. This is going to be a great weekend!
(Plus they have free wifi at the (c)ampground so worst case scenario, I can order Domino's online. Or send an S.O.S. on Facebook. Wish us luck!)