A Camper Pops Up

I awaken, my stomach kicking up a ruckus.

My husband turns over, assuming the little-boy look I deeply distrust. “What would you say if I bought a pop-up camper today?”

Unprintable thoughts. (Deep breath.) “Weren’t we waiting until next year?”

I. Should. Know. Better.

Lately, he has regaled me with facts about hitches, sizes, and secondhand prices. To cut costs further, “They make Airstreams designed only for sleep.”

I snorted. “Translation: we can’t stand, right?”


“We’d slide into bed like bread slices into a sideways toaster?”

He offered, “I could rig something—”

No, thanks. I have never used a catapult to go to bed, and I won’t now.

As usual, he has lined up Excellent Reasons to Buy Today. “Think ‘clearance prices.’”

“They don’t come with catapults, do they?”

Thankfully, no.

He wants to enumerate all his Excellent Reasons, but I dive under my covers. “Buy it. Now.”

When he arrives with his new toy, Stomach and I have reached a cease-fire. I agree to a pop-up demonstration.

Unfortunately, the crank has disappeared. He’s off to the hardware store to buy a wrench that doesn’t work. Hubby ends up using a kayak paddle. But he sets the camper up.

Surveying its heater, he enthuses, “Now we can camp in March and November.”


He raids the cleaning closet, as the savings involved do-it-yourself elbow grease.

Given my uppity stomach, I cannot clean. Sigh.

Hubby scrubs and scours. Where have his cleaning talents been hiding all these years?

Instructional parking videos he watches online make Stomach and me uneasy. We do not trust safety tips that feature crash sounds.

He practices parking the camper in our church’s empty lot, then drafts me as safety spotter as he backs the pop-up into its new home by our garden. “Yell if you see traffic.”

As if on cue, car convoys appear. Clumps of bicycles clog the road. The Taylor University cross country team lopes by. I hope they prayed before practice — and that they take another route back.

Hubby shifts into reverse again. “I can’t hear you. Yell louder.”

Halfway through his next attempt, I spot a pedestrian and shriek, “Walker!”

The poor woman sprints away.

But Hubby completes his maneuver. The camper rolls into its spot. Sort of.

He jumps out, frowning. The pop-up will learn that “crooked” is not in his vocabulary.

Hubby learns that the camper is a slow learner.

I learn not to brainstorm fiction plots when my flowers’ lives are in jeopardy.

Mission accomplished.

We set an October date for our first campout. I don’t really mind his new toy, as he shares it with me.

But I hope nothing else pops up soon.

6 thoughts on “A Camper Pops Up

  1. Mary

    Haha, Rachael. That’s it. Think happy-camper thoughts, because (from experience) any other kind won’t make a difference with a man and his toy.

    1. rachael Post author

      Isn’t it the truth! They’re all 11-year-olds at heart 🙂

      A long time ago, though, when I viewed camping as a weekend in a concentration camp, God worked overtime to change my mind. If I can do tent camping for decades, I can take pop-up trials and tribulations!

  2. Cathy Shouse

    This is an adorable story. That said, I’m glad it’s you and not me with the pop-up. I desperately want to travel more. At least I thought I did until I read this. Now, not so much.

    1. rachael Post author

      Thanks for reading, Cathy! I’m actually praying for our first stay at a nearby state park, that our adventures will be mostly fun ones. Next year will bring the real exercise in faith–a much longer, out-of-state trip. Want to come along? [grin]

      May the Lord bless you with travel that includes indoor plumbing!

  3. Angie K

    My in-laws have a small camper, and they enjoy toting their granddaughters on state park adventures. Particularly when weather is uncooperative, they appreciate not dealing with a tent! 🙂

    1. rachael Post author

      I’m sure your girls will cherish the memories they’re making with your parents, Angie! Ours is big enough to take along three grandkids (at present size and age, anyway), and we’re hoping for some fun times together, too. And yes, not sleeping on the ground during mini-Noah-floods will be nice. Thanks for reading and commenting, Angie!


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