Tag Archives: Campfire

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Even Better in January

O Lord, Thank You for our thoughtful children and their spouses, who together gave us this  firepit for Christmas. Maybe they thought we would wait until summer before making s’mores? OMG, You know better. 

      

Mad About Camping

You initiated an end-of-the-season campout,” my husband insisted. “To celebrate your completing a novel.”

Crazy. I would never—

Wait. After months in the writers’ cave, I do recall blurting something about an October campout.

Exactly what a weary writer needed — extra laundry. Debates whether to pack heavy coats or light. How could I jam this carrot bag into the cooler? (Though the cheesecake fit fine.)

All for a campout in October, when Mother Nature frequently forgets to take her Prozac.

What word-fogged madness had seized me?

Hubby should have conducted an intervention: “Let’s go to a ritzy hotel where they golf cart you to the hot tub.”

Instead, he gleefully hooked up the camper and condemned me to a weekend in the wilds.

The campground teemed with campers struck with similar insanity, determined to experience one final outdoor inconvenience. Perhaps they’d all written books, too, and succumbed to brain disappearance?

Adults, as well as kids, competed in a never-ending, kamikaze bike race around the campground. For pedestrians on hasty nighttime hikes to restrooms, a headless horseman could strike no terror so profound as that caused by breakneck night riders with glow-in-the-dark decals.

Better to stay by the campfire, especially as temperatures dipped to 39 degrees.

Fall camping does have positives. With no devices or cell phone service, we retired early. Once my foggy mind realized a nighttime noise wasn’t a hair dryer left on, but the camper’s heater, we spent snuggly nights in sleeping bags.

Mornings, we consumed yummy breakfasts with enough cholesterol to supply the state.

No global warming occurred, so we couldn’t swim or kayak. We left bike rides to the kamikaze crazies. But we could hike.

We strolled through gorgeous woods, stopping to admire lakes, trees, and tough little flowers that braved autumn’s temperatures. Unable to translate bird language, we assumed a fervent chorus of welcome. Along with soaring hawks and eagles, even buzzards appeared graceful. We encountered a beaver lodge and a gobbling flock of wild turkeys.

Why, on these jaunts, do we persist in seeking deer? I’ve seen them in neighbors’ yards. Deer devour my tulips and tomatoes, yet we found this park quest entertaining — also part of the insanity.

If hikes cause rubber legs and aching feet, they also inspire the best naps ever taken by humankind.

We found ourselves lingering that last, lovely afternoon, breaking down camp at the last minute.

Arriving at home, we hauled in suitcases. Bags of smoky, dirty clothes. The cooler, with its highly questionable contents.

We recovered our Internet. Tons of emails awaited us. Tons of work.

What madness possessed us to come home?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Do you like fall campouts?

The Camping Commandments

I, like other clueless new spouses, signed my marriage license without reading the fine print. Later, I discovered I had promised to camp with my husband — for better, for worse — until lightning melted our tent poles or ravenous raccoons starved us out.

After decades of marriage, I now welcome campout vacations.

Or perhaps I’ve numbed to the point I think I like them.

Either way, I’ve learned the Camping Commandments:

  • If thou ownest an RV resembling a Trump hotel, wave pleasantly to those abiding in a bathroom-cabinet-sized tent. Similarly, tent dwellers should show friendliness to those in luxurious quarters. After all, we share the same pioneering blood — a fact well known to mosquitoes.   
  • Thou shalt not concoct gourmet meals whose tantalizing fragrances make thy neighboring cook’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches appear inferior.
  • Designer clothes on a campout shall be considered illegal.
  • In the community restroom, thou shalt not hog the one working sink for three hours, perfecting thy mascara.
  • Always swat a bug that lands on a fellow camper — after introducing yourself first.
  • If thou art a Boy Scout who attained the Pyro Overachiever Badge, bless others with thy superior craft. However, if an ignorant fellow camper adds an uninvited log onto thy perfect blaze, do not toss him in after it.
  • If sharing a group meal around the campfire, thou shalt not bring up scary research facts about hot dogs.
  • Neither shalt thou yank blazing marshmallows out of the fire, lighting fellow roasters like birthday candles.
  • Thou shalt not spin in 60-mph circles on a tire swing after eating four triple-marshmallow s’mores. (My grandson can attest to this one.)
  • If rain ensues, and thou ownest the sole camper in thy group, thou shalt welcome all 47 muddy, smelly tent-dwellers — for a price.
  • When changing at night in a tent, stuff thy flashlight into thy shoe for lower illumination. Otherwise, thy silhouette will gather unwanted fans or frighten thy neighbors into hysterics.
  • Even a grandma cannot be expected to welcome a wildflower bouquet featuring poison ivy.
  • Finally, departing campers should always share excess firewood with neighbors. If their loud music kept thy family awake at 3 a.m., thou mayest bore holes in the logs and insert firecrackers first.

“Wait,” you say. “You’ve cited more than ten commandments. Do campers really need that many?”

“Absolutely. We campers are wild by nature. Actually, there are many more commandments than these.”

“More?”

“Go back and read the fine print.”

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What Camping Commandments would you include?