Tag Archives: Truck

Camper or Motel?

Image by Dim Hou from Pixabay.

Recently, instead of camping, my husband suggested a motel.

I was stunned speechless … but that never lasts long. “Sure!

Afterward, I pondered: Did I prefer our pop-up? Or the motel?

Setting up campers takes time, but provides exercise. Motels offer fitness rooms, but did we go there? Well … nobody else did, either.

Image by Dorothée Quennesson by from Pixabay.

Neither a motel’s walls nor our pop-up’s canvas filter out arguments next door. But as a fellow pop-up owner said, canvas walls provide little nighttime reassurance when, within inches of your pillow, something outside licks its chops.

Speaking of wildlife, our family never encountered a raccoon-skunk war in a motel as we did at one campsite. Once, though, in a Florida motel, a Volkswagen Beetle-sized roach zoomed across our room.

Then there’s the I-can’t-find-a-thing-in-this-place dilemma, common to both motel rooms and campers. Motel light switches save electricity (and company money) because no one can find them. But camping takes the marital game of Twenty Questions (“Where’s my billfold?”) to record levels.

Both motels and campgrounds feature mysterious showers — also designed to save money, as victims — er, guests — must decipher codes to obtain hot water. Or, in the case of campgrounds, to receive water, period.

Hikes to campground restrooms, however, trump any motel inconveniences — though stargazers claim nothing beats views at 2 a.m.

In the past, motels won the prize for cleanliness. However, because of recent worker shortages, no one cleans up after us but us. Sad.

Bottom line: Comparison of pop-up and motel rooms rests on expectations. Sleepers on a camper’s table gripe about aches and pains, but they expected inconvenience. If forced to sleep on a motel’s table, though, I’d gripe about more than a few twinges.

Image by Angelic Cooke from Pixabay.

Especially pain in my pocketbook. According to Smith Travel Research, a hospitality analytics firm, a hotel room’s average cost has climbed to $149.90 per night. A state park’s campsite costs $15-40. Cheaper, right?

Sure, if we omit costs of the pop-up and truck to pull it. And the awning and canvas walls we replaced.

Ultimately, is our pop-up worth it?

Image by Joe Plenio from Pixabay.

Yes. In the woods, air is fresh as if God just created it, whereas in a motel, I cannot open windows. Camping banishes clocks with their coulda-woulda-shoulda tyranny. Plus, motel personnel might not appreciate my firebug husband building a campfire in our room.

I love camping in our pop-up.

However, if Hubby wants to book a nice motel again — especially in January — I’m game.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Which do you prefer, a camper or motel room?

Who Wore Out Whom?

Our grandson plays with light and various shapes at the Muncie Children’s Museum.

When I last experienced grandchild deprivation, I suffered symptoms involving credit cards and Easter outfits for everyone through 2029. So, Grandpa cheered our scheduled grandkid time.

The six- and eight-year-olds slept in, and so did we. Whatever Mom fed them, I wished I’d had it when she was a kid.

Grandpa played Monopoly with the older boy, a self-confessed math genius. I listened to piano “concerts” by Little Brother, a grandma-confessed musical genius. Grandpa, who mortgaged all his deeds, defeated the fiscally responsible eight-year-old.

Later, Hubby asked me, “Am I a bad grandpa for beating my grandson?”

Hanging out in the kid-size ant colony at the Muncie Children’s Museum.

“Absolutely.” I crossed my arms. “Plus, think of the lesson you taught: go into debt, and you’ll win.”

“Just teaching him the American way.”

Before Grandpa taught more patriotic principles, I suggested we visit a nearby children’s museum.

Our grandsons climbed and slithered through the museum’s kid-size “ant maze.”

“This will wear them out,” I said smugly.

Grandpa high-fived me. We decided to put the museum in our will.

The elder grandson chose me, an obvious pushover, to supervise his further exploration. The younger tugged Hubby to a huge semi.

Hubby and grandson check out The Big Rig and more at the Muncie Children’s Museum.

He perched behind the steering wheel. “When I grow up, I wanta drive a truck like this!”

I fled the vision of him loose on the interstate. The eight-year-old and I played games with giant checkers. (Grandma proved the loser he’d hoped for.) We banged on pipes, triangles, and tambourines at the music-making exhibit. I offered to dance to his newest composition, but he nixed that idea.

The Ant Wall in the Muncie Children’s Museum allows children to experience the maze of an ant colony.

Instead, I sat while he investigated the miniature grocery store. I nearly dozed off — until I saw him wiggling a fake salami through the window of a play schoolhouse where an earnest little teacher was holding class.

I proposed, “Want to return to the ant maze?”

“Yeah!” He zipped to the top. “Come in, Grandma!”

“I’d get stuck. The Jaws of Life would have to cut me out.”


Thankfully, his brother interrupted, my panting hubby behind him. “Whoever coined the word ‘babysit’?” he complained.

In the maze, the hunter and hunted clashed about who should be dead.

I diverted their attention to a cage containing an enormous, fake reptile: “Doesn’t he look real?”

Image by M. Maggs from Pixabay.

The boys pressed noses against the glass.

The “fake” snake raised its head.

I fainted dead away.

I awoke to “Cool, Grandma. Do it again!”

Hubby hauled me up. “Grandpa’s back can’t take it.”

Riding home, our grandsons’ subdued state confirmed that baths, a storybook and prayer would usher them to Dreamland. Instead, they exploded from the car like twin firecrackers.

Would we survive the night? Or the next day, when the next batch of grandkids arrived?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Who wears out whom at your house?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Please Nix the Gnats!

O Lord, You know we love camping in Your wild, beautiful world. But this year, a gnat plague of biblical (Exodus 8:16-19) proportions swarmed us the entire trip. After we returned home, Hubby even sorted piles of dirty laundry in his truck’s bed, rather than let the pests infest our house. OMG, Pharaoh wouldn’t listen to You, but we want to know: was it something we said?