Monday, July 11, 2011

Camp Out Sissy Style

Here's the thing I've learned about embracing a Summer of Fun. It's downright exhausting on both a mental and physical level (not a complaint, just an honest observation). Even though our days - sometimes carrying over into evenings - are jam packed with action and adventure, if this here blog is a snapshot of our lives it would appear as though we've been sitting on our butts doing a whole lot of nothing since the end of May. I assure you that we are living life to its fullest and embracing every memorable moment possible despite the lack of documentation of such here. My goal this week is to try to update you on some of the recent activity taking place starting with Friday night's adventure.

I've mentioned a time or two that my family tent camped during my formative years. Having two children of my own and having camped with them using the luxury of a pop-out trailer, I honestly have no idea how in the world my parents a) kept their sanity and b) did not beat us or tie us to the closest tree in the process of tent camping. The coolers, the heat, the lack of amenities like a bathroom and running water, sleeping on the rock hard ground, waking up damp from the moisture in the air...these factors make it clear that I will not be setting up a sight for a week long "vacation" at the campground anytime soon.

That being said, I have fond memories of mini-campouts in our backyard. The idea is perfection. You get to experience the beauty of the night sky, the obligatory bonfire, the refreshing feeling of falling asleep with the cool night sky kissing your cheeks, waking up to the beautiful colors in the sky of a brand new day while being a short jog from the comforts of your home in case of emergencies - bathroom, weather, or otherwise. I decided Thursday night to introduced my girls to this little adventure.

Initially they were a little skeptical, afraid they might be attacked by a rouge raccoon. Understandable concern living in the land of wildlife like we do. When I explained that I would be sleeping with them their fears were eased and the excitement built. They were absolutely no help at all setting up the tent (keeping that tradition going two generations strong!), and were literally jumping outside the tent door at the prospect of getting inside. I could get them to pose for one sad attempt at a cute picture before they refused to partake in such nonsense.


Immediately after setting up the tent I gave myself a mental pep talk before embarking on my first ever solo built bonfire. From the start I felt confident in my stacking skills.

Immediately after igniting the cardboard - without the use, I repeat WITHOUT the use, of any kind of lighter fluid - I held my breath waiting to see if the wood would start to burn.

I began a small happy dance minutes later when things started to take off and sent text messages of my masterpiece to no fewer than seven separate friends and family members.

And then finally I broke out in full put-myself-on-the-back mode once things really started to burn, baby, burn.

I like to think I'm one step closer to nailing my Survivor audition now.

A bonfire is only as good as the people you share it with, so I invited some friends over to join us for s'mores and sparklers. The General returned home from work to partake in the festivities and just after midnight we finally put our two exhausted girls to bed in the tent. Those fears of sleeping outside? Totally a non-issue considering they literally passed out in minutes. After enjoying the last of the bonfire with The General, I crawled into the tent around 1:30 am, took a few moments to stare up at the stars from my spot between the girls, and said a prayer of thanks for healthy kids, a loving husband, good friends, and the opportunity to experience all of the fun of life's simple pleasures.


I imagined that the girls would be up with the sun, but surprisingly and no thanks to the unbelievably loud birds residing in and around our yard they didn't wake up until 7 am. And that awesome fire? It totally reignited later that afternoon when The General dumped some grass clippings on top. Let that mother trucker burn!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This post brings back SO MANY MEMORIES! If that Sears Hillary Tent could only talk...think of all the secrets it would tell! Fun times, and yes now with the luxury of the camper I wonder how in the world we did it. Keep making memories! Gramma Poke.

You did tell the girls the story of Grammpa P and the raccoon eating his popcorn didn't you??

The Page Turner said...

Very impressed with your fire! The stacking was nothing sort of amazing. Congratulations!

you can call me al said...

You are awesome!

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