Tag Archives: camping

Monsoon!

My niece, on monsoon night...

Ever gone camping in the middle of a major storm?  Trust me, you’d remember.  This last week, my family went camping—as we do every year—in paradise.  Think stunning Oregon forest, horseback riding, swimming in the crystal clear river, jumping off the rocks into said river, something called ‘barn-hockey’ for the kids, tons of food and a fantastic friend (Jill, you rock!) with a supercallafragelistic family willing to share interesting (and hilarious) stories of ranch life with this writer.  It was all of that this year, too, but the weather—as it has been around the world—was…different.

One day in particular was soggy, but as night approached, so did a seriously ominous bank of black clouds.

“Oooo,” we giggled, “Looks like we’re gonna get a little wet.”  So naive.

Our family fits into three tents:  the two-man tent for the boys, the six man tent for the girls—sans the 6 men, of course—and the eight man tent for the hubby and me and the dogs.  As usual, the boys passed out the minute their heads hit the pillow.  The girls on the other hand (all teenagers, and my wild woman niece—age 24 going on 13) were all enjoying being nutballs and laughing themselves half silly in midst of this wilderness slumber party.  I decided to let their shenanigans carry on, cuz I’m super cool and, okay, too lazy to get up and tell them to pipe down.

When the first crack of thunder sounded, the girls all shrieked and giggled.  The hubby and I grinned at each other.  Fun, huh?  The flashes of lightning brought some concerned squeaks from the girls, but it was tempered by more laughter.  Then the downpour hit.  And I’m not talking the drips and drabs of Wendy’s shower.  Oh, no.  This was as if a giant cosmic ladle, perhaps the big dipper? yeah, dumped a lake on us.  The thunder got louder, and the lightening brighter and the squeals higher.

Still, I wasn’t concerned.  After all, the girls had been noisy all evening.  I figured the trees all around us would catch any stray lightning bolts and so deluded, drifted off to sleep.  Around 2ish, the boys appeared at our door (flap) soaked to the skin, shivering and mad as wet roosters.

“Our tent is gone!  Our beds are flooded!”

Odd.  Then again, we had cots and a stronger tent.  “Well, come on in.”  I took one ice-cube boy in my bag, the hubby took the other in his.  The girls were still laughing—I thought—as their shrieks started to rival the howls of the hurricane.  After all, if there was a problem, they’d tell us, right?

Wasn’t till the next morning I woke up to find the girls all huddled in the minivan, their tent now an above ground swimming pool, their beds sagging floatation devices, their mascara running, their joi de vivre a thing of the past.  Not laffin’.  No, my niece was snoozing in at shotgun, scrunched and drenched.  Daughter number three was packed into  the middle row and the older daughters slept sardine style in the back.

Took the entire day—and—half a pile of firewood to dry ‘em out.

Thankfully, the remainder of the week was sunny.  And now (after resting for 24 whole hours at home) we are headed to the beach for more life in the old tent, this time with the kid’s high school crowd.  The weather is looking a little sketchy, so I’ll probably be piling into the minivan with a
dozen (or more) teenagers if we aren’t washed out to sea first.

Wendy?  If you don’t hear from me by…say…Thursday?  Call the Coast Guard.

TTFN,

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Anxiety, Bizarre weather, Cussing, Death, Girl Scouts, kids messy rooms, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Outdoor school, Travel, Weight gain

Goodbye cruel world…

It only takes one complete lunatic to make the entire group look bad.  My kids tell me this all the time.  “Mom.  You’re making us look bad.”

But alas, I’m not talking about me.  I’m talking about Harold-This-Is-It-Camping. 

What? Me worry?

 

Being a born again Christian, I’m eagerly waiting for the rapture because the idea of dying has never been all that appealing.  My youngest daughter is the queen of surveys.  “Mom, if you were going to die, would you rather be frozen to death, or burned to death?”  “Uh…hmmm, I…uhhh…is there another choice?”   “Mom, if you took off all your clothes and slept outside naked, would it kill you?”  Depends if the neighbors mistook me for Sasquatch and shot me, I guess.  “Mom, what snake would you rather have kill you, a king cobra or a rattler?” 

Can ya see why having Jesus take me outta here and plant me in a garden for a feast is more attractive?

Annnyway, if today is the day, cool.  I won’t have to defrost the refrigerator because it will be lying under a pile of rubble and will take care of itself.

Unfortunately, Mr. Camping’s theology resembles nothing I ever learned in Sunday school and, since New Zeland was still standing as of 6pm (their time), I’m gonna go don the Playtex gloves and tackle the kitchen.  Pity.  One of my children was hopeful about getting out of geometry finals.  Tough luck, kid.

The one good thing to come out of all this fear-mongering is that it made me stop and think about how short this life is.  How precious every moment.  Right now, my teenagers are in our backyard tossing horseshoes in a patch of rare spring sunshine.  Think I’m going to skip the cleaning and go whup some kids at horseshoes.  Loser cleans the kitchen.

Carolyn

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Filed under aging, Death, Geroge Clooney, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Older writers, Writing

Yurt Locker

OMG! I'm so totally beautiful!

 I just spent the week in a Yurt at the beach with 6 middle school girls (one of them was my daughter) for a Science Field Study.  Ohmigosh.  The shrieking, the mess, the ADHD, the horrible house-keeping skills and that’s just ME. 

 The girls?  Hopeless.  

OVERHEARD IN MY YURT:

“I’m incredibly beautiful.  Not to brag or anything, it’s just true.  But, when I straighten my hair?  I’m even more beautiful.  Not to sound vain.” 

“That’s okay.  It’s good to be vain.  And you are really beautiful.”

“Yeah.”

 WHAT DATING IN 6TH GRADE REALLY MEANS: 

 Sit at the opposite end of the cafeteria and don’t look at each other.  Ever.  (Looking is for 7th grade).

 Getting to wear the boy’s hoodie?  You’re as good as married.  Pick out the china.  

 OVERHEARD IN THE CAFETERIA: 

“I gave his hoody back!”  Mass hysteria and giggling.  “And I loaded the pocket with candy!”  More mass hysteria. 

“Ooo, tight move!”

“Yeah!  He like said, I love candy!”  MASSIVE HYSTERIA.  “He said love!”

 DURING TRUTH OR DARE:

“Next time?  I dare you to give his hoody back and tell him you never want to wear it again because it totally smells like B.O.” 

 OVERHEARD ON THE BUS:

“Don’t worry, Mr. Smith, but you might want to count noses again…” 

 Alarmed, Mr. Smith asks, “Are we short a student?” 

“No.  But I’m pretty sure I saw that guy–don’t look now–the one sitting in the back of the bus–I said don’t look–The scruffy one with the flies buzzing around his head–don’t look–yeah, that guy, I saw him hitch-hiking about an hour ago…” 

“No, no.  That’s Carolyn.  Gracie’s mom.  She’s in a Yurt with all 6th graders.” 

“Oh, right.  That explains it.” 

 ON ORGANIZATION: 

 Kid: “Has anyone seen my flashlight/pillow/towel/sleeping bag/makeup/backpack/sleeping mat/text book?” 

 Me:  “What did you do with the last six flashlights/pillows/towels/sleeping bags/makeup/backpacks/sleeping bags/text books I gave you?” 

 Kid:   “I dunno.” 

 ON BEING SEXY: 

“I know everyone thinks the boy I like is a total Spaz–”

“Because he IS!”

“But that’s only because you don’t KNOW him!”

“I know he eats his boogers.”

“He’s still sexy.”  

Going on a field study is a great way to get to really know not only your own child, but the kids he/she pals around with all day at school.  It’s comforting to know that when you get home, you can lock your darling up and home school them until they are 35 and have completed basic training for nunnery boot camp. 

Carolyn

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Wagons Ho

I’m going on an Oregon Trail Living History field study with my two fifth graders. 

I hear naughtly little children taste just like chicken...

We are going to ‘experience’ the ‘joy’ of roughing it on the real Oregon Trail in real wagons and wear real costumes and stuff.   Gonna do it the way they used to.  No new fangled stuff like dental floss or deoderant.  We’re going to sleep in a tent.  Supposed to rain, maybe even snow.  Just like in the olden days.  I hear tell a ‘master camper’ (whatever that is) will be accompanying us.  His last name is–no-I-am-not-kidding–Donner.  Just like in the olden days.  If the kids in my tent give me any flack, (you know, middle school ‘tude), I think after lights-out, I’m gonna tell ’em the whole saga of the real Donner party.  Then, I might allude to the idea that our master camper might be…I don’t know…related some how.  

That oughta keep ’em in line.

I’ll report back on my adventures upon my return.

Carolyn

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Filed under Children, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, Writing