Monday, June 13, 2011

Camping anyone?


scherenschnitte paper cut deer ACEO



I have to admit I am not really a fan of camping.  I like the things one associates with camping, like roasting marshmallows and hotdogs, telling ghost stories and campfires, Kumbaya…yup those are fun.   Sleeping in a musty tent on the freezing hard ground cocooned in something inappropriately called a “sleeping” bag not so much.  Don’t get me wrong I like the outdoors.  I guess I'm outdoorsy only during banker hours-- from 9 to 5. 

When my daughter was little she joined Girls Scouts.  One thing led to another and when the leader had to relocate I was the next in line.  Yeah you guessed it, Crystal became the Girl Scout leader  extroidinaire and Girl Scouts camp don’t they?

When May rolled around the girls informed me they wanted to go camping.  I froze.  An encampment was coming up at a backwoods, rural camp in the middle of nowhere and they wanted to go.  I’m nothing if not agreeable so I, albeit reluctantly, agreed.  Before I knew it, my assistant leader and I, along with two other mothers arrived at the camp.

This particular camp was equipped with fancy naturally composted latrines…in other words “outhouses.”  The tents were set up on wooden platforms with four cots inside each.   We spread our sleeping bags atop the smelly cots, and went out to enjoy the day.  Night must fall, however, and soon we were getting our evening things in order. 

By now it was pitch dark and we could hear the girls giggling in the tents beside us.  Then all was quiet, for a while.  A scream broke the silence and one of the girls was at our tent describing a spider “the size of my hand” that had taken up residence on the walls of their tent.  The assistant leader volunteered to take care of the situation.  Me, I wasn’t going anywhere.

After a bit, things simmered down and it was really quiet.  I never knew there could be so much quiet.  I took a final sip of juice out of my paper cup and placed it under my bed.  The four of us talked for a while and although, I would have been content to talk ALL night, the others wanted to get some sleep.  Who could sleep?  It was too quiet and too dark to sleep.

An hour passed and I lay in the dark, thinking and listening, and definitely wide-awake.  I heard the steady breathing of others and I knew they were asleep.  I heard a rustle, and then another.  I wondered if bear was native to the area. Something was in this tent and it was not human. I realized it sounded small and was probably a mouse so I started to relax...just a bit. I silently prayed for morning.

What if I had to go to the bathroom before daylight?  The latrine was at least 100 yards up a hill in pitch dark.  Just as that thought passed through my mind, my body decided it was a pretty good idea.  Guess I shouldn’t have had that juice before bed.

My mind was working overtime trying to figure out a solution.  I thought about the cup beneath my bed. I know it may sound odd but it made perfect sense at that time.  If only I could reach it.  I was afraid to put my feet down and no way was I going to reach under there, even if the cup wouldn’t solve my problem it became a quest.  Besides it kept me busy. 

I reached in the bottom of my sleeping bag where I had stowed my flashlight.  I know it would seem logical to just shine the beam under my bed and get my cup, however, I decided that I did not want to flash the light anywhere near the floor and risk seeing two shining eyes of any species.  Secondly, I wasn’t flashing it on the walls seeing as spiders of huge size frequent that area.  The only place left was the ceiling, which is what I did.

I pointed my light straight up and as I did this one of the other mothers called my name.  I almost fell off the bed.  She asked if I had to use the bathroom and as she did the others woke up and also needed to use the facilities.  Grabbing a flashlight we started our trek up the dark hill to the bathroom.  For a fleeting moment we wondered if any of the girls need to go and decided that it was every man for himself.

We walked together as one entity.  If an alien life form had observed us at that moment they would have thought the native being was an eight-footed clump of hair and flesh.

The way back was a bit easier and soon it was morning and we were on our way home, with a new appreciation for modern amenities.  That night I thanked god for my bed, my stove, my toilet, my shower, my bug killer………………

20 comments:

laurie said...

oh thats so funny,, what a time you had,,

Wanda said...

I couldn't find the "Post a Comment" when I came earlier.

Loved the story, laughed all the way through. First, because you are a great and funny writer, second because I have lived this!!!!

The saga of camping!!!

Maggie said...

Great story, Crystal!! I hate camping, too, because of the facilities (or lack of), and the LONG nights.

Franz said...

Funny story, I have always loved camping!
you can breathe fresh air :-))

ciao have a nice day!

craftattack said...

Sounds like you had a good time there! I have similar camping memories, and I would never camp again!Valerie

Carol Blackburn said...

Great story, Crystal. I was waiting for there to be ants in your cup in the morning, too. I will most likely try my first camping day or two this summer with our grandsons. I am not, I say not, looking forward to it. I want a lawn chair to sleep on, not a sleeping bag. :)

maddyrose said...

I had a good laugh from this story because it's funny and the story of my own camping experences. I have no idea why people feel compelled to sleep outside where the creepy crawlies are. I like day trips and want to be home to sleep in my own bed at night.

Daniella said...

You had me literally laughing out loud!!! That must have been AWFUL!! I'm with you, I love "camping type things", but will NOT sleep in the musty old tent in the musty old sleeping bag.
Now, If I had one of those AWESOME RV's, that would be totally different!!!
xxDaniella

Lee Pierce said...

:D At least you didn't wake up to a few inches of snow!

Magic Love Crow said...

Crystal too funny and what a great memory ;o) Take Care!

Leovi said...

The camping is to enjoy young, backpack, tent and sleeping bag. Now I agree with your opinion. A nice shade of red deer. Greetings.

Gerri Herbst said...

just loved your camping story...I had a similar one recently where my brother rigged up a contraption in the trees with a rope and as we fell asleep pulled the rope and a huge thing dragged its self along the tent. We all screamed even my husband...then my brother told us what he did! LOL. take care, gerri

jamberry_song said...

Crystal, you are too funny! You have a way of telling a story in an absolutely hilarious way. I could just picture your "eight-footed clump of hair and flesh" making its flash-lit way up the hill to the latrines. XD I love camping, roughing-it sort of camping, but even still, spiders the size of your hand are not welcome guests anywhere. No siree!

Heather said...

That was a great story! I can totally see that in a storybook for moms! We need one don't you think? I liked camping in college, way back before i had kids and became a nervous nelly!
this is a funny laugh out loud story! YIKES, no more camping for you i bet! have a great day!

Jehanne's doodles said...

:D))) What a great story:)
Ahh the things you end up doing for your kids :)
Love the paper cut of the deer!

Netty said...

Terrific story and am so NOT a camping person......lol Love the deer. Annette x

Gerri Herbst said...

Thank you for yr sweet comments on my Paris tag piece today. take care, gerri

Kat W said...

I read your story with a huge smile on my face as it reminded me of when I was a cub scout leader going on camps. One time one of the leaders couldn't face going all the way to the toilets on her own and so decided to try the woodland. Unfortunately a ranger mistook her for a poacher or something & she found herself with her pants down and illuminated by flashlight. Lol.

Love the deer cut out - its beautiful!

Kat :-)

ileana said...

What a perfect bedtime story for me tonight...in my cozy, safe, rodent-free home. :-) Reminded me of our camping ventures in NH...only we had campfire light and lots of friendly campers around throughout the night...and the toilets were not so far off. Also, we slept in a camper. :-)

Icy BC said...

Great story, and funny on how you tell it. I'm not a fan of camping..Creepy crawlers are just not my favorite thing.

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