11 July, 2014

Friday Favourites - Camping


It's far from glamorous, this camping thing. A tent in the woods, gravel and dirt creeping in despite the no shoes in the tent rule. Waking far too early because the summer sun arrives at an ungodly hour.  Packing and repacking everything for every meal because there are bears and you can't leave food out. Not showering for days. Camping.

And I love it.

No glamping here. Just an overstuffed car and lots of dirt. But there is fire and marshmallows and exploring shorelines and bugs and late nights. And fire, camp fire all the time.

I can't deny the stress of getting ready for the trip. We have all our gear organized and it is always ready to just grab out of the garage. But I still have to get all the food and everyone's clothes. That always takes a few hours. Then my Hubby plays a game of car tetris to get everything in the car. And we argue about snacks and how many extra things the girls try to bring.

Then we drive. And the drives are always gorgeous. We spend half the time stressing to the kids how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful and awesome country. I stitch in the car, we relish the silence when the kids all miraculously doze at the same time. We curse the tourists stopping to take pictures of wildlife because they are always too close to the animals.

And then we arrive. It takes longer to set up now because the kids help, but they enjoy making things just so. And we're dirty before we even can think about it. And the maniac behaviour begins as tree branches become everything but, fairies are discovered in the forest, and frisbees come out. Then the fire starts and the begging for marshmallows begins. And I give in, because why not.

I must admit, I was terrified when we geared up last year and committed to this family activity. I loathe sleeping with my kids. (I love them dearly, but not in my bedroom.) But in the woods it doesn't matter. They sleep hard and deep. And when they wake us up too early in the morning I enjoy their whispers, until they grow into tickles and shrieks. The whole experience has been amazing. It far exceeded my expectations.

When we camp we bring no crafts for the kids, only a few activity books and things like balls and frisbees. We encourage them to explore the area around us, when we aren't hiking or trying something else.

We talk and watch and listen. To the woods, to each other.

We sit so still so the butterflies land on our feet.

9 comments:

Brenda said...

I love camping too,except for long rainy days and too many mosquitoes.We bought a camper van when our kids were 5 and 7 and drove them from coast to coast for 13 years.now they're busy with summer jobs and although there's more room for us, I miss taking them places. so enjoy the dirt and the bugs and the inconvenience now, because it is gone before you know it!

Beth said...

All the family time sounds like a wonderful thing. Enjoy every minute.

Ray and Jeanne said...

Enjoy! These memories are precious. Our kids now have kids but they remember our wonderful camping trips and the precious moments in their minds (and ours) are all about togetherness, nature, and everyday things that just happened. It was definitely worth the stress of "getting ready". ~Jeanne

wendysquilting said...

Awesome! We are going fishing for the day tomorrow hopefully camping trip soon!
Enjoy each moment with your little ones...

Terry said...

Beautifully written, you have a wonderful way with words! Thanks for the share!!

Anne said...

It's always good to let yourself and your children experience nature and just explore. Leave the other world behind for an even more real world. I have many good memories of camping with our kids when they were young enough to play hide and seek behind trees even though you could see them.

lindaroo said...

Camping makes for the best family memories.

Aimée said...

Loved reading this, Cheryl. We did two back-to-back campouts in June and loved (nearly) every minute of it. There was that moment when a skunk strolled into camp.....

And tenting? Glorious. I'll never give it up. We woke up to the calls of the Common Loons and the warm sun on the tent. Perfection.

laura black said...

Wow good for you! I am in the same mind frame as u these days, it all comes down to taking that first step doesn't it. I just started reading blogs when I got a Kindle for Christmas. I just got back into quilting several years ago and the first book I bought was "Sunday Morning Quilts" and I have since found out my 2 favorite bloggers, quilters are you and Amanda,funny how that all works out. All that to say keep up the good work, your words do touch others!