Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Camping, Drinking, and Raining

There's a notable Sondheim song, part of which goes, "A weekend in the country would be charming, and the air would be fresh."

That's what my feeling was when we decided to venture out as a family to attend the annual church camp-out, with our three-room cabin tent.  The weekend started off splendidly, as we arrived and saw many of our friends, some with campers, some with tents, some just coming for dinner and the campfire - then heading home.  Couples, families, singles, all join together for one lovely weekend in the country.

We unpacked the tent and I set it up with the help of one of the teens from the church.  Air mattresses were inflated, clothing and food were organized, and dinner was prepared and eaten ... chicken spiedies, salt potatoes, salad, and corn on the cob that was so good I wanted to weep as I feasted on its sweet, juicy goodness.

Just after dinner, someone spoke the words to me that I had been thinking since our arrival.  It was a passing comment, but one that she knew would be appreciated by someone like me.  It was something along the lines of "You know what I could use right about now? A good, stiff drink."

Boy, did she get that one right.

(*GASP*) A drink??  At a Baptist church campout????

It isn't that the evening wasn't wonderful, because it was. The conversations were deep, the fire was delightful, the music was fun, the whole evening had that "ahhhhhh......" factor.  Then we retired to the tent for the evening.

I coulda used that drink ...

Big Sister ate too much fruit at dinner, and had to go to the bathroom ... eight times between midnight and 6AM.  Each time she woke up to do her business, she woke everyone in the tent as she exited and entered.  Yes, each time.  Aside from the natural inability to sleep on the first night of a camping trip, this was too much for me to take.  And I can take a lot.

If only I had a stiff drink ...

Big Sister's active bladder wasn't the only call of nature we heard that night.  Some were beautiful sounds of God's wonderful kingdom.

A pack of coyotes howling.  Their calls were faint at first, then closer, then much closer ... then they ran away.
Crickets - singing and singing all night long.
Raccoons having a little tiff just outside of our tent.
A blood-curdling scream from the tent next door (I won't get into that right now).

All God's creatures.

At 6AM we finally fell asleep.  One of the other men got up early (6:15ish) to prepare breakfast.  It was delicious.  scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, fresh brewed coffee.  Another "ahhhhh ..."

As the day wore on, a slight drizzle began to sprinkle the campground with a dainty mist.  No big deal.  However, the sprinkle soon turned into a drizzle and the drizzle turned into a pour.  Add to this the fact that we were suffering from sleep deprivation (thanks to a certain 11 year-old and her teeny weeny bladder) ...

Boy could I have used a stiff drink.

We knew the writing was on the wall.

We packed it in shortly after noon on Saturday.  We pulled up the stakes and went home.  The tent is up, in the backyard.  We are hoping there will be a day or so without rain, so the poor thing can dry out and be properly stored until our next weekend in the country.

Are we ready to go camping again?  Absolutely, and soon!  But the next time, I'm going to have a good, stiff drink.

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