Friday, August 16, 2013

So I'm trying to Decide...

If I like camping or not. My family loves it. I have never been on a bona fide camping trip where you go to someplace in the woods, sleep in a tent, do something in nature and ward off critters in the middle of the night. I am a very black and white kind of person. I don't do well with mixed emotions about something. If there are mixed emotions about something, I tend to lump it in the "less than optimal" category, and chuck it. I reckon I have thrown out quite a few babies with the proverbial bathwater as a consequence. I am trying not to do that this time, as my family seems to really like camping. I, on the other hand, am on the fence.

We have just returned home from a two-day camping trip to the Shenandoah valley to have a last summer "hurrah" and enjoy nature in all its late-summer glory. It was a mixed experience and these are my thoughts...what do I do with this baby?

What I did enjoy:
1. frogs in the trees at night.
2. camp fires.
3. massive marshmallows the size of your fist roasted over said campfire.
4. tubing down the Shenandoah river, but it should be noted that one does not have to camp to have this experience.
5. watching my family enjoy the experience and hearing them go on and on about how much fun they were having.
6. seeing more stars in the deepest dark of the night than I have seen in many years. It was like white dust on a black background, encircled by a mist. I can't remember when I last saw that many stars or the Milky Way. Even saw a shooting star.
7. Seeing the kids learn new skills, like charcoal grilling, using a hatchet, building a fire. (Girlie learned how--the boy is an old pro--he prefers to light a fire with flint and magnesium.)

No wimpie girls in this family!
Just happened to have this hatchet in his bag...
Grilling duties
What I could do without:
1. bugs.
2. waking up to everything feeling damp.
3. raccoons getting into our stuff and making me dream that bad guys were breaking into our possessions all. night. long. (I was super-jumpy after that--glad it wasn't a bear. I'd have been standing watch with my son's slingshot for the rest of the night!)
4. rummaging through the cooler and bin to prepare meals (need to organize the meals better).
5. not sleeping due to dogs barking, roosters crowing, cows mooing in the distance on a nearby farm, raccoons invading, other campers talking (until 2:00 a.m.!)... (I'm a light sleeper. No...I'm a non-sleeper in an unfamiliar environment.)
6. bathroom issues. just sayin'.
7. ashes all over everything.
8. a noisy camp neighbor who laughed like the bad guys in cartoons (mwahahahaha!) every couple of minutes--but that was his real laugh. Either that or something really awful was going down at that campsite. 

At first glance, the cons outweigh the pros so my gut reaction is TOSS IT, but the weight of the pros is much greater than the weight of the cons--except for the sleep thing, which is a biggie for me. Come next summer, who knows what we'll do? I'm sure the kids will want to go again.

For now, it is time to get a shower and some sleep to make up for that which the raccoons stole from me...

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