by Frenzied Femme
It's Labor Day weekend, and I decided to go camping. The campground is at full capacity. And, as soon as we arrived, things started going wrong. And, I started wondering What exactly is the appeal of camping? Because, things going wrong does not ever diminish my fun. And, I thought about this all weekend. The fun of camping is the things going wrong.
You see, in my everyday life, the goal is always perfection. Every presentation, paper, proposal is expected to be perfect. Making dinner for my family - needs to be perfect. Keeping the schedule organized, the house, the yard.... all need to be perfect. But camping.... well, camping is perfect in its imperfection.
I cannot recall a single memory of perfect camping trips. Oh, I'm sure they have happened. I just don't remember them. But, I will remember this trip. It is the issues that are memorable. First, we have a pop-up. I picked this up from storage. I line up and attach the vehicle to the camper by myself. Not because my husband is not willing to help. He just isn't capable. To him, 1 foot off is close enough. And, when he tries to line me up closer, I tend to run it to the camper. So, I just get close and run back and forth making small adjustments until I am lined up.
We arrived at the camp site. I sent everyone but my oldest daughter to town to find food (it was late, and I was hungry). My oldest and I set about putting up the pop-up. It has had a missing chunk of a bushing in the gear mechanism to raise the roof for years (another memory <sigh>). So, I use a split washer that I manipulate to fit and hold it in the space until the roof is raised. Well, raising the roof wasn't that simple this time. A gear in the mechanism had a tooth that rounded over. So, the top stopped about 3" shy of where it needed to go. I was in the process of taking the mechanism apart when my camping neighbor noted that it looked like the system was under pressure. After choosing not to be replacing the whole thing on a holiday weekend, I decided that perhaps we could see if the pop-outs worked with the camper a little low. Guess what, they do. So (we not overly statuesque people) have lived with a shorter height this weekend. Yes, I will need to have the camper repaired. But, this is part of the adventure.
Then, the girls wanted to go to a drive in movie theater. We don't have these at home, so this really is a treat. Obviously, the movies play late (because they can't be seen until dark). So, we arrived back at the campsite at 2 am. Yes, we were bitten by lots of mosquitoes. I had not thought to pack the bug spray for the movies... lesson learned. As my oldest jumped out of the car to go to the camper, she said these horrifying words.... Mom, there is a skunk under the camper. Yep, a skunk. Yikes. I said, everybody back inside. I usually back into parking spots (I don't like pulling out blind in areas where kids can be moving quickly - like on bikes). So, I pulled out and pulled in forward. I was hoping that my high beams would frighten the skunk without frightening the skunk, if you know what I mean. Our mistake was leaving the dogs food out. Very attractive to a skunk. The lights did what I wanted. The skunk left, and we picked up the food. And, no skunk smell. Phew. This just left one thing, a good imperfect memory. Just what camping is about.