Monday, June 9, 2008
Vacation? We get a vacation? Are you Sure?
That's pretty much how I felt for most of my married life. Vacations were mostly camping out at family reunions--camping out with four kids--in a tent. Um, well we usually had a good time. Mostly. Except for the time that a tornado passed us by about three miles away. Of course the rain did not pass by! Since we were camping in northeast Oklahoma... you know that area that's been tornado alley this year?... well, you can imagine that it was quite exciting.
Camping out is a wonderful experience for everyone except Mom. Dad and the kids play, fish, swim, or whatever. And Mom cooks. Mom cleans. Mom goes to the laundromat with the wet sleeping bags after the rains so they are dry for the next night. Mom washes dishes in a tiny pan with water heated over the stove. AND Mom trots half way across the camp ground to the restrooms because inevitably it is that time of the month when the family camps out!
Other than that, it's all good. Right?
Anyway, the time came when my house hunk conceded that we were past the camping out stage. And that's been very, very nice. We now stay at hotels. They're air conditioned. They have indoor plumbing, hot showers, and wonder of wonders, usually have breakfast included. Ah, civilization.
But you know, there were some good times. And camping enabled us to travel, leave home, spend some time as a family without the everyday stresses at home. One summer we traveled 3300 miles in three weeks, camping somewhere new every night (four kids, youngest was barely a year old). It was certainly interesting. We saw the Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, my grandfather in Arizona, took part in a family reunion in Oklahoma, and finally limped into our driveway with $4.72 to our name. Now that's a vacation.
By the way, the picture is from that trip...taken at the Grand Canyon on a chilly, rainy day when the temps were in the sixties. Don't we look like we're having fun?