Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ahhhhhh, camping

I was feeling pretty low and discouraged the last few weeks, so my hubby arranged a perfect restful solution to my mood. LET'S. GO. CAMPING! So, after 48 trips to the grocery store for "a few camping items" and 2 days to pack everything we need for 10 people for a week,(Nicole is on a musical mission tour this week to New York so we are down a kid!) plus refilling all of the meds for everyone who needs them, and making sure all the laundry was caught up so we had enough to wear for a week, then having a trial run in the camper overnight in our back yard, we boarded the dogs (after the vet bill to get their shots up to date), a quick trip to the paediatrician for two ear infections on two different kiddos, then more meds needed from the pharmacy, and finding out it was time to put one of the baby boys on more meds for his spasticity (that the doctor said was 'impressive'), and packing the diaper bags and van as full as it could be, we were ready. The helper dog, Kramer, sat in my seat and had to be coerced into the back seat with the kids. A former show dog, he obviously is used to top seating privileges. Of course the hamster had to come with us, although the fish, chickens and cats agreed to stay home to tend the house in our absence. A dear friend agreed to feed and water everything at home, so we were off! "Are we there yet?" We had driven a total of ten minutes, max. "I want to swim as soon as we get there," it came out in unison. "The lake will be too cold to swim, but I am hunting for rocks anyway!" That was me. I planned to sit by the fire, after making my dear hubby his banana cream pie for Father's Day dessert. Oops, forgot the cream part. Hubby runs to the local gas station. Unfortunately, this area had suffered a very big wind storm the prior week, and had lost most all of their frozen goods when the power was off for days. We missed that, thankfully, and hubby found someone with spray whipped cream. Pies were saved!! We ate a fabulous dinner of tacos from the fire cooked burger and every thing tasted good. (Except the boxed shells were stale so we had taco salads instead.). We ate pie, made s'mores, and we turned in for the night, everyone tucked safely in their camp beds, while we dreamed of the days plans ahead. It was close to midnight. Now keep in mind, I have kids who go to sleep late and still get up at the crack of dawn. Camping only accelerates their alarm clocks. T was up and fishing at daylight, waking up most everyone else with her fish tales. It was true, a girl had caught a 17" large mouth bass the Saturday before we got there, and T was determined to catch it again. At this writing, the 17 incher was still lurking in the pond, but T holds the record for the most catches so far this week. M caught the largest bass, but was SO incredibly freaked out about it her enthusiasm for fishing has waned considerably. Boy T has now caught a sun fish, collaborated on several of Girl T's catches/releases, and basically baited hundreds of hooks this week. It appears he is not nearly as squeamish poking hooks through harmless worms as as few of the girls are. I just wanted to sleep in. I caught a tiny sunfish one day, like just a bit over aquarium size, and was so proud. My mom was a fisherman and would have been so proud of us along the banks of the mighty pond. I have been missing both my folks this week, as memories surface of the many times we went camping together. This is a week dad would have loved, at a place just perfect, the weather grand. Even the kids wondered who would be cutting potatoes for breakfast, since that was grampa's job each trip. Yes, they are smiling down from heaven at us all muddling through this trip, smiling at their biggest catch ever, their eternal home in heaven! I really just wanted to sleep in. Gb has been out of sorts, I imagine another ear infection brewing for him. He is totally into throwing rocks and dirt, especially after a bath. He has eaten everything in sight, and must be growing with all the sun,sand and pool time. Speaking of pool, baby Zay loves the water more than anyone. He cackles and screeches with the biggest grin on his face, making me wish more than anything we had a pool! Therapeutically warm, all season indoors, for him to stretch and relax those cerebral palsied arms and legs. It's such a blessing to see him laugh so heartily just by floating effortlessly on the surface. The kids who can not lift him gather around to guide him in the water, his body as light as a feather in the pool. We all join in his laughter. This morning I just wanted to sleep in. The alarm, (mike), reminds me there is stacks of laundry to do before everyone gets to the laundry room. He sorts, loads in the van, brings me a ROCKSTAR sugar free drink and a snickers bar (sorry doc!) and helps me load the washers. He returns to the RV, cooks breakfast on the fire, brings me fresh coffee and a covered plate for breakfast, returns to the RV to play with the kids and clean up breakfast, while I slave over four loaded washers and dryers with the dirt you can only get at a campground coming out of our clothing. Ahhh, the hard job of camping. We always fight to determine who GETS to do the laundry. I won today. I have taken a few naps this week, collected beach glass and interesting rocks, swam in the pool (the lake is freezing), sat by many fires, read some, crafted some, and relaxed! This past year I lost both parents, made it through many firsts without the ones who always loved me the most, and celebrated a year home with my African angels. I have been through many invasive tests, had my gallbladder removed in march, and got to be with my four beautiful grandsons for a couple months. I have felt stress and discouragement, but I think I am on the mend emotionally. There is still much to settle with our parents estates, and life will never really be easy, but I am grateful for this week to relax, unwind and have no schedule. I really, really just wanted to sleep in, but listening to the laundry machines whirring as I write is almost as good! I love camping, even all the hard work, because we are all together, good and bad, which is what matters the very most in life! Ahhhhh, camping. Worth it all!