Sunday, August 14, 2011

Getting Away from It All

August 12

For the last several weeks, the children have been eagerly counting down the minutes until The Great Camping Trip of 2011. The brilliance of the plan was that Friday and Sunday were to be devoted to community service in the town of Glendive, MT, and thus the children were actually looking forward to….work. It doesn’t happen often, so I reveled in their anticipation.

I rose early, with several hours of work still to do. We hoped to leave shortly before lunch, arriving down there in plenty of time to put in several hours of hard labor for the community outreach weekend. It really shouldn’t be a surprise by now. Things did not exactly go according to plan.

First Jack had to go to Grenora, ½ hour away. That was great—I wasn’t quite ready anyhow, and that would give me some cleaning time as a bonus. And sure enough, by the time he came back, I was pretty much ready. And Plan #2 was already shot down in flames.

Jack had just received a phone call from John John, and had to go do community outreach by himself. John John had gotten stuck in the mud over an hour from home, and needed to be pulled out. Even more cleaning time. I was perfectly content, but Tiggy—who had wanted to leave at 6 am—was in danger of rupturing something.

At long, long, long last, we drove away at 6 pm, loaded and ready. Well, except for one thing. We still had to retrieve Damon (Jack forgot him and had to turn around) from his friend’s house, about a 30-minute round trip off our route. When I got out of the car to photograph a barn, Jack decided to play one of his usual little stunts, and drove off just as I reached the car.

Most days I’m game for a little fun, so I ran extra dramatically to keep up. Since my camera still hung around my neck, there was even a photographic record for posterity. Eventually he let me back in the car, but not without several more false stops and starts.

Then we left. No, then we went to the grocery store. THEN we left. Yes, we really did.

So our first day of camping consisted of setting up our tent in the dark and collapsing, exhausted, into our sleeping bags. Jack, or the Princess and the Pea, as Tiggy and I called him, towered above me, since I gave him most of the padding. He’s much more delicate, after all. And as we drifted off, stars twinkled through the netting above our heads, and the sounds of heavy traffic filled our ears.

Camping, at last.

Compass in one shoe, magnets in the other. Why???


  1. Gold Country is one of the most magical places in California. Tucked into the Sierra foothills, the Gold Country has a many choices for your time away from home. New Zealand Immigration offers a number of temporary and permanent migration options for those looking to live and work in New Zealand. A quick “weekender” or week long adventures are all possibilities and consistently delivers the fun, excitement and history.

  2. why didn't you leave me at my friends house? WHY WHY WHY??? although i did get to party till 8 o'clock