In Case of Fire...
Aug. 16, 2011 5:58 pm
Updated: Aug. 17, 2011 1:52 am
I will bring the marshmallows and graham crackers, if you get the Hershey's.
I was just thinking about camping. My entire childhood revolved around Summer Vacation. As soon as school let out my parents would pack up our little travel trailer, 3 wild-eyed girls, 2 dogs, and whichever wild animals I had fostered for the year (a raccoon,
a robin, wild rabbit-they do NOT travel well-) and head for the forests and campgrounds of Wisconsin.
It was all about the fishing, swimming, cooking, horseback-riding, and new friends. Dad played the banjo and sang. He knew a lot of songs, and wherever we camped, other campers would show up to share our fire.
For Dad, it was a working vacation, as he covered a territory which he visited daily, dressed in a suit and tie. After work, he was back, launching the boat and wagering who would catch the most fish. Looking back, I cannot imagine how my parents handled
all of this!
It was the BEST way to grow up! The trailer was quite small, barely fitting all of us inside, so rainy days were quite cramped, unless there was a tarp outside. Preferably with a fire going at one end. And covering the picnic table, of course... Then there
was reading, card playing, singing, "Rain, rain go away."
And when it finally did, there was SO much to do: Explore the trails, finding out that bees which nest in the ground really DO like it if you take honey to them, but get indignant (and sting) when you become bored and remove it...using flattened-out cardboard
boxes to slide down a hill... looking for tadpoles (pollywogs, as we used to call them) because you know your parents will let you keep them until they grow up into frogs... fishing, always... go to the lodge, if there is one, play the jukebox and DANCE...
beg the parents to take you to the nearest 'dude ranch' so you could go horseback riding... swim until your lips turned blue... beg the parents for money to buy 'All Day' suckers and/or a root beer Popsicle. And always, ALWAYS, wait for Daddy to come home!
Then it was time to cook! All the wonderful food! Mostly grilled. Steak and corn on the cob with baked potatoes. Fish, if luck was with us (looking back, I wonder how many tiny bluegills I caught and scaled to present as "dinner").