Monday, October 10, 2016

The Campground People

It's been a while...

But let's pick up where we left off, shall we?


I am a convert.

I. Love. It.

I know what you're thinking, some crazed person has hacked my blog.

Nope. I love it.

Well, actually...

I don't love it.

I don't love the bugs or the smoky smell that clings to every part of me or the work involved in planning out meals or the sweating/freezing (because it's either one or the other in this here area of Tennessee). 

I also don't love the dirt that sticks to my bare feet and no matter how hard I try to avoid it ends up in my bed or the whining about when we will get there or the nagging I am forced to inflict upon my husband when he is driving way too fast with the giant house we are pulling behind us (ok, I kind of like nagging). 

And I don't like the fast showers I have to take when there aren't water hook-ups at the campsite and we are depending on the potable water holding tank and I'm slightly annoyed by all the new terms I have been forced to learn like "potable water," (a.k.a. drinkable. Why can't we say drinkable?) "gray water tank," (a.k.a. gross water that goes down drains from showers and washing hands and cooking) and "black water tank" (a.k.a. the grossest water you can imagine which comes from exactly where you are imagining and contains exactly what you are imagining).

Also don't love the words "dump station." Because dump station. Ew.


I love building a fire and sending the girls to gather dry leaves to add to the fire and hearing them giggle when they throw armfuls at each other. I love watching the flames lick the cleanly split pieces of cedar and seeing a girl wrinkle her darling nose at the cinnamony smell it emits which makes her sneeze.

I love putting on sweatshirts and snuggling into my camping chair with a girl because my chair is so much comfier than hers even though they are identical and accepting her excuses because she won't fit on my lap for too much longer.

I love roasting marshmallows and blowing them out for the girl who continuously burns hers and I love eating just one more piece of Hershey's chocolate.

I love watching the girls strike out on their own on bikes we gave them a second ago but are now too small to go to the playground where they will make friends with the Boy on the Green Bike as he will come to be known.

I love biking to the Outpost to buy a push-up pop and sitting on the porch eating it and talking to the lady who runs the store and wants to wait to sweep the porch until after we've finished our treat so she doesn't get dust on our orange ice-cream so we just chat a bit while she leans on her broom.

I love hearing the whole camp whoop and holler when the team forces the game to double overtime and feeling solidarity with people I can't even see in the growing darkness but who are obviously kindred spirits. 

I love the crazy coincidence of camping next to kids Preston teaches and watching him interact with a child who adores him and parents who are appreciative of him. I love when we hear "Coach Brooks!" hollered out by some big guys he taught five or six years ago but still want to tell him about the blue gill they caught. 

I love how the girls share a chair and one annoys the other by trying to kiss her cheek.

I love how the Baby says the sunset is so pretty she will remember it forever. And she thanks us for bringing her here.

I love how the Homebody reluctantly admits she likes coming here and maybe we should go ahead and reserve a place for next Fall Break.

I love reading the Psalms by the fire. 

I love looking out over the lake and listening to the waves lap against the rocky shore and watching the girls trying to convince each other the snake is gone and teaching me about mussels and finding shells by the hundreds, all of which must be taken home with us.

I love how my Redneck's eyes sparkle across the fire when we are silently laughing over the question of who will marry whom and when, which is being very seriously discussed among these children who are all still in single digits.

And then how our eyes get misty when we realize in that same glance how soon their weddings will come and how we both know we are wishing we could freeze this moment, in this place, and be here forever. In a flash all this Crazy will be gone.

All those things can happen here at our house. We can build fires and have meaningful conversations and forget bedtimes and kiss each other's cheeks.

But they don't. And no matter how much we say they will, they won't. We get distracted by the next assignment, the upcoming event, the need to make a grocery run, the ball practice, the dinner, the voice mails, the emails, the texts, the bills, the jobs, the cars, the supper. The Busy.  

Life at the campground is messy and dirty and buggy and smelly and smoky and full of snakes. So that I don't love. 

But I love who we are when camping. We are relaxed and kind and patient and loving and fun. Busy, which seems to steal all those things, doesn't exist at the Campground.

So now we are a part of The Campground People, a conglomerate which I feel should actually be a sub-population group and have equal representation in Congress. We'd vote in two day work weeks and the national nutrition guidelines would include 3-4 servings of hot dogs a day and fitness regulations would mandate biking to the store to buy a candy bar and participating in the camp kickball game and in good conscience we could only recommend three showers per weekBecause potable water shortages. 

I hope you have a place where Busy doesn't exist for your family. 

If you're lucky it's at a place with room service.

But for us it's by the dump station. With the rest of The Campground People.

Grace for Busy Seasons and Strength to Get to the Next Campground,