Sunday, June 13, 2010

Playing Camping

Last week I camped.

For the first time as an adult I camped and I loved it.

Smoky campfires in the mornings. Sitting on piles of gnarled tree roots in the afternoons with the sun dappling through the leaves and the river running over the rocks and pebbles while children jumped from a high rock ledge into a deep, freezing water hole. In the evening, peaceful night noises, wind through the tent screens, leaves blowing overhead, lulling me to sleep.

I am a pathetic novice newbie camper, but I'm learning. On this trip, I forgot matches and newspaper for the campfire, turkey for the turkey and cheese sandwiches, jelly for the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and a flashlight for all hours between 9 pm and 6 am.

On the other hand, I remembered amazing non-essentials like a bucket, thick rope and extra tent stakes. Never needed them, but I did feel like such an accomplished camper, packing them into the van.

I had my own cozy tent and felt very much like I was playing "house." I got my "playhouse" all arranged and chose to sleep on sheets and my grandmother's old quilts rather than a sleeping bag. With the tent set up, I fancied myself Jane Goodall among her apes or Meryl Streep in "Out of Africa."

Only they wouldn't have forgotten the matches!

In the course of the week, I conquered putting up a tent, cooking on the Coleman stove, rain-proofing the campsite, building a fire and showering in the bathhouse where the warm, high-pressured water left me makeup-free for the week and with scary camp hair that remained quite out of control.

It was camping bliss! Pisgah Forest Nirvana! Pine and hemlock deliciousness! It is now in my blood. I am hooked!


  1. Shelley! I hereby bestow upon you the highly coveted, but rarely achieved in life, MOTHER NATURE AWARD!!!! I am searching my heart and asking, would I? could I? And as of this point in time, I could wholeheartedly embrace the 6AM-bedtime piece of's the bedtime-6AM piece that's giving me trouble!What a fun week this must have been. Priceless family memories. BTW, your scary camp hair looks fresh-from-the-salon in comparison to what mine would look like under similar conditions! As always, a delightful post! xo, sue

  2. You make this sound fun! I'm almost tempted!!! ;)

    And I agree with Sue...your hair looks pretty doggone good.

  3. Sounds like you really enjoyed yourself! We always go camping. That's our mode of vacationing. Over the years we've developed a "Camping List" which we print out every time we get ready to pack. And then we definitely add the items that we forgot last time. It makes packing much easier. Just go down the check list. Once everything's checked off, we're ready to go. Over the years we've deleted the stroller, high chair, diapers, etc. and added more comfort items like foam pads for the picnic table seats,little fold-out table for my nightstand, battery operated bed-side lamp, etc. We love camping! as long as we don't get eaten alive by mosquitoes or flooded out by the rain. Nice tent!

  4. oh i am so NOT hooked on camping - in fact, I hate it! I know! I said it - hate, hate, hate. icky ickerson! BUT I do love love your green tent, your berries and cream and your sweet pic :) camp hair and all!

  5. You actually tempt me to camp, so....Good post! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE all of nature. I have to have my outdoor time right after my morning coffee almost every day...........but the work and the clean up I wonder........and My Husband won't sit still long enough. I celebrate your family's gift of camping and look forward to more hair posts!You look Marvelous darling!! XO

  6. Thanks for clearing up the "Madhouse" mystery! I feel much better now!:) I must say that this past weekend was a very busy one! And then again... there's only the two of us at home now. If I had to include the plans of five teenaged (or thereabouts) kids in my schedule there's no way I would have the kind of weekend list like I do now.

  7. oh my goodness...I now see that you WERE at Pisgah...crazy!! It *felt* so familiar as I looked at your photos :)