Friday, August 19, 2011


Long, long ago, when I was in grade school, my family, as in the extended, loud, teeminging bunch of us, went camping. My memories from that first camping adventure involve my brother's fish my aunt cooked up for him, my mother's INCREDIBLE sunburn, my complete unwillingness to eliminate in anything that wasn't porcelain, and riding on the running board of my aunt's VW Bug.

Then, I went to church camp twice, and that was kind of fun, except that the girls in my church really did not like me, or were afraid of me, or something. No one actually talked to me for the two separate weeks I spent at camp. And still, I remember having fun. There was lots of swimming and singing and chiggers and, since it was church camp, PANTS in Texas in June. Who thought that was a good idea!!!

The camping trip from hell did not happen until college. That trip taught me to never go camping unless you have enough time to actually do it. One night of camping is like... well, I'm short on metaphors, but it's alot of work to camp, but pretty much the same amount of work whether you camp one night or five. I also learned on that trip to do whatever it takes to sleep warm; no one is pleasant if they have to sleep cold.

There were a couple of planned, and one kind of successful, camping trips with my extended family, as in all the breeding cousins. That's when it became obvious that I have a rain jinx. If there is a drought, all I have to do is plan a camping trip. It will rain even if there is no rain in the forecast. It might rain so much that three tents completely full of wet, crying children and wet, sleepless adults might show up at my aunt's house wondering if she has breakfast or at least a dry match.

Jason and I were determined that we actually like to camp, despite many disasters, wet, cold and otherwise. We were certain that we are just camping people. And finally in Vermont, we found out we were right.

Our first summer here, we spent fifteen nights outside. We cooked over a fire and dealt with a crying baby in a campground. We spent three nights on an island in Lake Champlain, we canoed in Lake Elmore, we made our poor boxer sleep in a tent, we let our children run around naked. We got rained on. Then, we did all again the next summer and the next.

The past two summers, we did not camp. One summer we were busy settling into a new house and the next, we were learning about our cow. This summer, the cow is dry because she's expecting a calf in October, so I took all three kids camping.

Sylvie can really swim.

Ezra also swims, but contemplates, too.

Nico came; he was a great camper.


Rocks to jump off of.

Of course, it was all beautiful with loons, and morning mists.

Then there was the desperate search for someone to hekp me make the stove work so I could have coffee.
The day there was no coffee.

Thinking about coffee.

 Then there was just general camping stuff- uncomfortable tent, canoeing, kids playing, in the water, out of the water, canoeing some more, switching campsites, etc. Those pictures will go in the next post!
Coffee is coming!

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