Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Conveniences, Lavatories, and Matrimonial Bliss

I suppose in a 3rd World country, a real mattress is considered a Modern Convenience, but in these parts, it's a necessity.

When our boys were little, we never took them camping until they were about 6. While I am sure we had opportunity to do so, for some reason, we just never did.

It was a logical, if subliminally induced, choice. A choice which we abandoned this past week, in an apparent attempt to prove we could successfully combine teenagers, infants, toddlers, rain, sandy blankets, the desire to escape hammers and dust, Smores, and restrooms with questionable cleaning routines. Throw in the fact that one of the friends that one of the children invited MEANT it when he said he didn't like camping, along with a healthy dose of Baby Who Slept All Day And Played All Night and just for good measure toss in the obligatory Teenage Girl Campers Who Think Your Sons Are Hot and you've got a prescription for what amounts to a possible mutiny of gargantuan proportions! A self-mutiny!

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE to camp. We look forward each year to our camping trips, and over the past decade, we've managed to fine tune our techniques to the point of it being something we could see ourselves doing for an entire summer in the future. Never let it be said, however, that camping is a luxury trip. It is work. When you have a 2 year old who doesn't sit still or shut his mouth, and when you have a baby who still isn't sleeping longer than five or six hours at night, it isn't work.

It's insanity!

After 5 nights, this woman's back had just plain had enough of an under-inflated air mattress and when Tom looked sympathetically at me on Friday morning and said "You just wanna go home, don't you?" I didn't bother to be demure, coy, or understanding.


("YES!!" she groaned in a very un-When Harry Met Sally way.)


It was a bittersweet moment for me, as I do really enjoy camping. The negativity I speak with concerning this particular trip is stated with a disclaimer: I did have a fun time being with my family. But our lives have been a wee bit screwy over the past week, due to the bathroom project, trying to arrange for Gabe's care, maintaining our cleaning business, and oh, I forgot to mention - the camping excursion started out with a bang before we left our street. Tom's car decided to be un-cooperative, so after spending hours getting the poor little horse loaded down with supplies, it rebelled by pretending to have inhaled twenty cartons of Marlboros. We promptly had to ditch our organizational skills and repack the bare necessities into one vehicle and make two trips to transport 10 people.

Our 2 year old had a great time, and we had many opportunities to observe his highly imaginative mind at work in his new surroundings, which is always a riot, so I am happy that we didn't cancel our trip completely without trying the experiment. But future camping trips will be for persons of a certain age - we're thinking six still sounds like a good solid figure, for some reason.

Now about the bathroom - the construction is finished, the contractors are gone and they even took the majority of their dust with them. We have a spacious handicap-accessible bathroom. There are still some minor adjustments to be completed, and then we can paint and call it a done deal. I'm pleased that our laundry facilities will soon be located where I don't have to scan for bats prior to starting the day's chores.

This past Saturday, Tom and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary. Being as how (what a strange phrase!) we were supposed to be camping with our children, we had not made arrangements to be able to spend time together without kids or have a date, so our kids got to participate in our dinner and a movie.

Only it was dinner from my childhood


one of my favorite places to go when I was growing up.

I need to snag some photos from my mother's stash, because I bet she's got some pictures of me pretty similar to this one! Minus the braces, of course.

We didn't realize until we drove into the park that there was a Labor Day festival happening, so the fireworks show was a cool surprise. This is the third time this summer that D. has been able to watch fireworks, and it is so funny to watch him and the expressions he gets on his face. Alas, once again, I have myriad photos of those expressions, but I'm not allowed to let ya see them at this point.

I've been so swamped I haven't even had time to rant about church signs, politics, or foster parenting issues! Whew!

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen - that's how my last week went. Love, Dirt, and the Whole Shebang.

Happy Trails to you - dust trails, that is.

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