Monday, June 12, 2006

Making the Best of It...Or at Least Trying To

I'm back! And how was the road trip I mentioned in the last post? Well, it didn't least not the way we had planned it. I had the road trip music all picked out, the DVDs were packed so Britton would have something to occupy him while we traveled, the canoe was safely strapped to the roof of the Explorer, everything else was good to go when the air conditioner decided to quite blowing air from the vents. UGH! We knew there was absolutely no way we'd make a 5 hour drive without an air conditioner. If the heat didn't kill us the complaints from the child in the backseat would. After searching the internet we found a state park with a lake (essential for the canoeing) 176 miles away. However it soon became obvious that we wouldn't be able to make it even that distance without an air conditioner. It was just too hot. So we ended up at a lake/community called Buffalo Springs a mere 20 miles outside of town. Bummer.

Of course Britton didn't know any different and he was still ecstatic about the whole thing. But it was hard for me to adjust to the new scenario. I could say that despite the change in plans I was able to make the best of things and that the trip was still spectacular but that would be lying. The truth is it just plain sucked. It was like the ghetto version of camping. Britton couldn't leave the tent without shoes because of all the broken beer bottles in the dirt. He couldn't play in the dirt because of the numerous beds of huge red ants. I thought I would be worried he would wander off into the wild. Instead I was worried he'd get hit by a car on the road a few yards in front of our tent. There wasn't a grassy spot to be found which meant I couldn't spread a blanket in the shade for afternoon napping. Instead of silence there was heavy metal music blaring from our neighbor's vehicle. And instead of solitude we shared a measly plot of land with several other campers. They were in such close proximity that we could hear the conversations they were having in their tents.

But there were a few redeeming moments. Like I said Britton didn't know any different and he thoroughly enjoyed himself. It's hard not to find joy when you're camping with a child. It's just better, kind of like the way Christmas seems to be so much better when a child is involved. Their excitement is just plain contagious. And then there was the canoeing, a new experience for me. I was a bit timid at first, frightened of the rocking and afraid Britton might tumble into the water, but once we were steadily making our way down the lake, the wind blowing my hair, the sun on my cheeks, the noticeable strength in my muscles as I plunged and rowed, plunged and rowed, it was, well, addicting, exhilarating. And it made me feel downright giddy. And of course the most important part of it all was simply having time to be together, away from everything else. Trey has been so busy lately that I've felt very disconnected from him. It was nice having a weekend with no computers, no cell phones, and plenty of smores.

Although I didn't get my cool mountain air, my grassy shade, my solace, my silence, I did get plenty of laughter, hiking, canoeing, and peeing in the grass. Oh yes, and the campfires. I definitely got the campfires too. And isn't that what camping is all about...well that and the smores.


Blogger deirdre said...

I haven't been camping in years, but I truly believe that one of the best foods in the world is roasted marshmallows. Add a little chocolate to that. . . mmmmm.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Deb R said...

Nothing can be all bad when there's a laughing child and s'mores.

(Hope you can get the air conditioner fixed soon though!)

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You peed in the grass? Awesome.

I'm sorry you couldn't go too far but happy you made the best of it.

8:48 PM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

michelle, you win the prize in making the best of things... in enjoying whatever is happening, and in painting a beautiful picture for us. from the absent air conditioning, to the broken glass, to the loud conversations, to the lack of grass, to the cars whizzing dangerously by... what grace you have to kindly endure all this so your son is free to enjoy his innocent enjoyment. you're such a great mom! i hope you get a fabulous camping trip sometime soon. you and trey more than deserve one!

9:47 PM  
Blogger twistedsoda said...

there is just something about campfire smoke that puts me in a different realm. I love the smell, I wallow in it! You didn't get your wished trip but it sounds like it all worked out in the end!!!

10:16 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

i love that you made the best of things and that Britton helped shift your perspective.

i also love that you called it ghetto camping! ;)

another thing i loved is your secret on my blog. got a huge smile out of me and a nod of sisterhood. Ya Ya!!

love to you,

10:35 PM  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

Ooh -- sorry to hear it! That sort of irritation can really derail me. I'm not always such a go-with-the-flow person. I'm glad you were still able to enjoy yourself. You made the right call -- road trips in the heat with no air conditioning? Miserable!

12:02 AM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

Even though it sucked for you, I'm glad you were able to pick out moments that were great despite. I've never understood why people come to 'nature' and junk it up just like they would their own front yard.
I'm glad you got time together as a family ~ we don't get that very much around here and it would be fun.

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like quite an adventure! i'd have had a tought time rebounding from the dissappoinmtment too, so don't feel bad. especially in the heat...bad combination. glad you could manage to squeeze out as much joy as you could.

4:01 AM  
Blogger ESB said...

yes, it sounds like you definitely made the best of it; i'm not sure i would have been able to! the last time i went camping, in 1977 (!), was a disaster....we were in Death Valley, CA and i was so afraid of all the scorpions and red ants and snakes that i slept in the CAR, despite the 100 plus heat...

4:12 AM  
Blogger Living Part Deux said...

Oh, that does suck. But I'm glad you were able to salvage your spirit and enjoy the days in spite of the disappointment!

5:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What! Broken glass? That is crazy. I am so sorry hon, that sucks but like you said, at least you had your moments. Yes, camping with kids is a riot. Mine always turn like primal animals. Wild children in their nature jungle, lol.

5:47 AM  
Blogger baylor said...

Glad you could find some good moments during your trip! I am sure Britton must have had a blast!


7:03 AM  
Blogger melba said...

I love camping, but Sean is not such a big fan. For some reason though (I don't remember why) I was just talking to Ethan about camping and how much fun it is and that when Maggie is just a little big, big like him, we will go camping with Auntie Re (Sean's sister who goes all the time) I have been getto camping in the heat and it does suck! I went with my sister and a bunch of her married friends with about 10 kids. I lasted one day and then just wanted to go home.

Oh, I almost forgot...
I mailed a book to my niece yesterday and when I told the post person it was a book he said there is a special book rate so instead of the package costing $4 it cost $2. I thought everyone should know for the journal project and save some money!

7:24 AM  
Blogger Turquoise CRO said...

Mmmmm Smores! I haven't tried canoeing! The last time I was on a lake, was in a paddleboat in 99o heat!!! My husband and I couldn't hardly make it back in time!!!lol I'm soooo Glad Britton had a good time and Trey and you got some time too!

8:27 AM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

making the best of it indeed. glad Britton didn't know any difference really...and that you did have moments of fun in the midst of it all.
hopefully you can get away for some mountain air soon!

8:41 AM  
Blogger tara dawn said...

I'm finally getting a chance to catch up on all your latest blogs. First, I'm sorry that the trip was a bit disappointing...but laughter and campfires, smores and canoeing...simple pleasures that I'm so glad you got to experience. Secondly, I absolutely loved your post on finding God in the bathtub. As in so many previous posts of yours, I can definitely relate. Perhaps the next time I find myself needing to cry and scream and shut out the rest of the world, I will hop into my own empty bathtub. That was such an inspiring story, and a wonderful reminder for me today of the presence of a power (God) so much greater than myself.
As always, your writing is beautiful. And I LOVE the new tattoo!
Hugs and love,

10:00 AM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

sorry to hear about the
change of plans
but glad to hear
that you were able to
make the best of it...


10:43 AM  
Blogger mayseek life said...

all in all-i'd say your trip was a success.... altough you had the "perfect" trip in mind -life occurred and you experienced it. now you can sing from john lennons beautiful boy song " life is just what happens to you,
while your busy making other plans"
with this in mind-it'a all good!

1:08 PM  
Blogger megg said...

They don't DO S'Mores in the UK. I'm going to go into withdrawl! Someday I hope we can go canoeing together - it's one of my loves!

1:35 PM  
Blogger lovegreendog said...

it's so about the s'mores for us too. i'm glad you reveled in the highlights.

and the canoe, oh it feels so good once you settle in eh?

6:02 PM  
Blogger dani said...

wow, how hot is it there? what a pity - try again for the paradise spot you were intending on SOON. but how very cool of you to still get a buzz out of where you ended up.

6:31 PM  
Blogger J's Mommy said...

good for you for seeing the silver lining!!

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer (she said) said...

Thank you for not pretending to have totally liked something you didn't. And thank you for showing us the parts that felt good. I've been thinking a lot about how much easier it is to hold the nice stuff and the not nice stuff instead of trying to pretend the negative things aren't there. This goes for events or for feelings or my own actions. Your response to your trip shows me that you're doing this work here. As always, I am impressed and grateful :-)

9:29 AM  

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