yesterday, we returned from a camping trip. it was fun and relaxing and wonderful and all that. this was our second time at this particular camp ground, since we liked it so much the first time we were there, 2 years ago. this time, we reserved a site that backed up against the creek, which was awesome. the only negatives were the burn ban that prevented us from having a fire (again), the fact that our entire family forgot to bring pillows, and the mosquitos – but i’ll get to that bit later.
we arrived mid-afternoon and got things set up, explored a bit, and then decided to take a walk down the road to lake wenatchee state park. we wound up finding this little trail that went down to the lake. there were some really nice views.yes, I took my enamel camp cup of moscato with me. when dave said, “let’s go for a walk”, i thought he meant just around the campground…
after our little walk, we came back to camp and cooked dinner – brats and hot dogs with salad, then washed the dishes and explored the creek a little – which actually means we spent half an hour skipping rocks… my family is incapable of being in the presence of rocks and water without partaking in this. back at camp, in the absence of the campfire, we played some uno, made some jiffy pop and hot chocolate. layla and micah decided they were tired and went to bed. and then bailey proposed playing spoons, which i’d never played before. that turned out to be a fun way to end the evening.
after an ok night of sleep (especially considering the lack of pillows and the howling wind), we got up discovered that we had been visited by mice who chewed up our paper towels, and waited about 10 years for the coffee to be ready. i always forget how long the percolator takes. by that time, everyone was up and we made eggs and bacon and sausages for breakfast, swatted a boatload of mosquitoes, then did the dishes. micah helped.
our itinerary for the day included a hike on the twin lakes trail. it wound up being about 6 miles round trip. we were a little concerned, setting out, because layla had acquired a blister on her pinky toe the day before, when she neglected to wear socks to go bowling… this, thankfully, did not turn out to be a problem. micah got tired and whiny on the way up, of course, but we pep talked him through, and eventually gave him control of the dog, which helped immensely. maybe because bonez pulled, and maybe because it was a good responsibility/distraction for him.
i’ve spent years fine-tuning my camping beverage preference. i hate beer, but would prefer the convenience of the bottles or cans, so i’ve long resorted to wine coolers, which are ok… but really, i’m a wine girl, but a bottle of wine and wine glasses don’t really suit the whole camping in the dirt atmosphere… and so i have landed on boxed wine in camp cups. and given that box wine is more than just franzia now, it’s a decent option. i was quite happy in my choice. (and really, i’ve never met a moscato i didn’t like.)
morning started early, as shane and bailey were heading out before the rest of us to get back to town for her cheer practice. coffee, eggs, bacon, sausage repeat for breakfast, and breaking down some of the things to send them in shane’s car.
it was at breakfast that we realized that layla’s mosquito bites were not reacting typically… her upper lip was swollen fat, she had a huge knot on her forehead, and the one on the side of her knee, in addition to being crusted to her pants, was the size of a tennis ball, red, hot, and painful. not to mention, she couldn’t straighten her leg. so we put in a call to the nurse line at the pediatrician to see if see if we should just give her benadryl or bring her in. the oozing bit made them a little nervous, especially since her arthritis meds suppress her immune system, so they made her an appointment at 3:30 that afternoon, and i gave her some tylenol since they were hurting (not itching, interestingly) quite a bit.
before heading back down out of the mountains, we stopped off in leavenworth for some lunch (and listened to micah whine because his beef frank didn’t look like a normal hot dog), grabbed a sticker for our cooler, and then headed out…
and straight to the groomer’s. i had, the previous week, had the good fortune of being able to schedule an appointment for our hairy menace the day we were coming home from camping! so we dropped off the filthy dog and then headed home. a little bit of unloading and unpacking, and layla and i headed to the doctor. generally, the only bad issues people have with bug bites is allergic reactions or skin infections. this doctor determined that she probably had both going on. and so, we had to go pick up medicines, and then pick up the now clean dog! it was kind of a long, crazy day.
but while we were camping, i got to thinking about why i like camping so much. yes, i enjoy getting away… i like the mountains, trees, hiking, etc. i like campfires and cooking food on sticks… but what i realized, while sitting at the table playing cards with my family in the middle of the afternoon, is that it’s the only time i ever feel DONE enough to truly relax and enjoy the moment. when you’re camping, if you’ve eaten, put the food away, and washed the dishes, you’re done. there’s not really anything else you have to or even SHOULD do. at home, my to-do list is a mile long, every day. and that’s just the daily maintenance to keep our lives and living quarters from dissolving into chaos – not even the huge list of things to fix around the house, rooms to declutter, clothes to mend, things to buy, things to plan, places to go, people to visit, etc. not that any of those things are bad, per se, they are just there. and you are supposed to be doing them. sure, you don’t HAVE to do them, but if i sit still for a day, the make-up work i have to do the next day, is outrageous. catching up laundry and dishes, tidying, vacuuming up all the pet hair and dirt tracked in from outside. i could be on my feet, working at home from morning til night and still never be DONE. and my mentality doesn’t let me truly relax unless i’m done. i don’t know what that says about me… maybe i’m a type A personality, or an overachiever, or just a stressed-out person, i don’t know. but i have trouble enjoying things when i know i SHOULD be doing something else. as long as there is clutter in that one room, that’s what i should be doing, instead of relaxing or playing or watching tv or reading a book or whatever it is…
i’m probably doing myself and my family a major disservice. but i’m not sure how to balance it. i could let things go, and i have – when i’m working, there just isn’t enough time or energy to do all of both. but then i’m cranky because stuff is messy. i feel like a failure if the laundry is behind or if there isn’t decent food for dinner. i feel embarrassed to have people see my house dirty. i feel so much calmer when things are tidy and caught up (at least within reason), but then there’s no time to do anything fun…
not sure what the answer is. other than camping.
maybe we’ll just do a whole lot of camping.
i think the moscato helps, too.