Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What I learned camping--part 1

We went camping over the weekend. I used to love camping, but we have not been for almost six years. Why? Because this always happens.
We were soaked, muddy, and had no hope of getting dry, warm or clean. However, as I sat under the raised back door of the van, I learned a valuable lesson. I watched my dear hubby try to keep the fire burning as the rain poured for what felt like all night. At the van, I buttered bread, placed a piece of cheese between them and put them in our pie irons. Then I ran to place them in the fire before retreating once again to the relative dryness of the van.

Hubby would shield the fire from the rain, occasionally turning the pie irons over until I ran out to retrieve them. After running back and forth enough times to feed my family grilled cheese sandwiches we were both wet, cold and ready to go home. I mean, come on! The best part about camping is sitting around the campfire at night and telling stories and it didn't look like that was going to happen.

Once everyone had eaten something, hubby gave up on the fire after banking it the best he could. He still hoped it would stop raining and we would be able to salvage this family trip.

We hid for a while under a tent with our friends around their picnic table. Huddled, wet, and trying to pretend like we didn't want to run away. The rain stopped after a while and we discovered it was only 8:00 pm. Lots of night still to go, lots of muddy water running through our camp ground. We returned to our fire (our friends did not try to start one before the rain hit) and were surprised that it only took a minute to revive it. Actually, my 10 year old had it going again before I dragged myself over to view the carnage.

With the newly flickering flames, our spirits lifted and before we  knew it, we were enjoying ourselves in spite of what had come before. We even roasted marshmallows and had a second dinner.
So, how does this apply to writing? What was the epiphany that kept me from crying in the rain?
You can never give up on your dreams. When the rains and winds hit, and they will, you have to protect that fire within you. Sometimes others will have to help, but eventually the rain stops. A little fanning and new fuel and your fire can burn hot once again.

And you know what? That night was just the beginning of a wonderful weekend. If we had given up and headed home, we would have missed out on some really beautiful things. Stay tuned and I'll share some of them with you over the next few posts.


  1. Man, I've been trying to go camping since March. I only have my son every-other weekend, so that cuts the days in half. Then it's either too cold, or it's raining.

    Then I planned to go on June 11, but his mom has him that day and won't budge, dangit. Maybe I can still yoink him and we'll hike out and set up in the dark (ugh -- it's a backpack trip, not car camping).

    I'd almost take a rain-trip!

    You're right. Don't give up. There's always an excuse to quit.

    - Eric

  2. It's definitely been raining in my world lately. Great analogy. My family and I camp every year October-November, and if it's not the rain trying to ruin things, it's the heat and fire ants. But we plod on, as we all should do.

  3. Rain is one thing, but what about roasting heat with giant Mormon crickets all over the ground and in the trees. I have a deep understanding of the crickets and the seagulls story.

  4. Cute story. Camping in the rain is definitely not how I like to spend my long weekend. Though where I live, our May long weekend typically ends up with rain or snow . . . and yet the crazy campers are still out there. No thanks!

  5. Yay for the fire! And the marshmallows! I'm sorry for the rain, but you're right, never give up. =)

  6. That's such a wonderful sentiment!

    I kind of like camping when it's bad weather, because then I can act crazy and claim I'm doing it to lift camp morale. Also, snow camping is fun. Just camping is fun.

    I also enjoy telling REALLY scary stories in the middle of the night and then scaring myself silly because they're mainly about people who camp in the middle of nowhere *shrugs* I weird, I know.

    Now I really want to go CAMPING ;)

  7. Don't you just love it when you see writing lessons in a family camping trip? I'm glad your husband kept at it. He won man points that night, I bet. :)

  8. Too wet or too hot is why I haven't gone camping in years.

    Glad you survived it! And got a writing lesson out of it all. ;)

  9. Funny how everything comes back around to writing, isn't it? :)

    Lovely post, good lady. Glad you had a fun weekend of camping!


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