Rainy camping on Saturday Afternoon
Let’s not be so excited all the time. We don’t always have to have excess. For what is excess to some may be mere survival to others.
I thought I lost my pen again. But really, I just had it tucked into my hat. I was about to accuse one of the young kids milling about, but I’m glad I checked myself first.
On trips like this, things tend to move without you knowing.
The current scene is a local county park in the area. Our group has rented an “island” off the park for our weekend camping trip. This time of year, we usually go on a more significant trip to a farther location, but that was another covid shift. This year, I’m missing the Smokies.
We’re making the best of the day, though. There is an established shelter here with picnic tables that can supposedly fit 80 people. We’re well under that number, so we’re well spaced out.
I found a table at the far corner of the shelter to try to read a bit. I thought about putting a podcast on to zone out from the noise of the kids. I’m still not sure why there needs to be so much shouting, but when you get more than one together, they must express themselves loudly, it seems. I thought I had carved an excellent spot for myself here. Still, I found a fishing pole lying diagonally across my reading/writing space when I stepped away for a moment.
Someone else’s 10-year-old: Your hook got stuck in my hammock
10-year-old: your hook got stuck in my hammock.
Me: It’s not mine. Can you get it? It’s not mine, but I can help…
Reading and writing doesn’t isolate you in a group like this.
My kids may be a little disappointed that I did not bring their fishing poles this time. I was a little intentional about not packing things for them. I told them to pack what they needed. We got here with most of the basics.
Knowing that it would be rainy and there would be a shelter, they got “monopoly” in the car.
No toothbrush or toothpaste.
No flashlights or water bottles were packed. But they are holding down the monopoly table so hard that one of the younger kids keeps walking by saying at the top of his lungs.
“Why are you still playing!”
They answer, “because it’s a long game.”
It also apparently helps to stand at the table. My daughter and one of her friends haven’t sat down at the table for about an hour. As I looked over now, she stood on the seating bench, fully reaching over the table.
Whatever it takes, I guess.
This will be the last camping trip of this type.
The older kids are both still in the same group, but he’ll move up to the older group next year. Then the camping trips will shift a bit, and the vibes will be different. I try to personally mark moments like this for memory.
Monopoly over for my daughter. She got out of the game and gave up her banker’s duties. Walked over to me, looking very chilly since they don’t consider jackets an issue like their parents do. At least there is hot cocoa available.
I think it’s time to stop writing for now. The pen and pad will be there later but this day with the kids will not.
She just returned with her cocoa, and I may request she get another for someone else (me).
Time to hide the self-view and hang out for a bit.
Because it’s a long game.
dispatch from April 2021
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