When it comes to camping, I’m in the Grinch camp


     There’s two things, I believe, that aren’t all they are cracked up to be – one being any gelatin dessert, and the other is camping.  I am never seduced by either, especially camping, despite my family’s repeated attempt to entice me to go.

     “Mom – dad and I are going to go camping tomorrow.  Would you PLEASE go?”

     “Will there be tents and camping food?”

     “There sure will.”

     “Then no. Sorry.  I don’t camp.”

“Grinch,” my daughter said.

Camping is the worst invention ever – more so than the rotary engine – ten times worse than red dye number four.  And, here’s what I don’t get – we live two miles from the campground, but, they wanted to “get away from it all.”  See, when I want to get away from it all, I usually want go where I can’t drive home to check my email – like Borneo or to 20,000 years ago to the Stone Age.  Now, if we were cavemen, it would be easy to get away from it all. The caveman would pack up his cave wife, cave children and cave dog, leave the cave, walk fifty feet and camp.  “Here looks good,” he would say.  “Who wants a s’more?”

I doubt the caveman went to Cave-Mart for lanterns, grilling tools, and bug spray – no, he just grabbed his fire-making kit and said, “Let’s get away from this dank cave for a while.”

     “That would be nice, dear,” cave wife would reply.

     Maybe I have it all wrong.  Maybe Mrs. Caveman responded more like I would.  “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.  You want to take our children away from the safety of this cave and subject them to the dangers outdoors?  What about pterodactyls?  Huh, genius? And s’mores!  What are you thinking?  Have you looked at their teeth lately?  Junior looks like something out of ‘Deliverance.’” 

     I like Mrs. Caveman.  Anyway, my family and I compromised. I would temper my ‘Grinchy-ness’ and visit by day but stay home nights surfing the net, while my family sat around a campfire staring at each other wishing they could come home.

Saturday, I snickered at the image on my computer – a giant red mass on Doppler Radar.  “This ought to be good,” I gloated as I watched the blob move closer to the campground.  “I wonder how long it will take them to realize that I had it right, as usual.”

Then, as the rain began, something incredible happened

and much to my fright,

my anti-camping heart grew three times that night.

Camping wasn’t about mosquitoes, or damp clothes,

or soggy sandwiches, or being bored.

No, camping was about family,

and bonding, creating memories

and then my heart soared.

I felt all warm and fuzzy

and wished I were right there picking s’mores off a stick.

I knew I had to get there,

and I had to get there quick.

Then came the thunder,

 a lighting flash,

and then another came yet.

And then I said, “Nah.

They’re idiots.

Let them get wet.”