It’s the 4th of July already? It seems as though I got done shoveling the driveway for the umpteenth time just last week. But here we are, out of school, out of work, and celebrating the way our family has for years, with a gathering at our camp.
Packing for only three days and two nights might be a trivial task for those with a more normal family. With mine, medication bags, Epi-pens and special foods to avoid allergy contamination fill our car before we can put in the sunscreen. This was the first year an extended mini-van was almost not able to accommodate all our gear. It annoys me that we’re full with essentials before we even put in the fun stuff. Now that we have everything we need, there’s no room for everything we want.
Staples packed? Check. Clothes and sun supplies? Check. Excitement? Not so much. You see, I’m the furthest from a lounge,-nap,-and-soak-up-the-sun-kind of girl. I’m more of a gotta-keep-busy-doing-something-productive type of vacationer. A trip to camp is the furthest thing from enjoyable or relaxing for me. Quite the contrary. Have you ever seen an animal cooped up for too long in a small pen? That’s me at my family’s favorite place. My quandary, I know.
As my luck would have it, the weather was subpar. It’s actually a running joke (proven fact) that the weather will take a turn for the worse if I’m planned for a visit. I’m frowned upon from wearing shorts on this journey and forbidden to even mention a swimsuit. And yet, here I am in the car with the whole family for a family adventure for a family oriented holiday. Yeah.
So we arrive, more than an hour after we’ve set out. We’ve driven out of cool and overcast temps and have entered warmer and sunnier skies. My hope goes up a notch. There’s nothing worse in my world than a cold and damp destination. We start the unpacking process. The wind is now whipping and within minutes my presence has signaled Mother Nature to shift; the temps drop, the sky darkens and I become miserable. What to do? Let’s take a road trip about an hour away to a popular tourist attraction by the water so we can walk up and down the crowded sidewalks looking through the trinket stores that are still selling the exact same stuff they did thirty odd years ago. It means getting back in the blessed car with Those People.
We split up in two vehicles, inheriting a cousin that is around my boys’ ages. They proceed to goof off and talk non-stop despite numerous requests and threats. If I had a nickel for every time someone said “Staaaaahhhhhpp it!” I’d be too rich and retired to blog….
Needless to say, I was surprised and almost annoyed the weather was better there than camp and I had my sweats and sweatshirt on. It felt nice and warm on the face but now I’m overheated. I just can’t win.
The visit ate a few hours but was pleasant. The ride back ‘home’ to camp was even worse than the ride there since each boy bought a toy gun that vibrates and has sound effects.
“Boys, keep it down!”
“”Kay.” [Giggle, laugh, shove, complaint]
“Knock it off back there.”
From one of the girls: “Mom, he keeps kicking the back of the seat!”
“Do not make me stop this car!”
“I didn’t do it, Mom!”
**45 seconds of tolerable noise that increases***
“I said put the toys away. Keep it down. Do you hear me?”
“Yeah!” [Gun noises and annoying whining sounds from all three boys]
To my husband: “Where are the wineries? I need a drink.”
“So do I. As soon as we step foot out of this car….”
It goes without saying that everyone is over stimulated, over tired and over hungry. The weather goes through a rapid bipolar episode because either it was blowing over quickly or it couldn’t keep up with where I had landed. Warm, sun, overcast, tornado-like winds, grey ominous clouds, rain (guarantee not to rain by professional weathermen sadly disproved), and drop in temp. We’re in, we’re out. I’m done.