Public Service Announcement
As I informed my Notify List, I have updated my bio page. Also, check out the newest Storyteller contribution!
High: Got a letter from Michael yesterday! See his update box, at the bottom...
Low: Work tedium. But only for another day, and then vacation!
Boot camp is "worse than braces". Heh.
Nibblin' on sponge cake,
watchin' the sun bake;
All of those tourists covered with oil.
Jimmy Buffet - "Margaritaville"
Who I Read
Yesterday Calvin and I finally got our butts in gear and started getting the camping stuff together. In my opinion, we have a *ton* of stuff, but we need and use it all, so I guess we're not being excessive.
We do camp in relative comfort, and I'm glad we have all the stuff. Our tent is big enough to sleep six, although there's just three of us (plus Kye - we're leaving Gadget and Gypsy with Calvin's mom). We have a folding picnic table, and a sun shower we can hang from a tree. We have air mattresses. We have an upright burner and a cookstove, and tons of cooking/eating utensils. We even bought a couple of inflatable boats, but I don't think we'll be bringing them this time.
Our intention is to rent a "bit-bit boat" (that being Calvin's impersonation of the boat's motor). Camping at Big Lake is supposed to be quite good. I've never caught and consumed my own fish before, so I hope we're successful this time out. I keep getting regaled with tales of Calvin and the kids' experience with eating fresh-caught fish - "before they met me", of course. Seems like *all* the good stuff happens then. ~grin~
We were going to rent a couple of ATV's, but discovered that it costs $200 per day for a pair of them. Fuhgettaboudit.
This will be the third year that we've all gone camping together. We made the major camping purchases the first year, and I naively thought that the initial gear-gathering expense would be the final gear-gathering expense. Hah. Every subsequent year has seen us purchasing from Popular Outdoor Outfitters. Target. K-Mart. Anyplace that sells camping gear. Fishing gear. Outdoor gear.
We're obsessed with gear. And I'm the worst of us, I think.
Last night we did make a few necessary purchases. A new air mattress to replace the one we gave to AB. Which of course necessitated that we purchase an air pump (no more foot pump for us! It inflates a queen-sized air mattress in one minute!). More tent stakes (we always manage to lose a few every year). Dirt-colored pillow cases (we ruin pillow cases every year, too). A propane stove to replace the camp stove the contractors destroyed during the HIPFH(tm). I lingered by the quad camp chairs, but womanfully denied myself. I hesitated at the teaki-torches, but purchased the much less expensive citronella candles instead. I paused in front of the outdoor fireplace kit, but reminded myself that the campsites invariably have fire pits.
It's an illness.
My dream is to have one of those camping trailers. You know, the kind you tow behind a truck. Stuff it with all your gear, keep it packed up, and the only thing you'd have to organize is food. Instead, we have all our gear scattered throughout the garage, and we have to hunt it down and organize it for the entire week leading up to our trip. It's annoying. But by the time we get *back* from an extended camping trip, the last thing we want to do is unpack and store the gear away in an organized fashion. No, we just want to offload and then hit the shower as quickly as possible. Calvin's upbringing dictates that the truck is unpacked *before* anybody goes anywhere. Which is good, I guess, but hard when all you want to do is de-grub yourself.
The whole family is looking forward to this trip with a great deal of anticipation. We'll miss Michael's presence, of course, but the prospect of relaxing, fishing, and just hanging out together puts grins on our faces just thinking about it. I find that I actually *enjoy* cooking in camping conditions (I think I'm a freak). And I've always loved sleeping in a tent. The only down side to that is having to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
With just the three of us, and only one dog, this should be a low-stress deal. Last year was horrid, with Michael and Marie sniping at each other, and the dogs vomiting all the way there and back in the truck, *plus* making messes in the tent. Gah. I don't think anybody enjoyed themselves. This time will be different.
And I'm not jinxing it by saying that.
So! We're headed out Sunday the 1st, and coming back on Friday the 6th. I will not be updating during that time (unless I can plug into a tree somewhere?), but rest assured that many pictures will be taken, and a full update of the week's adventures will be posted immediately following the trip.
I'll be putting up July's Storyteller topic before we head out, so you'll have something to keep you occupied until we get back. So with that said...
Begin radio silence... and (for my US readers) have a great 4th of July!
Michael's Update Box
Got a letter yesterday from Michael:
Thanx for the letter. It made me very happy, but very very sad, too. Heh, it reminds me that someone somewhere still cares for me, cuz no one here does. Man, Teakwoods sounds soo good right now. (Editor's note: in on of our letters to him, we talked about going to Teakwoods for dinner) Thanks for (girlfriend's) cards, too. They helped out a lot. Keep 'em coming! Tell everyone to write, and I mean everyone too! My knee is still hurting a bit but not too bad. I wish I could be there to celebrate the 4th with you guys. Tell Grandmother and Grandfather that I loved the card but the envelope got ruined before I could write their address down. God!!! I miss you guys. This sux worse than braces did. I want out... but the right way, ya know? Tell Mo (Marie) that I'll write her a letter soon, but I can't just yet. Kinda have to write on the fly, if ya know what I mean. :-( I'd better get going now, before I get caught. I love you guys... I love you too, Mo-face! :-)
Anxiously awaiting graduation,