Tuesday, August 05, 2008
July held my Parents' 40th Anniversary, and we surprised them with a camping trip to Flathead Lake, MT. None of us had been there before, but it was a central point for us to meet and have nobody to see but us for 4 days. All but my youngest brother, Craig, could be there, and we missed him and his family. Before the trip, my sister presented unsuspecting Mom and Dad with a beautiful scrapbook of old camping picture from our childhood, and we had written our favorite memories:
"I loved it when Mom pulled out the old radio and found an oldies station. We would sing and dance around the campfire, not caring who heard us. I remember the little bags of Fritos. Mom would carefully open the top of the bag, pour on some chili and toppings, and hand us a fork. I thought this was ingenious. My mom was a genius. I loved our VW camper van. It was awesome. It was my 2nd home. I loved going to sleep with the sound of rain on the roof, and I loved waking up and peeking over the loft bed (carefully, because I had the heights thing even then) to see , smiling up at me. I didn't like the taste of the water from the pump sink, but I thought it was really cool, anyway. I remember waiting while Mom prepped our toothbrushes there. I remember when I was very small, Dad doing something in the woods away from the site. He came back with a grin. I wondered what he had been doing, and he and Mom took me on a little walk to show me. There, not far away, was a little dug hole, a stick in the ground next to it with a forked limb, with a roll of toilet paper hanging from it. I grinned in amazement. My dad was a genius. I loved tent camping. That square, yellow tent. I loved going to sleep with everyone saying goodnight, giggling, shushing, breathing together. I still do. Remember when Shell and I were using sugar water for cheap hairspray? Bad idea when camping. We would go for walks. Mom would point out the Forget-me-nots, the Queen Anne's Lace, the Fiddle ferns, the Elderberries. I don't remember arguing or fighting while we were camping. I am sure we did. I don't remember it. The smell of pine and campfire smoke, the sound of waving tops of trees and wind through leaves and birdsong, the taste of the perfectly roasted marshmallow, or the slightly burned one, and my family, sitting around the campfire in the morning, or at night; these are a few of my favorite things. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for taking us camping. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
The last pages were a surprise invitation to the campout, and my parents were thrilled.
For slideshows of the fun, visit Anglesey Antics, and Happy Girl, with links to the right.
We will return to that lovely place!