I got a little uneasy last week when I spied my wife eyeing our pop-up camper trailer sitting idly in my daughter's former horse shed. I knew what my wife was thinking. Camping trip.
We haven't been camping all summer and I know that before the snow flies my beloved will desire to head into the tull-ees for a camping jaunt. She was brought up on camping since her dad first pitched that canvas World War II Army tent next to a trout pond just north of our house. I heard tales of fighting mosquitoes, running uphill from an errant bear and other stories that seemed to have enlivened her family.
My family never camped. On the farm, the furthest thing on your mind after baling hay all day in the summer sun was to toss a mattress on the ground and try to sleep in the Iowa summer heat and humidity. We liked our normal beds where we could open the windows and sleep without swatting bugs or having spiders crawl up our foreheads.
I've explained to my wife more than once that if God had wanted us to sleep on the ground, he wouldn't have allowed us to create motel rooms. God does have his limits as to what he will allow a human to suffer. Anyway, she never did buy that argument.
My first camping trip involved tossing a few 1x6 planks in the back of our pickup, tossing a mattress atop and heading out to a nearby campground. We pulled into the grounds where we found campers stuck next to each other like sardines in a can. There was hardly room to squeeze between our pickup and the next unit.
But, we cheerfully made room and placed our cook stove on the tailgate and enjoyed our first camping meal of half burned bratwurst. There was plenty of human activity around us and I found that sleep came hard as I listened through our camper's window to a bunch of little kids squeaking on a nearby swing set at 2 in the morning. Shouldn't they have been in bed by that time? My wife slept like a trooper.
Camping has definitely changed over those years with new innovations coming on board to make the camping exercise more human friendly. At our recent bluegrass festival I saw camp units from tents to 50-foot motor homes. Trailers featuring air conditioning, furnaces, outdoor patios and self-leveling trailers were seen across the grounds.
There were also fine looking ice fishing houses placed at the sites with satellite TV and radio dishes attached to their roof. Most I would believe also sported nice, firm mattresses inside.
Labor Day weekend is upon us this week and as we celebrate the last unofficial week of summer I'm sure we'll see the roads packed with campers heading for the great outdoors. I would doubt that any of them will be toting a green, heavy canvas Army tent to use as their abode and cans of DDT for the weekend.
My wife was eyeing our pop-up camping trailer a week ago. I think something is in the wind before the snow flies.
See you next time. Okay?