LIFE CAN BE FUNNY BUT NOT NECESSARILY HUMOROUS – Part One Of Adventures in Camping, Road Trips and Vacations

CAMPING AS A CHILD!
I have been on several long road trips with various friends, family and boyfriends and five trips that I went on by airplane and each of those has various degrees of what I would call “success”. The ultimate definition of success, to me, would be that the trip, you notice I didn’t use the word “vacation”, would be that all of those involved had a good time on the “trip”. I have found that trips, and or vacations, are rarely enjoyed equally by all of those involved in them and if you arrive at the end of one of these adventures, which I think is a much better description most of the time, and everyone involved is still talking to each other and has a mostly favorable review of the shared experience I call it a success. I did spend a lot of my younger life taking these kinds of “adventure experiences” with my family at first, friends second, next a combination of friends and family and the later ones with friends and not usually any of my family. When I was young and living at home my family went on a lot of camping trips to places about two to three hours from where we lived, to the coast or to various mountain lakes that usually involved us meeting up with friends of my parents who also traveled there with their family. I remember mostly having a good time on those trips, they were usually composed of three parts, part one was the trip there. The trip there varied in its fun factor based on the kind of trip we were taking as a family. The ones we took to the coast or the mountains usually entailed traveling in a pickup with a camper on it and my sister and I spent the travel time in the camper while my parent’s occupied the cab of the pickup. That was the best travel arrangement for that kind of trip because it was rather crowded in the front seat of the pickup if my sister and I sat on it with our parent’s. We had a ten acre piece of property with a trailer on it that we stayed in when we went there that we drove a scout to that had seats in the front for our parent’s and a bench seat in the back that my sister and I rode in along with the little dog and our cat that we took to the place with us. When we took the camper the dog and cat rode in it with my sister and I. When we rode in the camper my sister and I had various activities we did to amuse ourselves, as any self-respecting children would do. We only got to have “Nestle’s Quik” chocolate drink mix when we went camping, when we were at home our mother was kind of a “health freak” and would only buy “Ovaltine” which was very boring, but Quik was a very chocolate tasting drink and especially good when we ate spoonfuls of it dry out of the container and of course we thought we were very sneaky when we would steal spoon-fulls of it out of the container when we were traveling alone in the camper. Like our mom didn’t notice that some was missing when she took it out to make us chocolate milk when we got to our destination but apparently she didn’t care so she never said anything and of course we thought she didn’t notice. We also did things to entertain ourselves when we were in the camper by ourselves, like one of us would hide under the sleeping bag on the top bunk of the camper and hold our little dog’s tail and the other one of us would blow in his face and he would snarl and growl like he was going to “kill” the kid blowing in his face but because the other one of us was protected from being bit by the dog by holding his tail from inside the sleeping bags neither of us got bit and it provided us with major fun. I now in retrospect feel the dog was probably enjoying it also because it would have been pretty easy for him to have broken free and bit one of us yet he never did, he probably enjoyed the attention while we thought we were really getting away with something. Before we had the camper we went camping in a big tent. I do remember one camping trip that we only had that tent for that we made before my parents bought a camper because they said that me and my sister were not particularly fond of having to go to the bathroom in the woods as well as we weren’t happy about how cold the tent got at night and didn’t want to get out of our sleeping bags because it was so cold. The tent I remember we camped in when it was the only housing available in camp was a very large tent that actually had a wood burning stove in it because I was told later it was the tent my father and his buddies used to go elk hunting in and they often hunted in places where the temperature got to be around freezing much of the time. I do remember that the stove was used when we camped in it but only in the early part of the evening so that my mother could use it to cook dinner and then to warm the tent up before we all went to bed in our sleeping bags. After we went to bed no one got up and kept the fire going in the stove that I remember so it was really cold in the morning. The only trip I remember much about in that very large elk camp tent was one in which my sister must have been pretty young because she still liked having a bottle of milk but I don’t think it was her only source of food. My grandfather, on my mother’s side, always went with us on all of our camping trips from when I was a little kid and until I quit going camping with the family as a grown teenager, was sleeping in the big tent with the family and my little sister woke the whole tent up wanting a bottle of milk sometime after we had all gone to sleep. My mother tried to ignore her but she kept yelling for “more cold milk” and I am guessing it was so cold in the tent no one wanted to get up and get her a bottle and she was also old enough she didn’t really need it. After what seemed like a fairly long time my mother yelled out “there isn’t any milk” and to that my little sister replied “no more cold milk”? My mother said “yes there is no more milk.” My sister then said “milk all gone?” “Yes the milk is all gone.” “Oh” my sister said and went to sleep. This story lives in infamy in my family and for many years my sister was not very amused by it, though considering she was probably two years old at the most I would think she would have been able to see the humor in the story but she didn’t and I am not sure she even does now that she is 50. I am not sure why as I think it is a very cute story and there have been many an incident in my life since them that was solved about as easy as saying “milk all gone” for other kinds of things. Don’t we wish that a whole heck of a lot more situations were as easily solved as this one had been? I guess humor is in the eye of the beholder. After this trip my parents bought a camper for the pickup and they set up a smaller tent that could be used as a play area during the day and then we all slept in the camper at night which had propane heating and a small indoor port-a-potty for us kids. As we got a little older we started to enjoy the freedom of having the tent to ourselves at night and slept in it, especially if we had brought a friend or two along. Then after we got quite a bit older we started getting in trouble for staying up late in the tent or sneaking out of it. Funny how things change!

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