Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Great Outdoors...

As a kid in the '70s we did a lot of things for fun. I remember my first bike with the large green banana seat, I remember those incredibly dangerous and painful glass balls on a string that you knocked together until your mother begged you to stop or you smashed your finger between them, I remember Gun Smoke, Starsky and Hutch and Chips on the television, I remember the smell of a brand new box of Crayola Crayons and I always coveted the biggest box with the built in sharpener in the back, I remember roller skates on city sidewalks. As I said previously, I had a pretty cool childhood.

One of the most vivid and wryly wonderful memories I have would also be of the family camping trips we took as youngsters. Living in town all my life (until I married the Man, that is), I simply loved the trips in the car... Wait. I always got carsick... ahem. (And still do to this day, mind you.) Ok, so the getting there was riddled with strife, hoping desperately that the winding road and too many potato chips wouldn't revolt against my young stomach and re-present itself at the most inopportune of times. However, I do remember the wonderfully liberating feeling of climbing out of the cramped back seat and running around our campsite with my sister, exploring to the furthest allowable reaches until Mom called us in for peanut butter sandwiches, or better yet C-rations that were picked up at the Salvation Army Store. I loved the campfires and the roasted marshmallows in the fresh mountain air. I don't have a whit of recollection of how it felt to sleep on the ground, if I ever got cold or sore... It was just great to be a kid in the '70s when camping out was all the rage!

I was in awe of the Coleman stove and the funny smelling lantern that hissed and sputtered into life. There were sites with a creek in them, and while it was probably unnerving for my Mom, us kids always thought those sites were the best! Colorado creeks are never ever warm, so the water was not exactly inviting, but playing with little pieces of wood to float down the current kept us busy for hours. Until of course I had to go to the bathroom...

In that light I am suddenly reminded why it is I have never wanted to go camping in my adulthood. Yes, folks - I am an incompetent outdoors-woman who cannot manage to relieve herself outside without tinkling on her feet, shoes or no shoes. Sad but true. And to all of you helpful sort who think you can give me some advice, I remember as a child standing this way and that, uphill, downwind, etc., etc. Nothing ever seemed to stop the tragedy from happening. And from a gal who absolutely loves footwear, I cannot stand by and say I will ever camp again. My wonder filled childhood memories will have to do, as will camping at the Hyatt!

I think I need a shower now.... and a martini!

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