Mike planned an early March camping trip this year.
One might consider plans of that nature fairly ill advised and perhaps a bit brash (after all, even if one could with certainty count on March going out like a lamb, the 11th is unquestionably closer to the “coming in like a lion” portion of the month).
Why, this very day (just two days post campout) has raged, and stormed, and ranted against spring with not only wind and snow, but furious bouts of hail!
And yet, as is typically the case, Mike proved himself to be wiser than the lot of us as the weather was as warm as one could possibly ask of an early March weekend around here (and kept everyone from dealing with the gnats and mosquitos that plague campers later in the season).
I only came for the campfire portion of the night (then returned home with the three little ones), but the kids loved it. They roasted hotdogs and marshmallows and something called “woofums”. They set up tents, started fires, climbed rocks, and went on a long bike ride. They visited with their grandparents (who also came for the evening), talked grandpa into a story before he left, ate the rare treat that is grandma’s dried pears (they are heavenly), saw a rabbit or two, and even counted 20 plus buffalo. (Oh all right, “bison” then, but I greatly prefer to call them buffalo. Incorrect as it may be. In fact, the only time I find any real use for the term “bison” is when asking our kids what the dad buffalo said to the little boy buffalo as he sent him off to school: “Bi, son”. And even there you can see I’ve just allowed them to be used all interchangeably.)
The amount of work that goes into something like this is just . . . utterly ridiculous. But, after awhile, you sort of accept that there is no real logic that could justify almost any adventure with kids if weighed properly against the accompanying before and after work. And when you realize that, you can more freely, shrug, sigh a bit at the pile of sleeping bags and tents still sitting on your kitchen table, and toss logic aside – allowing the utterly ridiculous -- because how else do your kids get to see buffalo (stop it – I already told you: I know) while stiff from a night of tent sleeping, covered with a layer of dirt, and with the night-before’s marshmallows stuck to their fingertips?
There isn’t any other way.
And thank goodness for Mike planning these things because . . . left to myself . . . I’m afraid I might . . . accidentally . . . side with logic a bit too frequently. And then where would we be? I’d have had five less loads of smoky laundry to deal with, but there would have been no sitting around dinner on Sunday reminiscing about everyone’s favorite part of the campout. (Gayle, I think someone – maybe Anders? – did actually say, “Grandma’s pears”.)
(And good heavens! Do notice what is happening here! Other than the few moments when the truck headlights were still on, I was getting pictures with no flash, in the dead of night, with just a lantern and low fire for light!!! They are grainy to be sure. And learning to use a flash should maybe happen someday. But that’s beside the point. The point is: they were possible! It’s the first time I’ve really put my camera’s ISO capabilities to the test. Bless my camera’s little heart. It didn’t disappoint.)