Tuesday, June 23, 2009

An abbrieviated camping trip

Toby took Friday off, so we packed up the car, canoe and dog for a little trip to Elk Neck. As one of Maryland's state parks, we were familiar with the set up, so it took little to settle in.

There's something about the setting up of a tent that inspires awe in my children. Maybe I should take them to a barn-raising...

We went for a 2-mile walk down to the water and had a grand ole' time. I think Thor may have enjoyed himself more than anyone.

Abi was really excited to spot the black rat snake - as was everyone else!

In the evening we did the whole campfire-cooking-washing-"I can't sleep"thing. Which is cool - all part of the camping experience...until...bedtime.

One by one, the kids fell asleep. Thor settled down to sleep on Noah's mat. Ma & Pa closed our eyes.

First, there was the buzzing. The buzzing of one or two die-hard mosquitoes. Didn't worry, though they were a little annoying. Then, Noah started crying. In his sleep. Apparently, he does this regularly ( I don't tend to hear much in my sleep, and Toby is a much lighter sleeper than I). He eventually settles down in our bed, in Daddy's arms. So sweet.

The next thing I know, my back, shoulder and neck are being lacerated by my son's toenails as he proceeds to climb me in his sleep. Some adjustments are made. Drifting off again, still with the buzzing. Sheets over head to protect face. Next, someone needs a wee-wee. Back to bed, laughing with Toby over the ludicrousness of it all. Toby gets hiccoughs and curses my good name for giving them to him. Almost wet myself.

Several more ups and downs in the night. Finally give up sleep around 5.30am, when Anna announces, "It's morning! Everyone, get up!" As we comply, we notice a change in our youngest child:

Stupid, stinking bugs have disfigured my baby!!!
Abigail didn't fair much better, Anna had a fair few bites (though her face seemed to be protected by pillow and hair) and Noah was harboring several ticks upon his little person. Blech.

While preparing for breakfast and the new day, we notice the sky. Grey. Dull. Forbidding. Not good. We decide to start packing up the tent and load the car, with a view toward launching the canoe before lunch.

Thunder rolls, at first distantly, but growing in persistence. Hmm. Perhaps the canoe-thing won't happen? Concentrate on the tent. Finally, at 8.30am, the tent is empty (though still fully erect), the kids are enjoying a Haley Mills movie in the car, and the heavens open. So much for trying to avoid packing up a wet tent. By 9am, we are wet to the bone and the car reeks of wet dog, but all is packed and everyone's laughing as we head for home.

I'm not sure if we had fun because of our calamities or in spite of them, but it was definitely God's grace to us that we enjoyed our trip, regardless of the circumstances. We're even looking forward to the next trip (with a few more bottles of bug spray).


Anonymous said...

What a trooper you guys are! The mosquitoes are horrible at our house too, so I can't imagine how bad they were there.

kathy.wilson said...

I heard once that nothing bonds people better than going through a tragedy together. The pattern seems to be tragedy... two weeks pass, allowing time to process the event... bonded! The man then joked that there seems to be no greater tragedy than CAMPING to bond people together!

Kelly said...

If that's the case, then get ready for some tragedy-bonding, baby! And bring extra mosquito repellant...

Anonymous said...

They make an off repelent that you can clip on your clothes without spraying all over yourself. Just put it on a string and tie it around their necks! LOOSE like a necklace! Poor babies! Grandma loves you all!!