Thursday, July 15, 2010

Camping comedown

   I have returned to the land of indoor plumbing, air conditioning and daycare (blissful daycare that I dropped my darling babies off to this morning!). I am welcomed home to a mammoth pile of laundry of truly gargantuan proportions. I think I counted 8 potential loads, but there might be more to be squeezed in. It is mind-boggling how much laundry can be accumulated in such a short span of time. I can barely step into my laundry room, with every square inch crowded with smoke-saturated articles. Dirt is ground into towels, jeans, shirts and shorts. Lake Erie sand is sprinkled in everything, but especially coated on bathing suits and beach blankets. Excuse me while I go switch over a load...

    Ahh, despite all the prep work before and clean-up after, I do love camping. Once you have set up your temporary enclave, the biggest task is to learn how to relax. Food and beverage is imbibed freely and regularly. Dishes seem to be never-ending, but somehow do not seem too taxing when done outdoors. We were at the beach every day soaking up the fresh air, sunshine and washing it all down with a hefty dose of swimming and splashing in the nearest Great Lake to our home. With it being the shallowest of the Great Lakes, the water temperature was quite warm. It was refreshing enough to cool you down and wash away the sweat from a hard days work (suntanning?), but not startling enough to turn all the men into eunuchs and women into glass-cutting nipple-wielding  terrors. One day, we enjoyed terrific wave bashing into a torrent of white-crested water, but the subsequent days were more along the lines of peaceful splashing in the rolling waves. Fun for kids and adults alike. 

    All that fresh air and fun was definitely enough to work up an appetite as well. My other favourite thing about camping is the food. Cooking on a Coleman is challenging at times, but nothing beats that morning cup of coffee it produces. The campfire is where the real magic is made though. Steaks seared to perfection were the order of the day on Day 1. Hot dogs just can't be beat over the open flame and where else does the humble marshmallow shine so brightly, as but over the glowing embers of a fire pit. It always amazes me how much I can eat while camping, but it is just all tastes so good! Oh yum. 

    As I change another load of laundry, I can smile at the memories that were created for my children. They thrilled at their beach days, sleeping outdoors in a tent, bush pees (everybody does it, don't they?!) and togetherness with friends and family. While I know I had my grumpy moments, I prefer to forget them and focus on the smiles of my children and laughter of my friends. I shall perhaps share a photo or two in the days that come, but today cleanup is the name of the game. I hope you are enjoying your summer, for those of you in the Northern hemisphere. I certainly am.

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