Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The End of a Chapter: Goodbye Bessy G the First

One year ago, we purchased a pop-up camper from good friends of ours. Yesterday, we passed her on to a new family. The farewell became something just short of a ceremony. My husband meticulously showed his friend every detail of every problem we have ever had with her, just as our friends had done for us last year. I wrote the story below last year before I started this blog. We actually traveled 3,550 miles with Bessy last summer. No wonder she is a little tired.

Then there was the time that the bed fell off,

and then there was the time that it wouldn't pop down,

and, yes, those are safety pins, don't remove them,

and, you'll need your toolbox to use that.

Oh, and don't forget to put the stabilizers down, and park her at a tilt so she doesn't leak, and don't put your pillow in THAT corner . . . and take good care of her, okay?

Bessy travels with character. And, you have to be a little bit of a character to travel with Bessy.

Our newly-purchased pop-up camper (for our South Dakota trip) was taken on a maiden voyage a few weeks ago. It seems prudent to learn how to use it before taking it for our 1300 mile adventure. And, even better, our friends from whom we purchased it came along to show us the ropes.

As we drove down to a local campsite, Andrew announced that our new camper needed a name. She immediately became part of the family. Without much hesitation, Jay suggested the name “Bessy.”

“Really? Bessy?” I squirmed in my seat.

When we named our first born, we agreed to not use family names for the kids – too much pressure. We weren’t going to have enough children to use everyone’s name, so why use any? And, I thought it might put undo pressure on the child to follow in the footsteps of someone – maintain a legacy that may not even exist.

No family names. Period. Someone would get hurt.

“You want to name the camper after Grandma?” I asked softly. In the background, I heard Andrew already saying that it was the perfect name!!

“Jay, why Bessy?” I continued to squirm. “Why would he pick my father’s mother? What about our three other grandmothers, not to mention the kid’s grandmothers?”

“What an awesome name, Dad! Bessy is a great choice!!” Andrew’s comments continued, and were ringing in my ears. Jay shot me a funny look.

“I’ve always like the name Elizabeth,” he explained (which is true, we couldn’t use it because we have a niece named Eliza, and a grandmother named Bessie), “I just thought Elizabeth was a little formal, Bessy just fit better.”

Andrew continued to repeat his praises . . . what was he saying, exactly?

Finally, I listened. “Mom,” he repeated “Grandma’s name isn’t Bessy, don’t you even know your own mother’s name? (said with that fabulous undertone of – duh – that only a 5 year old can master) Bessy is perfect because it’s the name of the big, old road-laying trailer in the movie Cars. Its big and old and a trailer, just like our Bessy! Its perfect!”

I smiled. “Oh, THAT Bessy, I get it.”

Andrew went on, now requesting middle and last names. John looked at me again. “How about Bessy G?” (G for my mother’s mother). I shook my head laughing.

That is how The Bessy G got her name.

And, in 20 years when everyone has their own story, you can trust that they are all correct.

That is how family lore begins.

Here they are, saying 'goodbye.' That isn't our red car hitched up to Bessy this time.


Laura said...

Bye Bessy! There is something about her. No matter how beat up she gets, she keeps giving new families the camping bug.

Badass Geek said...

Campers are a blast. My dad had names for our pop-up, but you'd probably appreciate if I didn't mention them here.

Indy said...

I am living the camping life through you guys. Enjoy your new camper! Can't wait to hear about the new adventures.

Daisy said...

Oh, the memories! My family traveled the USA in a camper like Bessy when I was young. I didn't pass it on to my kids; I hope they don't feel too deprived.

Anonymous said...

I was SURE I commented on this already....must be getting early dementia.

It's great to re-cycle but I've never done it on this scale before.