Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lessons from Jessie Marie's Maiden Voyage

We took our camper (aka Jessie Marie) for her maiden voyage this weekend. We made it just outside the suburbs of Cleveland to Punderson State Park. Under the tutelage of our friends, we learned the art of camping, and we practiced very, very hard. Difficult procedures and detailed instructions were given on topics such as, "How to hang a hammock," “how to put kids to bed and sit around the campfire,” and many other important themes. Relaxation has never been my strong point, but I feel obligated to learn - you know, for the children.

So, here is a summary of our lessons, in no particular order.

1. Do NOT impale your forehead with a dull metal hook. A picture was taken, but you should thank me for not posting it.

2. “Norman Rockwell” style parades are awesome, especially when shared with nine families, a canopy, and plenty of food and drink. (Chagrin Falls, Ohio)

2. Somber and respectful parades are nice too, especially when your six-year-old smiles proudly carrying the Cub Scout banner.

3. Memorial Day is about remembering, especially remembering how lucky we are to make such wonderful memories.

4. Three parades in one weekend would seem like a lot if the third one wasn’t completely by accident. (Newbury, Ohio)

5. Backing a 26-foot trailer into a “tent only” spot can be done as a team without causing marital tension. Of course, I doubt it could be done twice.

6. Forgetting your towel when visiting a public shower seems insignificant if you recently impaled your forehead with a dull metal hook. Fortunately, I forgot my camera too.

7. Showing up at your son’s piano recital in jean capris and with bloody head is disrespectful, but won’t get you kicked out.

8. Pulling a cotton dress on a hanger out of your own closet in the morning makes camping seem ridiculously civilized. I had more time to do that the next day when my head stopped bleeding.

9. S’mores are the best dessert ever, especially when made by children.

10. Although everyone may not agree, I still think a friend’s guitar playing surpasses a radio – even if I did sing out of tune when he played. (Next time go easier on that crazy pudding you gave me – is that recipe really in the PTA cookbook?).

11. Children will ride bikes all day if given the opportunity.

12. You can put the bikes away, but they will continue to wear their helmets, just in case "they might get impaled by some flying lollipops." (That was Andrew's answer when asked by one of his friends. I was eavesdropping).

13. Watching a daddy help his kid ride without training wheels is fabulous, even if that child is not your own. (Gladys tried, but wasn’t quite there.)

14. If the sewage drainpipe isn’t sealed properly, you could get a nasty surprise. Sorry, Honey.

15. Camping with experienced campers helps mitigate the issues you might face while realizing all the things that you don’t have. Thank you, Laura & Pat.

16. Everyone laughs harder around the campfire.

17. The comforter that comes standard with campers does not appear to be made out of any natural fibers. I am considering keeping it as a picnic blanket. It might be waterproof.

18. If I do happen to be bleeding profusely from the forehead, having my husband anoint me with Neosporin in a “May the Lord be with you” sort of way will cause me to laugh so hard I can’t breathe. I guess you had to be there for that one.

19. We made the right decision.

Lesson #20 - Our family will learn more this summer than how to camp.

Don't forget to vote for me (again) for the 'best local blog in Cleveland.' Thank you!



Mulv said...

Love It! Shared this with a couple others - maybe they will comment too.

Lizzy said...

Andrew has always been a thinker...glad to know he did not get impaled with a dull hook (or a flying lollipop stick as the case may be)since he was prepared....he knows "Being safe is the most important thing"...must have learned that from his favorite aunt! :)

Badass Geek said...

Those flying lollipops are dangerous.

AreWeThereYet? said...

#6 made me laugh out loud. It was a great weekend, wasn't it?!?!

MIT Mommy said...

Badass - I bet you are designing a sling shot in your head right now, aren't you?

2Sexy - Yes, it was!

Working Glass Gal said...

It seems maybe you need a helmet, too? Love this post, and I'm a bit jealous.