Wednesday, July 1, 2009

In which we wonder why we even tried

I've been accused before of making private things too public - particularly in the area of this blog. (I've also been accused of not make some things public enough, but that's besides the point.) It seems that I need to be reminded to keep my mouth shut every once in awhile. It's a good reminder - I think a lot of people (young people in particular) in this day and age love to share their most private feelings world wide, with the help of their computers and the web. While communication is nice, there's something good to be said for old fashioned privacy.

However, it just so happens that I love to make people laugh. In fact, when I was much younger in my Christian walk I, (though I blush to tell it), used to stretch the truth or even make up a funny story, just to get people to laugh. Now, though I do my best to stick with the truth, the temptation to share a story that will make people laugh is very strong to me.

Do you know what that means when my siblings do something funny, and the world is at my fingertips, just waiting to hear?


Enough about me and my weaknesses. Let me share a story that had me crying with laughter-tears before it was over, and should be embarrassing to no one, since it was no one's fault. The fact that it comes right on the heels of another tale of mine is pure coincidence, I assure you.

You know, sometimes it's fun to have a blog. It's fun to have a place to record memories, and it's fun to have memories that are shareable.

My Dad got an unexpected 4-day weekend this week. When he found out about it, the house was immediately alive with discussion about what we should do with our impromptu vacation. Staying home and living normal life was out of the question. We knew we'd be celebrating Mom's birthday on Thursday, but we needed something special to do that would take several days.

Camping was the activity finally decided upon. I think we all knew from the start that's what we would do. We camp nearly every time we travel, instead of staying in hotels, and every so often we do it near our home just for fun. We've done it so many times that we consider ourselves fairly professional.

In fact, we have a special camping skill that many people don't have. We know how to camp in the rain! That's right - we have it down to a science. Granted, it's been a forced lesson, but one we've learned fairly quickly. We've just come to expect the water, and we plan for it. Extra tarps, canopies to eat under, water-proof bags...etc.

Actually, I have a hard time imagine what it's like to camp in the sunshine. It seems so odd to think about. What's a campfire without those little droplets sizzling in it? What's a good night's sleep under the clouds without a little moisture leaking through the tent onto your sleeping bag?

Still, it never hurts to hope.

It's been dry here lately. In fact, we've been praying for rain. Our garden needs it (ahem...needed it) badly. After the good rains we had earlier this year, the dry spell seemed twice as dry.

But it seemed like the perfect time for some camping.

We planned to leave in mid afternoon, and get to the campsite, which was about an hour away, in time to set up the tents and have supper - then go hiking in the morning after a good night's sleep. Ah, what lovely things plans are!

The first clouds rolled in near 3:00, but that was okay because false hopes had been raised several times before this month. We continued loading up the van, as our neighbors watched. (Several of them were out there working on various things in their yards.)

The first sprinkles hit the sidewalk just as we finished packing the van with everything. We decided to head off and hope the weather was different an hour away from home.

It certainly was.

The windshield wipers didn't work fast enough. By the time we reached the camp ground (after a few "detours") we didn't even bother pulling into the parking lot. Dad pulled off on the side of the road, and we all yelled back and forth over the rain, discussing our options.

That didn't last long. What were our choices, anyway? We'd camped in downpours before, but not oceans. Back home it was.

As we pulled back onto the road, water suddenly poured onto my arm, and I jumped in surprise.

"Daddy, the roof is leaking!" I shrieked.

Calm down and we'll pass the paper towels back there."

"Paper towels? I need a cup!"

So I rode halfway home holding Curtis' empty coffee cup under the trickle of water that came from the slit above the window.

It didn't take long before I was laughing. My brothers and I joked about how we expected this downpour...but we weren't really joking. I think it would rain if we camped in the Sahara desert.

As we drew closer to home, the rain calmed down. Closer still, the roads began to look dry.

"Not fair - the ground's not even wet here!"

Of course not. We hadn't tried to camp here.

So...after two hours of fun chatting and yelling over the sound of rain on the van roof, we pulled back into our driveway and started to unpack.

"Boy, I hope none of our neighbors are watching," brother Justin said.

They'd watched us load up our tents, 8 sleeping bags, a camping stove, a picnic basket, an ice chest, and drive off.

...And now, two hours later, we were all marching back up the sidewalk and to our front door with our pillows under our arms.

That's when Mom and I lost it. We were laughing so hard we could barely walk to unload the rest of the van. Every time I went in and out of the door, I hoped the neighbors weren't looking our their windows, and I started laughing, imagining what they were thinking if they were looking.

But all is not lost. I promised my younger sister I'd camp out with them in the living room tonight. In fact, they are out there waiting for me now, sleeping bags all unrolled.

It's started raining here now. The basement has about 1/2 inch of water in it.

But it'd better not start leaking through the living room ceiling.

Then again, with our reputation, you never know...


Alethea Jordan said...

Lol. Yup. You have a very good reputation. =D

Sandra said...

Sorry you didn't get to go camping Amber. But funny story :)!!!

Leah said...

Made me laugh. My Mom came in asking "what are you laughing about?" :)
Hope you all have a great weekend.

Sarah G. said...

That's so funny! :) We have gone camping ONCE as a family - it poured. My mom said, "Never again!" So now I have to content myself with putting my little 2 person tent up in the yard when I have the urge to camp. It's better than nothing. :)

Oh, and my mom's birthday was last Thursday as well - how about that!