This past spring, we purchased this little camper (22 feet doesn’t seem like little when you are towing it) and as much as I’d love to say we got out and saw the world, we did not. Part of it was I ended up with two full weeks of coding/computer science training in June, largely unexpected. I really wanted face-to-face training but instead, got virtual. It was good training, but I can blend into the background with stuff like that (like I can anywhere) so I don’t feel I got the best out of it.
Pretty much. My wife then signed on to write online curriculum for the state of Iowa. That ended up being a giant cluster she spent a lot of time trying to get things done before August. I envy her ability to focus on task completion because I simply don’t have that drive, but we did not get too far because of her work. Now, as we learned later on, our phones as hotspots could have worked, but she was pretty driven to get things done, and if the hotspot had given her any issues, it would not have been pretty.
I know, right? Now, it’s not to say we didn’t get a few places, but just no “vacation” to faraway places. Des Moines was as far as we got, not exactly what you’d consider a vacation destination. So, the vacation has been on our minds more. We are talking about Colorado because I’ve never visited my aunt and uncle out there. My wife wants to go on a major trip out to the Northeast, travel through Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and just see new things.
However, the season is almost done, and those are thoughts for another day. The last two weekends, we’ve been able to get out, going on just little trips over night. Two weekends ago, we were at the local campground and the weather was almost perfect. Last weekend, we went to a campground that advertised they shut the water off on the second Monday of October. Well, they lied. Thankfully, I’d put some water in the fresh tank, just in case. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, it was 28 degrees last Friday, but still.
Either way, we roll in, get set, and start the fire. I don’t know of anything more peaceful than a campfire in the campground. One night, we had an adult beverage, roasted pineapple brats, and ate s’mores. We sat outside with soft music playing, read our books, and just enjoy sluffing off our school skin because honestly, we’ve both had pretty difficult years so far. Last weekend, we had s’mores, my wife dozed off, wrapped up in her hoodie and blanket, and it was amazingly peaceful to just sit and gaze into the fire. True, it was chilly, but we were miles from home, very few people around, and it was a clear, beautiful night.
As you reflect on this summer, don’t worry about the trips you didn’t take (easy for me to say as that just what I did) or the places you didn’t visit. Instead, find those little moments, the bonfires, the s’mores, the quiet conversation or the laughter that just wouldn’t stop. Those little things become the big things as winter approaches.
When school lets out, I’m not planning on sticking around too much. I’ve wasted too much time worrying about the next class, the next “thing” that will happen. We’ll continue to be a cattle showing family as long as the other family we hang out with wants to play farmer. We’ll go to a couple of fairs, play with animals (I do miss my Brown Swiss), but you will catch us on the road, enjoying an adult beverage, probably swearing at how crooked the camper is as I back it, and enjoying the beauty and peace of a campfire!
October 12, 2022 at 12:20 am
Darin, I also have been away from TWT for a while. Reasons: husband had a hip replacement 10 days ago so life is hectic with the recuperation process and other medical issues. But I am here now and working late at night. I really enjoyed your catch up slice. It is amazing how both you and your wife were caught up in school business and your vacation plans were laid to rest. Enjoy the fall!
October 13, 2022 at 11:34 am
Thank you! I hope your husband’s recovery is swift and as painless as possible! 🙂
October 12, 2022 at 4:42 am
Love the thought of sluffing off our school skin. That campfire does look like the perfect remedy to what ails.
October 13, 2022 at 11:35 am
I love campfire pictures. I’m sure those on SnapChat tire of me sending pictures out, but it’s just a calm we all need from time to time! 🙂
October 12, 2022 at 8:02 am
I love your advice…”Don’t worry about the trips you didn’t take” “find those little moments,” I’m really working on finding the little moments.
October 13, 2022 at 11:35 am
Thanks, Jill! That is a work in progress for me, but it’s so true. By working to find the little moments, it makes it all worth while.
October 12, 2022 at 9:51 am
Oh. That worry about the next class, the next thing, the next obligation. It’s a heavy burden for me to carry, for sure. I appreciate this blog post as a reminder that sometimes it’s okay to set it down for a bit, look around, breathe, and enjoy the people and things around me.
And as a fellow person who loves camping, I connected with what you do when you get to a campsite: “we roll in, get set, and start the fire.” And then, there’s something so marvelous and comforting about knowing I’m taken care of and ready to enjoy myself.
Thank for you for this post. =))
October 13, 2022 at 11:37 am
Thanks, Lainie! I feel like our world would be a better place if people did just “enjoy the people and things” around us. And just had that opportunity to get outside! 🙂
October 12, 2022 at 5:29 pm
You had me with your title…there is nothing more peaceful or zen like than sitting/dozing by a campfire. Even though it wasn’t far from home, it’s still nice to ‘get away’ from home. Glad you were able to…and say ‘no’ to anything next summer that’s school related. Y’all deserve a big trip. 🙂
October 13, 2022 at 11:40 am
It’s a privilage to find yourself in that spot, warm and cozy, with the cares of world resting on someone else’s shoulders, if only for that night. It is well worth the effort of getting everything loaded to have that small spot where nothing else much matters but us! 🙂
And you know what, that big trip will come! 🙂
October 18, 2022 at 4:32 pm
I have to admit I lean more towards glamping than camping, but I do love a good campfire! And the way you described those peaceful moments made me long to be in front of one, especially since it’s currently 90 degrees here in Los Angeles, and I love to have to bundle up by a fire right about now.
October 22, 2022 at 12:41 am
Eeek! 90?? Two days ago, the low was 19! I enjoy cold weather, but that was a bit much! 🙂
October 18, 2022 at 7:18 pm
How relaxing! I love reading about your camping adventures!