Friday, June 23, 2006

A few days away from reality...priceless.

Due to the storm, we are still hanging out at my parents' house. The above pictures were from our newspaper's on-line photo gallery. In the first picture, you can barely see our house in the background. In the second picture, you can see the hanging power lines in front of our driveway. As of 10:00 this morning, the lines are still dangling, which presents a problem - the lines are high enough so we can drive under them, but they are too low for our camper to exit the driveway, and we are headed out this afternoon for a fun filled camping weekend. So hopefully the city will get to work on our situation, or our neighbor will be so kind to let us cut through his yard. So on to today's topic...

Our family's favorite past time is camping. Jason's family did some camping when he was a kid, but my family never did anything even close to camping. My perception of camping, therefore, was pitching a flimsy tent in a remote area and getting rained on all night and eaten alive by mosquitos. I think that is a lot of people's perception about camping, and therefore they say they don't enjoy camping (who would if that is all it was.) So when they see our camper, they tell us "That's not camping." Jason's reply, then, is "Well, then maybe you would like it." Our camping adventures started the summer Elizabeth was 2. We had no intentions of entering the camping world, but an opportunity to buy a very nice pop-up fell in our laps, and once I looked at it and realized there was more to camping than my above perception, I was ready to go. The next summer it rained EVERY SINGLE TIME we went out, which was miserable because now we had a three year old and a four month old, and we were stuck in the camper most of the time. But we perservered, and after going out six or seven times last year, we determined that we are indeed a camping family, and we were ready to make a little more of an investment in this endeavor. So we purchased a travel trailer this spring (which was really an investment, because then we had to get a different vehicle that could pull it.) We've been out three times so far, this weekend will be our fourth, and we are having no buyer's remorse and are loving every minute of it.

Some may question our camper purchase, thinking that it was a frivolous thing to buy. But this is what I think - our family has decided to make family and family time a very important priority, and this is an investment towards that decision. Even in the crisis camping times (the rain, the time we hit a deer pulling into the campground, then finding out there were no open spots, the time Anna wandered off and we couldn't find her), we have created so many great memories with our family and friends, that I think it is worth the investment. So below, I am going to list the 5 things I love most about camping:

1. The food. Sure, smores, the most famous camping food, are great, but chicken over the fire, breakfast pies, roasted hot dogs - there isn't too much out there that's better.

2. The fellowship. With the exception of just a couple of times, we always go camping with other people. This is great on so many levels - our kids have other kids to play with, it's fun to sit around the fire after the kids are in bed (everyone else's kids are always asleep, the Wuertley girls keep on partying in the camper) and talk, we share the food load, etc. etc. We are blessed to have great camping buddies.

3. The relaxation. With the exception of making/cleaning up food, what else is there to do but relax. There's no laundry, no house to clean, no errands to run. I love to sit in my reclining lawn chair by the fire and just do nothing.

4. No distractions. There is no phone, t.v. (exept the one in the kids's area, which is a lifesaver for Anna because she gets hot easy and enjoys just hanging out in the cool air and relaxing, too.) It is 100% family time, which at times can be a little much, but for the most part is great.

5. The kids love it. Some of our favorite things to do when camping are to take bike rides, hike on trails, swim, and play on the playground. It's every kid's dream. The kids can spend a lot of time outside running off energy, and they sleep really good at night.

Due to this camping trip, I will be unable to post on Saturday, thus ending my posting every day streak. I will return on Sunday, though. I'll have plenty of time to be thinking of my next post.


Blogger Jim Womack said...

Deb, You should start a column in the paper or have so many good thoughts. (I was going to type "You have so much to say," but I thought that might sound negative.

I think that we are still becoming a camping family. We have the camper, friends, and we just need to get out there and do it (like we are this weekend.)

Having friends like you and the Rowleys make learning to camp easier as well as more fun. It's nice to share the planning and responsibility, and it's a perfect opportunity for an extrovert like me to get some great connecting time too! I'm so excited...I think I will go pack!

June 23, 2006 2:52 PM  
Blogger Stephen & Michelle said...

OK, you have no idea who I am, but through various other blogs I found your website and I got hooked :)

I would have to say I can totally relate to the camping thing! We purchased a "hybrid" camper (mix between a pop-up and a travel trailer) last fall and we LOVE it...for many of the same reasons - My husband recently took the pastorate at Main Street Wesleyan in Jonesboro, and we wanted something quick and easy to get away since we have to be back every Sunday. It is great family time for the 3 of us - our 1 year old loves it! Plus we have been able to camp with family and friends and definitely enjoy all that great food...I would highly recommend S'Mores with PB cups instead, polish sausage & pizza rolls over the fire...yum!

Anyway, I know it is probably weird getting a post from someone you have never met, but I guess that is some of the fun of having a blog :)

PS...another plus...the camper refrigerator has come in VERY handy with this whole area out of power :)

June 23, 2006 3:46 PM  
Blogger Jim and Jaena said...

OK, this is going to be confusing from now on because Jim just started a blog of his own, so I may "take over" the family blog as "mine." That first comment was from me, Deb...not Jim.

June 24, 2006 3:02 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Thanks for your comment! We were glad we had already planned this camping trip - we came back home this afternoon and the power had just come on. Did you just move to the area? If so, just wanted to let you know that we like to camp at the Wesleyan Campgrounds in Fairmount. It's great for kids and close.

June 25, 2006 6:36 PM  
Blogger Stephen & Michelle said...

Well, we just moved to Jonesboro, but lived in Marion since 99. It's kind of a long story...I am from Allendale, Michigan (I grew up with Holly Grate and Shelly Buck, which is how I found your blog :) ) and Stephen is from the Cadillac, Michigan area. We both came as freshman to IWU, met, and married between our Junior and Senior year. I finished while Stephen took a couple years off, then I got a job in Academic Affairs at IWU so that he could go for free, and he finally finished this April. He had served as youth pastor at MSW previously, but our senior pastor resigned this past February and Stephen filled in as interim, and now is Senior pastor :)

We hope to camp at the Wesleyan Campground in Fairmount for family camp at least...also, we highly suggest Mounds State Park in Anderson. It has lots of great trails, and the camping sites are they have a pool! We also really enjoy Sports Lake Campround, which is in Marion. I have heard that the Mississinewa (sp?) and Salamony (sp?) Reservoirs are really nice, but haven't been to either one yet.

June 26, 2006 8:25 AM  

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