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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jog


I'm too tired to think, much less write, so don't expect literature here. Today's long and erratic blog is just a pathetic excuse to post fabulous pictures, thereby accomplishing bragging on both beauty of children and parents' expert photography (much aided by the model subjects and a memory card that holds 3000 pictures).

We just had, hands down, the BEST vacation we’ve ever had, going places we’ve been to so many times before that they could almost be considered second homes. The difference: the mother of all tents occupied by these two, my soft, soft, lovely children.

We arrived home from our vacation late last night with a dramatic flourish, much wailing, gnashing of teeth, and general angst. Maryn woke up as I was carrying her into the house and had a terrific fit at the realization that we were, in fact, actually at home instead of at another campground. Though we had told her we were going home, she apparently didn’t believe we would continue with our nefarious plan once she’d registered her strident objection and complete antipathy (this would be the mongo temper tantrum that occurred prior to her finally falling asleep in the car – seven hours of driving hell, poopy diapers, traffic jams, punctuated by frequent fits; we thought we were in Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day). She’s still a bit pissed about it today even. I talked with her about it tonight. “So,” I said, “you were pretty upset last night when we got home.” “I don’t want to be home,” she replied. “I know, honey. Mommy and Daddy weren’t ready to come home either, but it was going to rain.” “But we had a ca-brella, Mommy.”

The only one not overly traumatized by our abrupt return home was Conner, as she could finally roam where she pleased and eat all the carpet fuzz and old cheerios she could find. While she enjoyed our sojourn greatly, her explorations were somewhat curtailed as she likes to taste everything she touches and I took exception to her tasting objects from the ground where untold numbers of unknown feet have trod. And, yes, I am a total germaphobe, an obsessive/compulsive illness I picked up after the birth of my first child that has been compounded by my mother’s illness – not that my newly agoraphobic tendencies (I am just full of phobes) have prevented us from getting at least one head cold or throwing up illness a month for the last two plus years.

For friends and family, consider these pictures a wan preview of the slideshow you’re about to receive. We got an extra memory card for the digital camera and took, literally, almost a thousand pictures. Slideshow, movie length. Be afraid – there will be a quiz later.

We are a family of complex contradictions. Our campsite (and we had no electric, mind you) was on the beach; the only obstructions to our view were the occasional bird, strolling fellow camper, and a couple wandering deer (no kidding – one of them passed by less than 20 feet from where we were standing). But we brought (and found a way to use) our somewhat expensive coffee pot and the grinder. I was forced to heat my milk in a pot or walk to the camp store to use the microwave, but camping requires some sacrifices.

We spent about half the trip with nature (if that can be said while grinding gourmet coffee beans for breakfast) staying at a couple of truly wonderful state parks, and the rest walking a couple of our favorite southern cities: Savannah and Charleston. We scheduled the trip to coincide with the jazz festival in Savannah and the first Friday art walk in Charleston. Neither event worked out very well, but the trip was still a smashing success, so much so that I’m planning to harass all of my family members into joining us for future campouts. I started with my sister Chris when I spoke with her earlier today. She was not an immediate convert but I am not giving up – let the familial bonding begin!

5 Comments:

Chrissie said...

I have a deal with Nature. I don't go in Nature's house and nature doesn't come in mine. We like our arrangement, Nature and I. And we are loathe to upset the delicate balance of the Universe by violating our agreement. Besides, Nature gives me a rash.

Plus, there's no one I like enough to sleep outdoors with, and on the ground, no less. No, not even my own children. I require something more substantial than a flap of zippered canvas between myself and the odd passing stranger or various Creatures of the Wild.

I am willing, however, to give you my smelly brood for a few days, or weeks even, and you may take them camping as long as you wish. I will stay someplace comfy, with room service, electricity and air conditioning. I'll be glad to meet you throughout the trip at the sightseeing destinations of your choosing. I will be clean and well-rested, my hair will be conditioned and shiny. I'll have supped the previous evening on a lovely piece of grouper, covered, perhaps, with a sinful fresh citrus salsa. I'll have slaked my caffeine monkey with a steaming vente latte on my way to you. I will be a serene, civilized person.

On the other hand, you will have spent your time with my family who, in my absence, revert to their inner cavepersons. It will be like a scene from Lord of the Flies, complete with a wild pig's head on a stick somewhere. These people are not like Conner and Maryn. Not soft and sweet, filled with the Wonder of Nature, sleeping soundly at night, snuggled against my breast. Oh, no. They sweat profusely. They are usually coated in grime after only a short time outside. For some reason, they always smell like a gym locker room. I believe it's the smell of gallons of testosterone, violently pumping through their bodies. Their feet alone are enough to drive a decent person mad. They believe, for some ungodly reason, that camping means never having to brush your teeth. Honestly, there is no excuse for them.

And, were I to agree to a camping vacation with you and our families, it would mean not only violating my Agreement with Nature, but committing to seemingly endless days, outside, with these filthy companions. I promise you: if I ever agreed to such a thing, everyone would hate me before it was over. I understand this. I'm woman enough to admit it.

You'll just have to take my word for it.

6:03 PM  
Shannon said...

You are such a scream. This is way funny. I'm snickering into my blanket so as not to wake said gentle (but irritatingly sleep resistant) children.

10:22 PM  
liz said...

Beautiful pictures!!!

9:16 PM  
Oh, The Joys said...

Shannon,
I'm so bummed that your comment got lost... I never saw it. RATS!

Also, this post gives me hope. I'm seeing it RIGHT AFTER posting about us going camping.

Maybe it will all be fine...

Best,
OTJ

10:28 AM  
Oh, The Joys said...

p.s. You don't seem to have your blog feed enabled... I use Bloglines (a feed notifier) to tell me when new posts are up. If you don't want your feed published I understand, but if you don't mind, I'd love it if you enabled it on your template so I could "subscribe" to the blog. Let me know.
Best,
OTJ

10:30 AM  

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