Camping

I took Friday off work and took my sister Fiona and four of my cousins camping instead. The girls ranged in age from 14-18 and we all had a blast!! I was referred to as “The Adult” all weekend, which was rather amusing 🙂 There were moments it made me wish I was 15 again… and then reality set in and I remembered my own experience in those tumultuous years… and suddenly I remember why I’m happy I never have to relive them. Still it was fun to see them enjoying it so much. It struck me again and again as such a carefree age- little responsibility, summer is for having fun, etc. and yet, even with few responsibilities and real cares, they care so much about so many little things. Sigh. Yeah, I’d never go back there.

We drove 3 hours to Muskegon, got a campsite next to Lake Michigan (you had to walk to see the lake, but it was at the same park), set up camp, ate lunch, and then went canoeing. The canoe livery lady was pretty funny and talked a mile a minute all the way to our drop point, she and her husband run this livery, live off the land, etc. I basically got her whole life story while the girls giggled in back. Calling it canoeing almost seems silly, since it was a very calm river and really if you just steered, you were fine, no paddling even required. Still great fun and very lazy – nice. And Fiona and Elisabeth somehow managed to flip their canoe in sight of the end point, so that added some excitement helping them gather floating stuff and paddling back upstream to the landing. Dinner was great – we figured out my $3 garage sale stove, made fajitas, hot beverages, and enjoyed the beautiful evening. Sunset at lake Michigan was breathtaking, as always. I sure love Lake Michigan and the beautiful evenings there. We went back to the campsite, and finally got the damp wood to light enough to make peach cobbler and roast marshmellows. Then around 11.30 pm we went back to the beach for a romp under the moon- very peaceful and beautiful!!

The real Michigan camping experience began at around 5 am Saturday morning when I awoke to the sound of rain on the tent, and the splashing of rain on my face. Awesome. I’ve had my tent for around 5 years, and have camped in many a rainstorm without a problem… but apparently it’s ready to be re-waterproofed. Half of the tent was definitely not waterproof anymore (the other half slept quite well). I think mine was the wetest spot, which is probably good since it was my rainy tent. But it definitely didn’t help me sleep in… or sleep at all after the drips began. After laying there counting the minutes between water spurts for quite awhile, I decided to get up and figure out a shelter outside and make breakfast while the girlies slept.

I rigged up a tarp shelter and started on breakfast, while watching the camper behind us pack everything up and drive out – wimps! while the people in the tent stuck around… seemed strange to me. Eventually pancakes and eggs and hot beverages were ready, so the girls came out, served up and ate in the car. We then played games in the tent for awhile, hoping the rain would end. It did and we took down the tent and cleaned up. Everything was pretty soggy but at least the rain stopped. We went to Grand Haven state park for lunch and hung out there for awhile, walked the pier, a few of them went swimming in Lake Michigan, etc. Then we packed back in the van and headed for home.

All in all, I had a great time with some terrific young ladies, and all the while was very aware of what a blessing it is to be part of their lives, especially at this tender age. God is good!

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