Monday, June 2, 2008

Camping vignettes

I found a camera today. Too late for the camping trip, but at least I'm not completely camera-free.

So, the camping trip. New site -- it's hard to find a place to put this many homeschoolers. Some of the kids complained because there weren't any trails; there was just the beach. For me, it felt a little like my childhood, where there was, well, beach.

Except that our beaches felt tame compared to this more northerly stretch, even though the ranger said the cove of the park was one of the very safest beaches. I still took no knitting, no reading, down with me. I had enough to do keeping eyes on my three youngest.

The eldest has a healthy respect for strong waves, and since there didn't seem to be an undertow (undertoad? Heee -- I'm so literary), I figured she was okay. The others would have been better outfitted, in my estimation, with climbing harnesses attached to those retractable dog leashes. Me, overprotective? Heh. Ask me about running with lollipops.

Thing 2 borrowed a boogie board and went to town. That girl has white-water rafting guide in her future, I think. Something dangerous and fun, for which showers are optional.

We shared out meal prep and that cut everyone's perceived load down, although meals consistently ran late. That was fun in the morning, when handing the kids marshmallows seemed like a fine choice.

The perfect van performed, well, perfectly. If I'm not backpacking, I'd rather sleep in this womblike car than a tent any day. And, as I pulled out the seats to make the bed on the first day, the answer to "why should I vacuum before we go get dirty?" became abundantly clear.


I'm going back to the ironclad "no eating in the car" rule. They can just wait. If I can't talk on the cell phone, they can go hungry. We're not making any great migrations.

At night, I could hear Things 2&3 murmuring to one another. Random snatches of conversation: "Do you remember when we went swimming with Grandma and I went all the way across the pool on the noodle?"
"Was it cold, or warm?"
"Put the flashlight here."
"No, here."
"Why don't we put it between us?"
"Yeah, that will work!"

It was like eavesdropping on their future lives, without me. A nice thought, especially since they weren't hitting each other.

The no-hike trip ended up feeling like the "moms who sat around and really needed to go for a walk" trip, but it was sweet. Lots of long, casual conversations. A little knitting, although kneeling on a bamboo DPN on a soft car bed when it's your last because you've lost the fourth tends to slow down the finishing of any, say, sock in progress.

Tomorrow, maybe. Today, I've been a cleaning machine -- refrigerator, freezer, vacuumed all rooms, scrubbed the bathroom sink and toilet, and even took the stove completely apart and de-gunked it. Don't know where that energy came from. My brain is probably too fried from other stuff to do much mentally gathered activity.

I've done, though, 1/3 of my grading. I'll leave the amount of mental focus that requires out of the equation for now.


Morenna said...

Yay camping trip! Sounds like a lot of fun, even if you didn't get as much knitting done as you'd hoped.

I always do my best cleaning during high mental stress periods. My apartment was always at its cleanest during finals week or during major thesis revisions. It just seemed like the thing to do.

Kate said...

"Garp bit Bonkie!"

What a great book.

suzee said...

Sounds like a great trip! Looks like a lovely spot, too.

allisonmariecat said...

I used to call it an under-toad when I was little. I really thought there was a giant toad under there. Whatever works, I guess. I thought your harness/dog leash idea was perfectly good :)

I enjoyed your camping adventures!

cpurl17 said...

Sounds like a lovely trip!

I remember beach camping with my Girl Scout troop and being amazed when a girl shoved a dirty metal spatula into the sand and pulled it out "clean". I also remember sand in the sleeping bag. Ick.