I came home from camping this year, a day early. My I-phone and Weatherbug notified me of pending thunderstorms the day we planned to break-camp. There’s nothing worse than taking down a wet tent and packing up wet gear. Well, on second thought, a week of rainy weather with nine children in a canvas tent might beat all forms of torture. That’s what happened more than once, when I was a little girl. Somehow it seemed more like an adventure than any kind of torture. We always went camping the first week of August when it often rained every day and got pretty darned cold at night. I’m not sure why Dad picked that time of the year, but he never varied.
Camping Overlooking the Tree Tops
We never knew for sure if it was going to rain all day or just for a little while. Sometimes we got all cooped up in our tent with nothing to do. Dad gave us a dime for each fly we could kill while he took a nap. I got about two dozen, Continue reading
Sometimes we went way, way far away from home to camp. That took forever. Mom and Dad scooped us right out of bed, still in our pajamas, and put is in the car so early in the morning, it was still dark and headed Up North to Brimley Park. That was way up in the Upper Peninsula, across the Mackinaw Straits. We had to take the Ferry over there. That was really fun. I never saw a boat so big it could take thousands of cars over, all jam-packed together like sardines in a can. Once Dad got the car in the Ferry, we squeezed out and took a walk around, and watched the white caps crash up against the ferry. The smell of the lake filled up my nose and reminded me that this week was going to feel like it lasted forever. Still I couldn’t dilly-dally yet ’cause if we weren’t in the car when the Ferry got to the other side, our car would hold up everybody else, and people would be mad as wet hens at us. That’s no way to start a vacation.
Once Grandma got the bright idea to send Mom’s cousin Joey along with one of her girlfriends. Grandma was always thinking Mom needed some help with all us Magpies. Grandma had two boys first, then Mom way before she had Aunt Annie. Uncle Gene was a big teaser from the get-go, and Uncle Kenny was a pee wee until after he got out of school, then he got big and strong, but it was too late to be much help for Grandma; besides, she didn’t believe in boys doing much work. Mom didn’t either, but Mom had four girls before she had any boys. That was the best idea Mom ever had, ’cause she put us girls right to work, so by the time she had any boys, she had a whole bunch of girls to help her out. Grandma should have done that, ’cause then she would know that all the help she tried to give Mom kinda backfired. Continue reading