Camping is not something I’ve done much in my lifetime. I stayed in a tent for a few nights when I was in university in the early 1970s, but that was it. My husband says, “Roughing it means no mints on the pillow.” Our married lives haven’t involved time in a tent in the great outdoors. There are mosquitoes and black flies and that is the deal breaker for me. Except for one day last week.
Our grandkids wanted to go camping and our daughter was on holidays. She has two tents, a large two room one and a small one, a three person tent according to the description.
To begin with, the fight against the insect population has taken big strides since the 1970s. However, the spays and creams have an odour or feel greasy. There are candles which purport to keep mosquitoes and black flies away and we found those helpful. However, the mosquitoes were huge and the bites were particularly itchy, for days.
But, enough of the negative.
The time with the family was busy and fun. After setting up at the campsite, we spent the afternoon at the beach. The kids loved in the water with their mother. My husband and I walked the golden grand-dog on the beach. After supper around the campfire and the requisite s’mores, we sang campfire songs and played games.
Tired children settled into the beds just after sunset, followed soon after by the adults. The women anyway. Mr. Mints on the Pillow went home to sleep.
The tent was hard to enter and leave for someone with hip and knee issues but I managed, not with record speed mind you. I could sit on the air mattress but that was it. However, the mattress was comfortable and without insects in the tent, it made for a good night’s sleep.
The campsite was surrounded with conifers, mainly spruce trees. The wind came up after sunset and it played with the trees. The sound was reminiscent of summer nights as a child, windows open, the breeze through the trees the ambient sound. In the tent, it was comforting and peaceful, not humid or windy enough to make the tent flap in the breeze.
It was surprising how many needles fell from the spruce trees through the night. They rolled down the roof and fell off. I listened for a few minutes and was lulled asleep by the surroundings.
It rained through the night and I awoke but not for long. The space was dry and comfortable. The rain just added to the natural beauty of the setting.
I didn’t have a watch, radio, iPad or phone. It was time unplugged and I enjoyed every minute. The cares of the world were unimportant for a few short hours.
The giggles from across the campsite when the kids woke were priceless as they all settled in for a few minutes of tickling and cuddles with their mother.
Mr. MP was back with the golden grand-dog in time for breakfast. I played with the kids as he and our daughter took down the tents.
Showers at home relieved everyone of the odour of smoke and fly spray but the memories are indelible.
Questions and answers:
Jenn at http://westofthefifthmeridian.blogspot.com asked when Setting Day is each year. The spring lobster season begins the first of May, so the end of April, the fishers set their traps. This past season, the weather was bad, so Setting Day was delayed for two days until the weather improved.