Friday, January 28, 2011
The Great Outdoors
When I was about 8 years old I was allowed to go camping with my Aunt Gertrude. It was my first experience in the camping world. We went to Versailles State Park in Indiana. Looking back I give Aunt Gert credit. She took 5 boys, ages 9-17, and me tent camping. I actually didn't sleep in the tent. She had a Dodge Rambler, and the seats folded down flat. She and I slept in the car, while my brother and cousins slept in two tents. I think it was just for one night, but I really don't remember. What I do remember is being at the grocery store and there was a dispute over a broken pickle jar. The boys were involved in that one. When we got to the park, we set up camp and went for a hike. The older boys went rock climbing. I thought the cliff where they were climbing looked like the side of a mountain. There are no mountains in Indiana. My cousin Perry and I waded in the creek looking for critters under rocks and watching out for water snakes. We spent the afternoon swimming at the lake. The older boys again took off out in the water, leaving Perry, Aunt Gertrude and my self in the shallower waters. Over time we became brave and started moving away from Aunt Gert. All of a sudden Aunt Gert was yelling for Perry who was no where to be seen. She panicked, and had the life guard pull everyone out of the water. Now that I am an Aunt, I can only imagine the fear she felt. She found Perry on the edge of the water, playing, not paying any attention to the fact that he was the subject of the search. He was spanked on the spot! That evening, we sat around the camp fire and roasted marshmallows. Mine caught fire and I waved my stick back and forth to put it out. When I looked at the end of my stick my marshmallow was gone! I had waved it away. We looked everywhere to see what had happened to my marshmallow, but we couldn't find it. At morning breakfast we were allowed to cook our own over the fire. Aunt Gertrude said if you're old enough to go camping, you were old enough to make your own breakfast. We loved it! As we were breaking down the tents, we found my lost marshmallow. It was stuck in the hair of my Aunt. Apparently, while I was waving my stick of flaming marshmallow, it took flight and landed in the back of my Aunts head. We had a great time that weekend. When Aunt Gertrude dropped Perry off at his house, he ran to his Mom as fast as he could. Aunt Gert thought that he was going to tell on her for spanking him. Instead, he announced with pride that if you are old enough to go camping, you were old enough to cook your own breakfast! I hope that you have some adventures with the great outdoors. Take Care!