Keeping Up With the Jameses

Adventures in Modern Day Motherhood

Gratitude Month – Day 16 – Our Summer Cottage November 16, 2009

Filed under: 406 — mommyoffive @ 10:02 pm

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein

As you may have inferred from my previous post, I love to go camping.  Love it, love it, love it.  When I was young, I had romantic dreams of taking my own family camping.  I imagined snuggling my babies around the campfire while my handsome husband entertained us with stories of his bravado.  Unfortunately, I married a city boy.  He snared me through deception.  The whole time we were dating, he would talk about how he loved to go camping on Memorial Day weekend.  In my mind, this meant that he would enjoy camping during random summer weekends, too, and that camping would in fact entail camping.  In a tent.  With dirt.  Campfires.  That sort of thing.  It turns out that by “camping,” he meant staying at his grandmother’s house and occasionally venturing out into the mountains to fish for a few hours.  (Don’t even get me started on the way he fishes.  It’s wrong, I tell you, just plain wrong.)

So you can imagine my disappointment when I learned that he had no intention of ever actually going camping with me.  I begged, I pleaded, I even bought a really cool tent.  He would grudgingly camp with me once every other year or so, but he made it very clear that he was not. enjoying. it.  Sometimes I would join my family on camping trips without him.  But it just didn’t seem right.

Until one magic September when HIS family decided to go on a camping trip.  In a twist of fate that no one could have predicted, his parents bought a camp trailer.  It’s still hard to believe.  At the time, we had just had our fifth child, and they had picked a very cold weekend for their trip.  So in another strange twist of fate, I stayed home with the baby, except for a brief day trip down to their camping spot.

When Todd returned home from the chilly weekend, he mentioned how nice it would be to camp with a trailer.  I seized the opportunity.  “We should buy a trailer!  Just think of all the memories we could make with our kids!”  And he said YES!  I couldn’t believe my luck.  I hopped on the internet, started looking for used trailers, and within a week I had purchased our very own camping trailer.  It was perfect – a huge table, enough beds for ten people, and NO carpet.  Never mind that we didn’t have a vehicle to pull it with.  We worked that out a few months later.

It’s all that I dreamed it would be.  I love waking up early in the morning, loading up our little summer cottage and heading off on an adventure with my whole family in tow.  I love seeing the excitement in my little boys’ eyes as they eagerly anticipate arriving at our destination.  I love food cooked over a campfire, stories told around a campfire, and of course – snuggling with my babies all wrapped up in warm pajamas and blankies.  I love listening to the kids giggle as they fall asleep for the night, and hearing them snore as they slumber.   I love waking up on crystal clear cold mornings and sipping hot chocolate all by myself.  And I really love the way that camping turns my teenagers into little kids again as they trade in their cell phones and laptops for playing in streams and having s’more competitions.  I owe it all to my trusty little summer cottage on wheels.

So far, we’ve camped in California (Disneyland!), Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota.  Next year we’ll be taking it on the road to Texas.  I can’t wait to see what kind of adventures we’ll have there!

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One Response to “Gratitude Month – Day 16 – Our Summer Cottage”

  1. Jessica Says:

    Wow, you make camping sound so idyllic. If it wasn’t so cold right now I would probably talk to Stan about going. By the way, if you ever teach in your ward how to make that cute hat your baby was wearing the other day, can I come? It was too darling.


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