Categories
glamping Life Memoirs

Stone Groan

It was a perfect weekend for camping–temps in the 80’s, fair skies. It was a bit windy so I really couldn’t set much outside but I managed to decorate my site and make it a glamping fit.

My cozy comfy little vintage camper.

It was a Get’away Gals campout, so as is our custom we met Thursday evening for a “BYODinner” to catch up and play games and just enjoy being together again. I made plans to go to a flea market the next day with some of the ladies.

Friday morning after a rather fitful night I got up feeling a little off. I met the ladies and got into the car, but I soon recognized the odd feeling. It was a familiar ache. Kidney stone. We had to make one restroom stop on the way to the market. I chose denial and went shopping.

The kidney stone chose not to be ignored. I managed to buy a pair of earrings and another item but after two restroom visits it was time to say uncle. I asked my friend to take me back to the campground, a mere 40 minutes away. Nausea reared its ugly head and we had to stop again.

Finally back at my camper I rummaged around for the hydrocodone and tamsulosin prescriptions I’d gotten at the ER last year for the same problem. I always bring those drugs with me in case. I’m so glad I did.

I texted everyone in my family as I tried to decide what to do. Should I hook up my camper and try to make the two-hour drive home? (No way that would have happened!) Should I ask someone to pick me up? My sister and brother-in-law said they would come get me and my trailer. But then my son gave me the wisest advice. Stay put. Ride it out. Call 911 if I have to, or get a friend to take me to a clinic or ER.

After the medicine took effect, staying put was my only option. Thank God for my cozy, comfy little camper and my bucket potty. I slept most of the day and when I woke I texted a friend, asking her to bring me something from the potluck. I ate half of that and then slept until the next morning.

When I woke the back pain and urgency to use the bathroom were gone. I showered, dressed, and ventured to the clubhouse where a few ladies were hanging out. Had the stone actually passed?

I was good. Good enough to go on to the ballpark to watch my grandson play in his baseball tournament. It was a lucky coincidence that my camping event and his tournament were in the same town on the same weekend.

Back at the campground I attended the evening dinner, hooked up my camper, and drove home on Sunday with no problems. The stone was gone. Many had prayed for me, and I have no doubt that God in His infinite mercy intervened. But I can’t help having a lingering fear that I will have another stone on another campout or on a long trip. I won’t let that fear keep me from going, though. I know even in the darkness and pain, He will be with me.

Have you ever had a kidney stone?

XOXO

Categories
glamping

Glamping and Melting

I just returned from a camping trip I shouldn’t have gone on. (Yes, this former English teacher just ended a sentence with a preposition. I’m not ashamed.) Why would I say such a thing? What happened? Was there a camping catastrophe, a glamping goof, a trailer trauma? Nope, none of those. It was just too darn hot!

This campout was at a beautiful new campground in Oklahoma called the Do Drop Inn RV Resort at Lake Texoma. It isn’t actually on the lake, but it’s close enough to provide easy access. Maybe I should have taken advantage of the lake to cool off, but I didn’t, unfortunately.

You may be unaware that little vintage trailers like mine are not insulated. The only thing between you and the great outdoors is a layer of plywood and a thin layer of metal called the skin. I guess no one thought to insulate these little trailers. Maybe it would have made it too comfortable–more like being at home than camping. I don’t know, but my little trailer heats up like a tin box in the bright summer sun.

Miss Millie resting in the bright sun.
Even if she was hot inside, I still love her!

Don’t you have air conditioning? You bet I do. The last vacation I took without air conditioning was when I was a kid on a family vacation and I had no choice. That’s the summer I brought my Donny Osmond album to play at my cousin Donna’s house and it warped before we got there. You Gen X’s and Millenials probably don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. When vinyl gets too hot, it warps or bends, making the record almost impossible to play. (Search “warped record album” images and you’ll see.)

I still have it! Notice my Color Street thumbnail
matches his pants!

The problem is that the little portable unit that I have nestled under my dinette table in my camper just can’t keep up when the temps go above 90 degrees. I was comfortable at night but as the day heated up it got more and more uncomfortable. The first full day of camping I went thrift shopping and returned around 4:00 pm. I tried to rest but it was so uncomfortable in my camper that I quickly dressed for dinner (Denim & Diamonds was the theme) and headed to the clubhouse two hours early to escape the heat.

This is my honkin’ A/C unit. The louver at the top opens and blows cold air, but it doesn’t keep up very well. Everything behind it stays scorching hot!

Although I enjoyed getting to see my camping friends, a few I hadn’t seen for over a year, I found this entire campout less enjoyable than others. It was just too hot to sit around outside a campfire or around someone’s camper, or even out on the deck and visit. Everything had to be done inside. Of course, that is also the case when it rains, but at least I’m not sweating. I could have hung out in the pool but I would have gotten sunburned since there was no shade there at all.

Me in my “denim and diamonds.” That expression on my face?
Who knows?

So what is the solution? Not going camping in September is the simplest solution. Maybe I could get someone to take the skin off my trailer and add insulation. Or maybe I could invent a giant popup canopy to park under. Or maybe I will pull that portable a/c unit out and install a window unit in one wall. I know one thing: camping in a vintage trailer in the bright summer sun ain’t for me any more. I’d just as soon be at home in the a/c looking at all the pictures of the campout on Facebook.

What about you? Do you enjoy summer camping, or like me, do you prefer cooler weather?

XOXO

Categories
Being a Grandparent COVID 19 glamping holidays home decor Life Parkinson's Disease

“Have a Holly Jolly Christmas. . .”

“It’s the best time of the year. I don’t know if there’ll be snow, but have a cup of cheer. . .” And so the song goes, courtesy of the late great Burl Ives. Remember the snowman on “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” animated special? I was seven years old when I saw it for the first time. It was magical. Now I can’t even get my grandkids interested. The old claymation specials have nothing on today’s computer graphics animation. Ah, but they were magical, at least to my generation.

I got distracted. Sorry about that. I have decided to have a holly jolly Christmas at my house. I don’t care if a pandemic is raging, threatening my family and friends, threatening retailers and restauranteurs, threatening the traditions we all hold dear. Maybe the pandemic is a good thing.

Our Living Room Christmas Tree

What? What did you say? I said, maybe it’s a good thing. It’s changing our priorities. We are focusing more on loved ones, and not things. We are finding out that the most valuable things in life are not things at all. The things we miss are not things, either. Hugging a friend or relative, shaking hands, whispering in someone’s ear, getting close enough to detect a special cologne, gathering in groups at holiday parties, sharing a toast, kids sitting on Santa’s lap, being able to breathe without fogging up your glasses, last-minute shopping in a crowded store. Need I go on?

We have given up much this year because of Covid-19. But look at what we’ve gained: a new appreciation of freedom, gathering with friends, going shopping and dining wherever we want, gathering with family at holidays and special occasions, going to church and fellowship with fellow churchgoers. Boy, do I miss that.

My precious granddaughters enjoying the season.

I’m going to make it a holly jolly Christmas, though. I’m going to:

  1. Enjoy small things like the lights on my beautiful tree.
  2. Behold the wonder in my granddaughters’ eyes as they look at all the decorations.
  3. Experience the delight in the two-year-old’s smile as she touches an LED C9 bulb and finds out that it’s cool to the touch.
  4. Note the pride in the five-year-old’s stance as she finishes decorating the little silver tree for my camper.
  5. Enjoy the taste of pumpkin spice in my morning coffee.
  6. Relish drinking from my special Christmas coffee mugs.
  7. Cozy up to my dog next to me in my chair while wearing comfy pajamas.
  8. Relish a morning when I get to sleep just a little bit later.
  9. Wrap each and every gift with love.
  10. Give thanks for online ordering when I can’t get to a store.
Can you see the silver tree hidden in the tinsel garland? I left it just as she decorated it.

Get the picture? There is a host of ways to make it a holly jolly Christmas. Even as my days are consumed with caregiving and my nights with intermittent sleep between calls from hubby, I choose to focus on the good. Yes, I have days, even weeks, when I wonder how this is all going to turn out–the pandemic, my husband’s disease progression, the next presidential administration, life in general. But I rest in this: my God knows it all, and holds it all, in His almighty hands.

So. . . Merry Christmas. May all your days be holly jolly.

XOXO

Little “Miss Millie” all dressed up for the holidays.
Categories
glamping

More Holiday Scotsman Glamping

As promised, I’d like to share photos from the inside of my 1962 Scotsman Scottie during my last campout at Tyler State Park’s Pineywoods Christmas in the Park event.  I tried to make the most of every inch of the ten-foot interior.  For the outdoor décor, click here.

Hope you enjoyed my little tour!  In case you’re wondering, all décor is courtesy of my sisters, mother, friends, Dollar General, Big Lots, thrift stores, and my own home. 
Happy New Year!  May it be abundantly blessed.
XOXO


Categories
glamping

Christmas Glamping, Scotsman Style

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to camp during Tyler State Park’s Pineywoods Christmas in the Park event.  Since I started camping with my little Scotsman trailer, I have wanted to camp at Tyler State Park, which is less than an hour’s drive from my home.  Tyler State Park holds many memories for me since it was a frequent destination for my parents and us kids.  I remember visiting the park as a kid after the lake’s dam broke and seeing that vast hole where the water used to be.  I also have some fun memories visiting the lake with my friends as a teenager.  It was good to see the park and the improvements that have been made since I last visited. 

Campers who agreed to decorate their sites were allowed to camp three nights free of charge.  What a great deal, and I had a nice shady spot near the restrooms and showers.  I thoroughly enjoyed decorating my trailer and site, visiting with fellow campers, and greeting the visitors who drove through the park in the evenings to see the lights and decorations.  

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Stay tuned for photos of the inside.  The weather was perfect for a Christmas camp out.  

XOXO