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
Memoirs

Back to school

Those three words used to create dread and excitement when I was an elementary school student. I dreaded things like getting up early, riding the bus, being in P.E., having to get to know new teachers, wondering which of my friends would be in my class, eating in the school cafeteria. Few things about the start of school were exciting, but I did (and still do!) love shopping the new school supplies, getting new clothes, and seeing my friends again.

Summer vacation meant sleeping in and waking up to Mama sweeping the floor. It meant morning cartoons on TV and riding my bike or playing in the dirt pile until it got too hot in the afternoon. It meant my sisters and me running lemonade stands stocked with Koolaid and only having one customer and that was the man who came home with Daddy at lunchtime. It meant Vacation Bible School and getting to hold the Bible during the pledge to “God’s Holy Word.”

Summer meant getting to skip a nightly bath occasionally even after playing outside until dark. It meant fireflies and family “work up” baseball in the yard. It meant trips to the lake and family vacations staying in state park shelters and visiting relatives.

But summers didn’t last forever. So, armed with a new Big Chief tablet or loose leaf notebook, new pencils or pens, crayons or map colors, and a King Edward cigar box to hold everything, I entered the brave new world of the next grade.

I can still smell the new crayons and the janitor’s cleaning solutions. Close your eyes. Can you?

God bless the teachers, staff, and students as they enter the brave new world of school with Covid-19. May they all stay safe and well!

XOXO

Categories
Life

Why I’m Sad to See Winter Go

Disclaimer:  I live in Texas where these are our seasons: 1) almost summer,  2) hotter than H-E-double-hockey-sticks, 3) still summer, and 4) a little cooler than summer.  Keep your snowballs to yourself.  They would just melt before they hit me anyway.

Yes, I’m sad to say goodbye to Old Man Winter.  Spring is threatening everywhere with blooming daffodils, budding azaleas, and people wearing flipflops and shorts in 50-degree weather.  Why am I sad?  Let me count the ways.

1.  Snow.  I’m still waiting!  We haven’t even had a good ice storm this winter!  I’ve got grandchildren who’ve never even seen snowmen in person.  A few years ago we had snow in March.  It’s getting pretty far into March now, though, and no weather person has mentioned any ice storms coming in the near future.

2.  Allergies.  Here, allergy season goes into high gear in the spring.  The weather turns nice, the flowers start blooming, then, just as you start thinking about doing some yard work, that thick yellow stuff called pollen coats everything from vehicles to cows and sends you running back into the house for Kleenex and Chlorpheniramine.  Try sneezing and saying that at the same time.

3.  Boots.  I’ve managed to accumulate several pairs of boots over the years and I really like to wear them.  My toes and roadmaps of veins hide pretty well in boots.  I would even wear them in the summer if they also didn’t serve as ovens in hot weather.  Someone should invent tiny air conditioners for shoes.

4.  Winter clothes.  So much more attractive on older, heavier bodies than skimpy summer styles.  Who wants to see upper arms and legs over 50?  That’s why shrugs and capri pants were invented, people.  But sometimes it gets so hot you just gotta.  I know!  I’m right there with you!  Forget about swimsuits.  Unless you have to take grandkids.  Then what do you do?  You resort to suits with skirts and baggy coverups and hope you don’t have to get in the water, or at least deeper than your ankles.

5.  Blazing fires.  Not a good thing in summertime when the air already feels like you’re standing near a fire.  Great in the winter.  Who doesn’t love a roaring fire in the fireplace or firepit?  You get to wrap up in a blanket and sip on a warm beverage.  Nothing better.  In the summer just stare at the sun or its reflection on car windshields.  But not directly, of course.

That’s about it.  I’ll have to paint my toenails, break out the sandals and capri pants, put the boots and sweaters in storage, and resign myself to another six months of scorching heat.  That’s all right, I suppose.  I’ll try to squeeze in some yard work before the sun burns everything up.  Now where did I put the Flonase and tissue?  Achoo!

How do you feel about winter?

XOXO

Categories
Uncategorized

AT HOME MONDAY: Remember that lantana?

Remember that day when I showed you how I (or my mother) planted a special lantana flowering plant in my backyard and bordered it with old bicycle rims?  My sister who now lives in Indiana sent it to me as a get well gift after my hysterectomy in May.  It started life in a plastic hanging basket and almost died before I was able to rescue it from my porch where the floral delivery van left it.


The Texas summer sun will scorch anything green if it isn’t tended to pretty quickly, but thanks to my wonderful mother it was transplanted into a less severe environment in one corner of my backyard.  Here is how it looked the day we planted it.

And here is how it looks today after three months of 
braving the heat and three Boston terriers!


Look at the colors in those beautiful blossoms.  The grass and pink metal flamingo haven’t faired as well. . .How are your outdoor plants doing right now?  

In Texas we call these days the “dog days of summer,” but even the dogs hate it.  The weatherman says there is a cold front coming next weekend.  I’ll believe it when I see it.  Tomorrow’s high?  The forecast is 100 degrees, and Labor Day is supposed to be the unofficial end of summer!  No one told Mother Nature, I guess.  I’ll just stay inside and take their word for it. . .

Stay cool!

xoxo