Rhymes, Rants & Accolades from North Central BC

FAMILY CAMPING

August12, 1976 Sense and Nonsense [Nechako Chronicle]

The scene: a living room with various sized people watching TV.  Dad, Mom, Big brother, Bigger brother, Borrowed brother and Small sister are lazily lolling in the sunshine filtering through the living room windows.

Enter: Aunt, Uncle, Small nephew and Very Small dog. Aunt: “Such a beautiful day! Such a shame to waste such an unusually nice weekend! Let us all go camping!

Interest is expressed in varying degrees ranging from immediate agreement by the brothers to lukewarm enthusiasm by Mom. Mom mentally counts diapers, camping utensils, food etc. Dad packs tent, blankets, foam mattresses, fishing gear, etc. Mom packs diapers, camping utensils, food, etc. Bigger brother digs worms.

The scene: The launching site for a fairly large boat and a smaller boat. Grampa has joined the group. Everyone is busily unloading a pickup truck and a car and placing pound after pound of paraphernalia in the fairly large boat. The ground is quite soft.

Dad: “If it rains we may have trouble driving out of here”. Aunt: “On such a beautiful day we should talk about rain!”

The scene: a sandy beach bordering a beautiful blue bay. Mom and Aunt are preparing dinner and alternately chasing Small sister and Very small dog. Small sister is fascinated by the water. Her only pair of shoes are already wet. Very small dog has a tendency to be underfoot. Both are small enough and cute enough to be forgivable.

After a succulent meal of wieners, beans and Freshie, the men and Small nephew succumb to the primitive urge to catch a fish. The women walk about in the sunshine watching the antics of Very small dog and Small sister. Borrowed brother and Big brother are very wet. Borrowed brother is the wettest as he is wearing all his clothing. Small sister amazes all by removing her wet shorts and piddling in the water. Could this be the secret in potty training her? Maybe mom should anchor the potty chair in the bathtub at home.

Grampa returns with a nice char. Much later the other fishermen return with 3 small trout. The trout have been flaunting themselves continuously but will not bite. Dad wonders if this means a change in the weather. Aunt flings a handful of sand at him.

Another succulent meal is served. This time it consists of beans and fish. Mom and Borrowed brother have submerged the hamburger and Uncle’s steak in a plastic bag in the lake – to keep it cool. At this time it is discovered the bag has a hole in it. Uncle cooks his water logged steak. Grampa decides to go home and rejoin the group in the morning. He leaves his sleeping bag behind. Big and Borrowed brothers don their dry clothing which consists of their bathing suits. The trees are littered with wet clothing.

The scene: the end of a perfect day. A campfire illuminates the happy faces of young people indulging in the fascinating game of throwing rocks in the water. Dad and Uncle periodically join in this game. A loon flies over the water. Mom: “Good, the loon is quiet. That means it won’t rain. Loons always know when it is going to rain”. Dad agrees with this statement. Aunt: “Of course it is not going to rain!”

The scene: It’s 5:30 in the morning. It is semi-dark in the tent. The soft snores from sleeping children, the lapping of the waves contrast with the staccato sound of raindrops on canvas. Mom and Dad leap from their beds, quickly gather up damp clothing and place all dry goods in plastic bags. Aunt and Uncle emerge from the cab of the boat where they have slept. A roaring campfire is built, coffee is drunk and eggs are eaten. The rain becomes a torrent.

Dad: “I believe we should break camp. It looks like an all day rain”. The children are awakened, bedding rolled up, food and utensils packed. Everyone is wearing winter coats and plastic garbage bags are used for hats and vests. The soggy tent is folded down. A loon flies over the water screaming loudly. Someone says a bad word. In the confusion the boat drifts away from shore. Uncle tears out of the bushes and leaps aboard. He is applauded wetly for his athletic feat.

Everything and everybody is sandwiched into the cab of the boat except for Uncle and Dad who are already so wet it doesn’t matter. The motor is “logy” this morning. The 8 miles drift by slowly. Mom hands Dad a lighted cigarette. His appreciation is dimmed as the cigarette quickly becomes too wet to smoke. The water is streaming off the mens’ hats and clothing. Uncle begins to sing. Aunt suggests that maybe the rain has soaked through layers of hat, skin and bone and into Uncle’s brain.

Upon reaching shore, Mom, Aunt, Nephew, Small sister and Small dog walk home, leaving the men and boys to unload the boat and un-stick the vehicles.

Scene: A living room full of various sized people lolling about watching TV. A roaring fire has been built in the heater and wet clothing has been hung up to dry. Enter Grampa smiling: “I thought of you guys this morning when I awoke in my nice warm bed in my nice dry house. He is immediately informed of the fact that all the bedding fared well except for his sleeping bag which became saturated when Borrowed brother rolled partially out of the tent in his sleep.

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