Showing posts with label camping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label camping. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

One Van for the Girls, Another for Their Equipment

          I was on the road all day yesterday - most of it anyway.  It seemed like I had been driving the same piece of highway for more than four hours.

          The class for water aerobics started yesterday.  I had taken Jenna with me.  It was just us with the instructor in the pool - which was warm, though the air was not.

          The library doesn't open until 12:00 on Mondays, and so we returned home for two hours and Jenna finished her packing. 
          At 11:30 I received a reminder to please have my girls' belongings to the leaders house sometime today (yesterday) and had planned for that anyway.  I told Jenna we would drop her things off and then go to the library.

          After I turned onto our former street, Jenna spotted three of her friends playing together and asked if she could leave the car.  I told her to go ahead and play with the friends she misses seeing more often than just once a week.  She had fun. 
          I dropped off her bags and was told that she might want a chair.  I left Jenna on the street where we used to live and returned for the chair and a blanket and drove back to the leader's house.  I took Jenna with me the second time and we headed to the library and she registered for the reading program.

          She wanted to stay for story time - though she is really too old for story time.  She checked out 8-10 books and I said we should go to the store as story time would not be for another hour. 
          So I drove from the library to Dollar General - which is not that far of a drive.  We browsed a long while purchased Band-Aids, baby wipes, a water gun and some eye drops.  Returned to the library and saw some of our neighbors leaving.  I asked if they weren't going to stay for story time.  I didn't get an answer.  As it turned out we didn't stay for story time either.  There had been a huge mass of kids and then the children's part of the library had emptied out.  What a shame.

          Next library activity scheduled was the teen water fight event at 5:00.  We had to go to Roseburg at 3:00.  I asked Roland if we could please return in time for the library activity that Jenna had been looking forward to now for almost a month.
          So we had programmed the GPS to take us to Charter (a cable company I often refer to as Comcast's little brother - both trying to expand - Comcast with Xfinity and Charter with Spectrum) so we could turn in our cable boxes (which we can no longer afford - not that really could in the first place.  We NEED the internet, but we don't need cable)

This is what the Comcast building looks like in Salt Lake:

and this is the Charter building in Roseburg:

          As long as we were in Roseburg, we decided to pick up a few items that are a bit less costly than in Myrtle Creek.  While on the road, the cars were jammed together much like they are in Salt Lake.  A horrible accident within a main intersection.  Unbelievable.  Just like Salt Lake.  Second traffic jam we've run into since being in Oregon.  Horrible.  Horrible.

          We did not return to Myrtle Creek until about 5:10.  The air was so overcast and seemed to promised rain.  The water fight event had been postponed until next week.  That is good.  Though it doesn't bother Jenna, I was not excited to have her being wet in the chilled air.

          This morning I took her to the church and dropped her off.  She carried a small bag with a few books (I told her she couldn't take any library books) the baby wipes, sunscreen (although its highly doubtful that she'll need the sunscreen) and a small flashlight.

          It wasn't raining when I dropped her off, but I'm certain they'd encountered much moisture on the way to the campground.  It rained for about an hour this morning.  The sun has made a few appearances, but the air hasn't warmed up at all.

          I did not choose to go to water aerobics today.  I think the temperature ought to be above 60.  It has been in the low 50's.   I can live with that.  I'd rather have it be 50 than 80 or 90.         
          I'm told the girls will get rained on when they are at camp.  I hope that Jenna has a good time and may open herself up. 
          There is a saying:  "People who don't know me think I'm quiet.  Those that do know me wish I was."          -      
                                                                         That's Jenna.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Go Camping or Not go camping . . .

     I have gone camping before – several times actually.  I’d gone with my family. I remember times when Patrick and I were younger though not too much with my other two sibs.  I do remember when Corey and Kayla were both a lot younger, we did do a family activity where we stayed in cabins.  That’s the only time I recall camping with the two of them.

     I’d gone to girls’ camp through the church.  When I was twelve and thirteen I went to a camp called Oakcrest.  We stayed in cabins.  I remember going to rough camp twice (we stayed in tents) as a youth and twice as a leader.  That was well over twelve years ago.

     And then there was the one time we attempted camping as a family – before Jenna entered the picture.  Memorial weekend 2002.  The boys were in a tent and Roland and I tried to sleep in the van.

     Roland has actually gone several times with the scouts – even in the winter – which he hates.  Two years ago he took Biff and Randy to a fathers/sons – of course they were all so lucky that they could go, and Jenna was not.

Half of Jenna’s friends have gone camping with their families.  They are so lucky!  The closest that Jenna ever got to camping was sleeping in a tent set up in the back yard.  So this year when she came home from an assembly introducing a camp through the school district – which was actually affordable for us – I signed Jenna up for Mill Hollow.

     The deadline was on April 30 – and that was the day I had turned my money in.  They had two openings – one in June and one in August.  I guess I should have picked the one in June.  But I thought the one in August might be a nice way for her to end her summer.

     None of her brothers had ever gone to Mill Hollow.  My first daughter-in-law had – and she loved it.  Gave Jenna hope.  More reason to look forward to it.

     Meanwhile, Roland is in the bishopric and the bishop was asked to assist in finding another leader to go with them to girls’ camp (the Young Women are from age 12-18) and Roland said my name came up.  He asked what dates Jenna would be going to Mill Hollow and it was for three of the five days that the young women have their camp.  So he asked if I would consider going those three days.

     And then three weeks ago he came home from Church all excited, forms in hand, he just needed my signature.  Word was that permission had been given so that Jenna would be able to go to YW camp with me.  Really?  Because I know that in the past leaders have been discouraged from bringing their non-YW children with them.

     “What about Mill Hollow?” I asked.
     “I think Jenna would have more fun at YW, don’t you?”
     I agreed. 
Still I wouldn’t have mentioned it to her.  But Roland blabbed and she was bouncing off the walls.

     The next day I cancelled her trip to Mill Hollow.  I hadn’t really wanted to. At Mill Hollow she would have been educated and learned more about plants, animals, geology, ecology, astronomy, etc. Learn history.  Enjoy activities.  Not to say that she won’t get that at YW, but she won’t be with her peers exactly.  I wish now I would have prayed about my decision, but I didn’t.

     Last week Jenna anxiously asked if she could tell the only other girl in her primary class that she would be going to YW. 

     “No.  Do not say anything to anybody” 

     I went to the camp kick off by myself.  They started out with a slide show that I thought was pretty cheesy.  Oh, this is so up her ally.  I think she would have liked it.  I still don’t know why I was called when it feels to me like the leaders already outnumber the girls.  I was the only person from our ward who attended the kick off. I did not stay for the entire thing as it wasn’t answering my questions. 

     Even though the forms have been signed and “special permission was granted” I have now been told that we will not be going.  And I fully understand.  I really do.  This program was designed for girls ages 12-18.  Those attending (or will attend) junior high and high school.  To create a bond, to introduce them to explore themselves.  They are not there to babysit or play big sister to primary girls.  If they make an exception for Jenna than they’ll have to make an exception for this girl or that leader and that isn’t right.  So I do understand the reason for exclusion.

     And anyone who knows Jenna knows she is a show stealer and loves attention and has been known to steal another’s thunder – and it isn’t her turn to shine as a young women and she needs to understand that.
     So after a week of bouncing, both of us have cried – her at the thought of not going to camp at all and me because I knew that she had built herself up for another let down.  If she can’t go to YW she won’t be going to camp at all.  We just received the refund for Mill Hollow yesterday.

     Roland said that maybe I could call the district tomorrow and see if I can uncanell my cancellation. But this time I will pray to know if it is the right decision for us at this time. Perhaps this situation is a blessing in disguise.  And perhaps we’ll never know what that blessing was/is.  She’s not as upset about it as she was last week when I told her to prepare herself that we might not be going. Perhaps one day she will understand.

     Truth is, as much as she truly, badly wanted to go – I truly and badly didn’t want to go.  And it is nothing against camping with the YW.  I actually don’t mind the bonding and experience.  It’s the lack of sleep.  It’s the discomfort of the heat and sitting on the ground.  My body wants the comfort of a bed – my bed.  And at least five pillows.  Not a board with a roll up or air mattress and only one pillow. Though it’s a sacrifice that I was willing to make.  But I’m now relieved that I don’t have to go.  But as much as I feel relief at not being able to go, my heart breaks for Jenna who never had an input or say. I still don’t understand why I was needed in the first place.  Perhaps I’ll never know that either. 
Often God does works in mysterious ways, or at least ways that we don’t understand.  I’m quite certain that this is one of them.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Experiencing the Great Outdoors

          As soon as I hit “publish” on my last post – the very second (I kid you not) I could hear Highness scratching at the door – which made a grand total of 29 minutes and 41 seconds that he had been outside.  Which is 28 minutes and 58 seconds longer than usual.

          We haven’t had him for a full year yet.  I think he stayed out longer when the weather was cooler – but not cold.  After the snow melted and the ground softened a bit, Highness started digging.  He escaped too many times.  But he hasn’t managed to sneak past the board that we put up in May.  Too bad we didn’t know about it sooner.

          The couple next door has a grandson that visits almost weekly.  He’s a handful.

          Truman’s Nana invited my daughter over to play shortly after we moved in.  But Truman would wear on Jenna’s nerves.  He was much too immature for her. Still is – but has developed a more sophisticated vocabulary.

          There is still a two age difference between them, but over the years Jenna has come to tolerate Truman and even accept him as friend – maybe her only friend.  Just haven’t seen a lot of kids this summer.

          Jenna has never been on an actual camping trip.  The few “camping” experiences she’s had have consisted of setting up the tent in the back yard and roasting marshmallow over the grill.  Right now it seems to be enough.  In 2010 she went “camping” with her brother (the one who is currently in the army) This year it was with Roland after Father’s Day (which you can read more about here)

My last post indicated that she was camping next door.  A tent had been set up in the backyard.  She spent the night with Truman, and his Nana – who had invited Jenna to stay with them.  Don’t know that Roland was as thrilled with the idea.  But there had been a spark in Jenna’s eyes all day.  I couldn’t say “NO’’ and kill the excitement that she had been feeling all day Friday.  She would be crying otherwise.

Not only did she have a great sleepover.  She spent time in the pool and ran through the sprinklers and ended up going to the movies with the family Saturday afternoon.  They went and saw “Brave” which she initially didn’t want to see.  She expressed her lack of interest each time a preview would appear.  I said that I would like to see it – she must have had a change of heart.  She said that “Brave” was awesome.  I won’t be seeing it until it comes to the dollar theatre.  We’ll go on a Monday when the shows are 75 cents.

I am so grateful that Jenna has found friendship after almost three years.  Still has friends and is very popular where we came from – but it’s been a lot more difficult over hear.  Though she does have two sets of brothers fighting over her already.  Oh, my heck! She’s only eight!

Thank you Ben and Stacey for taking Jenna under your wing and allowing her to go on your family activities.

Friday, July 27, 2012

fireworks and sleeping beneath the stars

She came to me the other night.

"What is that noise?"

"It's the fireworks (all month long)"

"I can't sleep."

That was in her bed
in her room
fan going
didn't drown out the noise.

Tonight she is in a tent in
the backyard next door

Flashlights going
I can hear her friend talking
and his Nana asking
why don't they all go to sleep.

I let Highness outside before I went to bed.
He usually returns in less than an entire minute.
But he's out there lying down.
It's been almost thirty.

He must be taking comfort in the voices of
Jenna and Trume.

Hopefully I will have more details tomorrow
about this exciting campout.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Flat, Small and Neatly Folded

Roland is a great father.  Perhaps he was not always there for his boys – I know that his “work” excuses got old after a while.  And there were disappointments.  But I know he spent quality time with them – I even have pictures to prove it.  And I know that there have been many other countless activities that I don’t have pictures for.  Like Klondike camping.  And Roland hates the cold.  But all the boys were with him.

Recently he told Jenna that they would go “camping” though Jenna’s never really been camping before.  Both times it was putting up a tent in the back yard and roasting marshmallows before going inside.

Initially they were going to set the tent up on Saturday.  Roland would start off his father’s day waking up in the tent - but when he came home from work (which is unusual for where he works) with information about a community fair that featured bouncy houses and free pony rides. 

We could do only one or the other, but not both.  It would be Jenna’s choice.  If she chose the fair, we could always do the camping thing at a later time.  But if she chose the camping . . . well, who knows how soon we would have another opportunity for free bouncy houses?  He wasn’t trying to persuade her – he really was letting her choose.

She chose the fair.  Roland said that maybe they could go camping on a Tuesday night (as he doesn’t have to be to work until later time on Wednesdays) and so this past Tuesday she had been looking forward to their camp all day – constantly asking, “is dad home yet?”

I had the car and had taken Jenna to my mom’s house.  I left a message to ask Bill if he would mind bringing Roland to meet me at my mom’s house. They just happen to work at the same place – but don’t frequently car pool because of the distance our houses are from one another.

As mom and I pathetically tossed the Frisbee around with Jenna, Bill and Roland pulled up in the driveway and Jenna tossed the Frisbee around with them while mom and I rested.

We didn’t return home until just before 6:00.  Roland said he had a class and asked Jenna if they could postpone the camping until Friday.  I told her that we could still make some smores.  And we roasted marshmallows over the stove.

While Roland listened to the lecture online, Jenna played outside with a friend.  After his parents took him away, Jenna came inside and cried herself to sleep.  She didn’t believe that Roland would take her camping on Friday either.  I told him about it the next morning.

He wasn’t aware that she had been looking forward to it all day and that she had cried herself to sleep.  I did not intend for him to feel bad, but he took Jenna aside and told her that they could set up the tent the minute we got home from his work last night.  And we did.  And all before the sun set.

We finished roasting marshmallows and making smores before the sun appeared to leave the sky.  And the sleeping bags were laid out with LOTs of extra blankets.  I slept in the house but relieved Roland at 3:00 this morning knowing he had work at 7:00 or 8:00.  Needless to say that I am sore and tired.  And I hope that three hours in a real bed was enough time for Roland.

At six I coaxed Jenna back into the house.  She went to the TV to watch Phineas and Ferb – and I want back to bed.  I think I slept for another hour and decided to see if I could take down the tent and roll up the bedding.  What a chore.

Taking the tent down was not a problem.  Got the stakes in their bag, and the poles in their bag – now the challenging part – folding the tent into a tiny pillow to put in its bag.  I am really horrible about returning anything to its original container – everything seems to expand once I remove it from the box – or else the box shrinks.

I sat on the tent and tarp and each sleeping bag and tried ever so carefully to squish out the air and fold it ever so carefully.  I would think that I weigh enough that I could squish it to incredible flatness with just one sit – but alas – no matter how flat and careful I think I’m being, the flatness is never small enough.

I remember attempting to fold a child’s sleeping bag that had been given to me by a neighbor.  One of my uncles happened to be visiting and watched with amusement.  I looked up at him and asked if he and his wife were experienced campers, and could he assist me in folding up the sleeping bag.  I don’t recall his exact words, but it was something along the line that he thought it would be easier just to do it himself.  And he did.  But Jenna had it undone within a matter of minutes.  My uncle had already gone when I came across the opportunity of rolling it back up.

          It can be done.  I’ve seen people do it.  Not my talent however.  And the heat of the blazing sun did not help matters.  It was only 8:30 in the morning and I felt like it was high noon.  I stopped.  I think the folding part is a two man job.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Creative Solutions

          Whenever I have done a report or written a letter and I want to be specific about conveying my message, I have turned to my brother Corey for his input on how to change my wording so that it flows smoothly like his words always seem to.  My husband Roland does the same thing to me – asks me to type up his reports and change them around to convey his message.  So I asked Corey who he turned to . . . . He hasn’t said.

          I turn to Roland when I need a solution – he is very creative and can come up with answers.  So does my sister-in-law.  Both have such logical approaches and can introduce such awe at the same time.

          There have been times where something somehow didn’t make it into the plans – such as the spoons for ice cream during Jenna’s last birthday.    I told the children that superheroes would be able to find a way to eat without spoons.  So most chose to use their toothpicks – while Jenna licked hers up like a cat (somehow I just don’t see Wonder Woman actually doing that).

          One time (when I was younger) my family went to an amusement park with our cooler in tote.  The plan was for us to have a picnic.  We’d brought chicken, chips and potato salad – whoops.  We’d forgotten the utensils.  My dad’s creative solution was for each of us to dip our chips into the bowl and eat them along with the potato salad.  It is the only time I remember sharing a large bowl with all of my family.

          And then there’s the time when Roland took the boys to a fathers and sons outing.  Somehow they had managed to leave the house with the tent – but not the poles.  Ooki took this picture after my creative spouse came up with a solution on what to use and sent the four boys out to get it.  What a hoot!

          Roland comes up with solutions all of the time with various jobs he’s had, in making temporary repairs until we can financially afford something professional, in displaying food or decorations (this summer I will be posting one about the flag)

          I enjoy the creativity of others and the ability they are blessed with at resolving certain issues.