Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Camping at Hermit Island, Maine

What is it about camping that's so fun?

  • breaking free from normal (never mind that everything's ten times harder and dirtier and slower, the refreshment that comes with change is worth it)
  • long walks to the potty, peppered with conversations like, "Me want you carry me" and "We go dirty dirty potty?" and "Where's Aunt 'Ita?" (his great aunt who is a favorite with children because she pays attention to them and lets them help her with things)
  • the ocean in the morning, when the beach is empty and the waves lapping the shore seem almost peaceful
  • campfire bacon, cooked crisp to the almost-burned state
  • campfire fried eggs, that look inedible, but taste pretty great because camping works up such a strong appetite
  • being neighbors to family and friends that you just can't get enough of, and no doors or walls to shut them out
  • the ocean on a hot day...ice cold.
  • independence, as two boys play together chasing and being chased by small waves that seem big to them, while we parents (are we really the PARENTS?? Can we be that old already?) stand back and watch, not interfering
  • little boys' cold skin and dripping swim shorts reluctantly held against dry, sun-warmed skin
  • long afternoon naps
  • conversations around the campfire in the dark after the exhausted little ones are asleep
  • the ocean at night, heard more than seen in the blackness, its motion never pausing to sleep
  • rising to the challenge of building a fire, cooking a meal, staying warm, maintaining a cheerful attitude when all is dampened by a morning rain shower, and another, and another, and another.
  • gratefulness mustered that while the sky is gray and damp all day, at least it's not raining
  • the joy of packing all the wet, sandy belongings into the car because it's time to go home, back to the beloved normal, the clean soft carpets and warm dry bed
  • plopping two grimy sandy urchins into a deep hot bath and pulling out soft, sweet smelling sons
  • enjoying the ordinary with fresh eyes, renewed gratefulness for the comforts of home

Incidentally, we found a free tent this weekend. After the rainy morning, we took a walk scouting sites, the nicest ones right on the ocean, and beside a metal garbage barrel someone had left a folded up, discarded tent that looked new. My Mom and I unfolded it to inspect it for damage, while My Hero shrunk in embarrasment that his wife was garbage picking. It looked like a perfectly good family-sized tent, so we dug the poles out of the garbage, refolded the tent, and brought it all back to our site where we assembled it and discovered that we had indeed stumbled upon a new, large, undamaged tent. We think someone may have tried camping for the first time and decided after the rain that camping is not their idea of vacation. Probably the tent isn't terribly waterproof, and we'll have to string a tarp over it to keep out the rain. But every summer My Hero and I discuss buying a tent, and haven't bothered to yet, because my parents have a large tent they always let us borrow. Now we have one of our own! Truly a hightlight of the weekend.


tonia said...

cool! I love free stuff. ;)

Peter said...

For more infomation about Hermit Island, check out Hermit Island's unoficial travel guide, the biggest and latest source of information on the island, at www.hermitisland.weebly.com