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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Blessed by a Bucket List

I have felt so stinking blessed lately.

I mean absolutely down to my toes blessed.

Last weekend was the "infamous" camping trip.
I planned it as I tend to do, which was by not planning it all.

Let me backtrack.

A lot of us have bucket lists, whether written or mental, of things we want to do. Some of the things on my list involve adventures with the kids, and some were getting done and some were not. Whether from timing, or funds, or fear, they weren't happening. I kept feeling like I had time, "when the kids get a little older".. when this, when that.

Then, Kate graduated from high school and went off to college, it hit me. The time is now. In some ways, the time is past or is passing as we speak. Chris will get his permit this summer, then a job and a more independent life, then he too will spread his wings and fly.

Yep, I needed to hop to it, and fast.

So, back to the camping. Going camping was one of the things on my bucket list. Problem was, I don't know how to camp, I have no experience with it and nor does Rob. Furthermore, he had no interest in going at all. But, I finally determined that I would just have to yank up my big girl pants and do it- there had to be a first time at some point, right?- Before I could change my mind, I booked three nights over Memorial Day weekend. Tent camping, no electric or water. We could do this! We were excited!

Around 3 AM, my eyes popped wide open and curses flew from my lips as I realized what I had done. What was I thinking? I have no idea how to camp! I have no supplies! No freaking tent, even! This will be Awful! WHAT HAVE I DONE???

The next day I took to trusty Facebook to moan about my self-induced dilemma. Friends gave me sage advice (they are clearly used to me as there was little obvious eye rolling) and then the most amazing Jeni and David leapt to my rescue with all the camping supplies a girl could need, plus an awesome checklist. We were saved!

Supplies were picked up, tents were practiced in the front yard and the next day we were campground bound. I couldn't believe how much stuff we were taking with us but I was assured this was normal!

The tent camping trip was wonderful. Really, really fun. We went to a Jellystone Campground resort, which was perfect for a first time. There was lots for the boys to do while I practiced things like How To Cook Using Propane and How To Light Wet Firewood. Very entertaining! I really enjoyed learning to cook outside and so forth. We had an absolute blast. Rob did come join us for the second night, and then for the third night Rob left and Kate and her boyfriend joined us.

It felt awesome to take the risk and do something scary and new. I told Rob after the first night, I could FEEL the neurons firing and the synapses making new connections. My brain was buzzing with activity as I had to work hard to figure out new ways of doing things. It was so good, so healthy.  I knew no matter how successful we were, memories were being made and in the end, the good memories would remain and the bad ones would make the funniest stories. :)

Since we've gotten back, I've been toying with the calendar, trying to figure out where we might camp next. I've also been hard at work on the computer, notebook in hand, planning our next adventure-- for Summer 2015, a Western US loop over at least a month.

There's so much to see and do out there.. and a Bucket List to be checked off.

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