Friday, September 14, 2012

Autumn Begins with Bumps

Life has been full of challenges lately. Had the autumn travel plans about set, calendar rearranged, and could sniff the Southwest. Flashing lights with a bloody smear in an eyeball and a stressful trip to ER rearranged things. The short story here is a vitreous tear and two small hemorrhages; I wait until next week for another check to see if they will repair themselves in any way.

So we went ahead and pulled the camper to Roaring River for a few beautiful days right before autumn rain began to fall. DH fished his heart out and was surprised I did not want to eat out or visit Eureka Springs. Worry and discomfort kept me from wanting to do anything but sit tight. Reading was a problem with a blurry eye. Now a reader/writer has to have her eye!

I am not a fan of camping anyway. If one likes to sleep on a board padded the thickness of a Depends, use what amounts to a chamber pot from days gone by, and change clothes in a space the size of a water heater then camping should be a hit for him or her.

One of my first memories is camping with my grandparents on Lake Tenkiller in Oklahoma. Granny and Gramps took us down and our parents joined us in a couple of days. (How my parents must have enjoyed those days of silence!) My sister and I slept in the back of a red and white 62 Rambler Classic Wagon where my Granny had stretched out pads and blankets. Sleeping wasn’t the problem; the bathroom was. It didn’t exist. These were the days of open range and one went to squat or use a log in the woods near the campground which were loaded with feral hogs. Now who can concentrate on business when you hear a mean pig sneaking up on you?

Gran managed to fry eggs and bacon, to make toast, to feed us well at an open fire. It was so good, but I never gave a young thought to how much work it was for her or how she washed up or if she might want to be doing something else with her life. Later in the day we were to take motorboat rides and Gramps thought it great fun to scare the bejeezus out of us by leaning the boat flat to the water, splashing cold spray into our faces. I have not liked deep, dark water since!

Later in my early married years, I visited the in-laws while they camped at Branson. These were fishing trips and there was a camper with a stove. But I watched my mother-in-law serve men full dinners after they had exhausted themselves with a boat, motor, and fishing poles. She fried pork chops, mashed potatoes, made gravy all in a tin can camper that heated up on a summer day’s noon like an oven. The men expected a full meal she said. When DH dragged this camper home, I told him to put the burners in cold storage because I was not doing the duty his mother had done.

The air was beautiful though in the park. Nights were quite chilly and days were warm. Not many people fishing. The water cascaded gently on its path beyond the valley. 


Susan said...

Oh, Claudia. That was a great post. I chuckled at your description of camping cuz that's exactly how I feel. Your poor Gram and mother-in-law. They have their places in heaven, that's for sure. Nice photos, too. Hope the eye problem abates SOON. Susan

Grandma Swift said...

Loved the camping memories. My mother used to roast a pork loin with the bones in it over a a bed of coals for hours. So delicious and such a lot of work.

Hope your eye is better! It sounds very uncomfortable.

Rebecca said...

I'm not a huge fan of camping myself - I kind of like the theory of it, but not the practice.

I pray that your eye WILL heal with time and that your mind will be peaceful. I "see" that it hasn't diminished your sense of humor :)

Nights here are quite chilly also. I SO enjoy this time of year.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

I'm with you. My idea of camping is a weekend at the Hyatt. :) You do have some lovely photos, though, and I enjoyed your memoir writing!

Linda O'Connell said...

Hope your eye is better soon. I like the IDEA of camping better tahn the reality of it. I do love the outdoors.

Donna Volkenannt said...

Hi Claudia,
What lovely photos. I especially like the one with the waterfall.

Thanks for sharing your memories of your grandma.

Hope you heal fast!


BECKY said...

Oh my gosh, Claudia! What on earth did you do?? I'm behind in reading your blog; I read the one above first and didn't know something awful had happened to your eye!
I'm like you with camping, too! And I've been saying things like Lisa, too...Camping? Yes, in an air conditioned hotel, thank you very much!