I left for the campgrounds Friday afternoon once Noah got out of school. I picked him up and we headed out around 3:30 that afternoon. We drove pretty much straight through after most of the day the girls and I had been packing the truck for the trip. It takes a lot of lists to prepare to stay away from home in a camper parked over two hundred miles from home.
Having the camper parked is supposed to be a way for me and the kids to be able to see their dad as economically as possible. I find it takes quite a bit of planning to pull off the economics of all this. I have now been here in the camper for eight nights. I stayed the week after Memorial Day because I thought it was cheaper for me to stay than to go home. When that thought was in my head I was thinking I saw Kent Memorial Day so if I stayed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday it was forty-five dollars more. I would want to return the following Friday so it would cost me that to drive home and that to drive back. So I stayed.
Ummm, camping by myself, quite an adventure. As I said, Noah came over with us, but only stayed two nights and then went back with his sister so he could go to school. We got over here Friday evening around 8:30. The camper was facing the wrong direction as the owner had made me switch sites since the camper was staying for the summer. He had turned the camper so the awning was facing the road not the lake. I had Noah turn the camper around for me. In order to do this he had to not only move the camper, but unhook the truck and back it out between the lake, two campers and a tree. But, he did it as stressful as it was.
The next morning we awoke and realized the lake was rising and if we waited until after our visit with Kent we may not be able to get the truck in front of the camper to move it without the truck going into the lake. So we moved back enough that we felt safe from the rising lake. Noah had told me we should just move to the spot next to us because he felt it was a better spot and farther away from the lake. I didn’t know what the owners would say so we stayed put. Then the owners stopped by to say hey and said they wouldn’t have cared if we moved to the other spot. When we returned from our visit we moved…a third time. Ugh!!
We have a small tent the two younger girls wanted to sleep in so they set that up and Noah and I slept in the camper. The camper is basically for sleeping at this point because I have not had the opportunity or time to learn how to use things and because of the damage I’m not sure what I should be using and what I shouldn’t. I may have been a bit gung ho in hitching up the camper and hauling it over here for the summer.
Noah left Sunday afternoon and the two girls and I were on our own for the rest of the week. Noah was such a sport before he left and helped so much. As I said he and I slept in the camper, it was miserable because I am a very light sleeper. I could feel the entire camper shake every time he moved and I’m sure he felt the same. I asked him to figure out how to put the stabilizer bars down and he watched a video and got the thing stable. No more wiggling, I could sleep at last.
The girls and I attempted to keep ourselves busy. We went to nearby towns and went window shopping, stopping for ice cream and packing our lunch where we were able to eat at road side parks that had beautiful overlooks. We went bike riding. The girls went exploring and did their school in their free time. They also went kayaking right in the lake in front of our camper. They talked me into going in which I went maybe thirty feet out into the lake. You see, the winds were around 25mph all last weekend and most of the week. When I went out on the kayak Noah was here and was able to help me out. I was a bit maybe a lot worried about getting out on my own as I injured my knee last September where I didn’t walk for over three months. It still is not fully healed and I am petrified of more knee problems. I would rather have all six of my kids at once than go through the pain of my knee going out again. It was that painful. So as the kayak tempts me I have not gone back out.
Then the lake got calm and I saw it. A head slithering through the water then diving down into the water as its tail followed the body I saw that it was a dreaded snake. I googled what type of snakes are around here. Water moccasins or commonly called cottonmouths. No, thank you! I realize the snakes aren’t going to jump into the kayak. But, what happens if I tip and go into the water I’m sure they would all attack at once and devour me. No way am I going into that water.
The campground I’m keeping the camper at only has kybos. It does not have showers that’s why it’s five dollars a night cheaper when I’m staying and I’m able to store it here for fifty a month. So the search for a shower was on. Fortunately, there is a state park four miles away. We showered there first. Then Sunday happened, the park closed for flooding and locked the showers. The next shower we wanted to take took a bit of finding. After driving for over an hour as my gps kept giving me wrong directions we found one in Clinton and showered there, eighteen miles away. The third place we showered was a state park north of here. I went in, the girls had decided they would wait until the next day when their Grandma and Aunt would arrive and they could shower at their hotel. I on the other hand was going to see Kent and preferred to smell fresh rather than as sweat, campfire and the gross outdoors. I went in to shower. I noticed the biggest stall was out of order. I went into the middle stall although I was apprehensive as there was a camera. A camera in the bathroom!!! It wasn’t pointed towards the shower, but I kept wondering if it was getting me in the corner of its eye. I showered as quickly as possible in the freezing cold, dressed as quickly as possible in the dripping wet stall and let my hair air dry on the fifteen mile drive back to the camper.
Friday was finally here again, I went into visit with Kent and told him all about our adventures the past week. I told him how this great truck he sold our other wood truck for was ummm having a few issues. Although, I am quite thankful that the truck is a double cab, something our other one was not and don’t mind it terribly bad. I am thankful for the incredibly cold air coming out of it when it has gotten so stinkin hot here this week. It has not gone without its problems. The first problem I had was before we left, the tailgate decided not to stay up so like good hillbillies or moms who can’t fix a thing we put a strap thingy on to hold it. see I don’t even know what they are called. So the strap thingy keeps the tailgate up. That’s a bit embarasing, but I remind myself I have a nice suv at home in the garage and I don’t Have to drive the wood truck, I choose to. That somehow makes it a bit easier on my ego. Then one day on one of our outings the door handle went flying down the highway. I was to busy to stop to pick it up I don’t really need it anyway as that door quit opening a few days ago. The third problem I have and it is a bit embarrassing, but I have figured out how to alleviate it a bit. The drivers door does not want to open. I found that it take three full body slams to get it open. Not one or two but three full slams. I am sweaty and worn out by the time I get the blankety blank door open. But no worries here, I figured out if I push on the side of the window it comes open with one hard push.
Here it is Saturday night, the girls are at a hotel with their aunt and grandma. I have been alone in the camper trying to clean up and get ready to pack up and head home tomorrow. When I feel a tremendous jolt. I go outside the camper and see the guy next to me backed into my camper. He is horribly apologetic. I’m scared to death dealing with him. The reason being last night was his first night here. At twelve thirty I finally quit hearing him yelling at his wife when I put my speaker as loud as it would go in my window. I was hoping he would get the point without me screaming “we can hear you, would you shut up.” So this guy that’s having to admit he hit the camper and broke the little light also saying he didn’t put a hole in the camper. The hole is tiny, but this camper is styrofoam in the middle. So that hole no matter how tiny is going to put moisture in here and I am not sure how to handle a guy I have to spend the night next to that I have heard his rage for hours on end and it wasn’t towards me. This is no fun not having my hubby do my dirty work for me. I got his plate number I will have to let the insurance companies work that out. Too much on my plate this week for me to handle.
I’m thinking of the past week alone as a woman trying to camp. I realize there are many women who can do it. They can do it better than me for sure. It has definitely been a struggle. I have been incredibly frustrated with not being able to get a fire started at times because the wind would not just die down and go away. It was a struggle keeping food cold in the one cooler I foolishly brought because the other ones I own are loaned out. It was even a struggle going to a laundry mat. I’m not used to going to a laundry mat so when I put my twenty dollars in for quarters to wash my one load of laundry and I got twenty dollars worth of tokens back, I wanted to cry. There were times through the week I did cry. I balled like a baby. I wanted to cry when I saw my girls legs so bitten up by mosquitoes and I couldn’t figure out how to protect them from the horrible invasion we couldn’t get away from. Although all that happened and it was all very hard. I got to be with my girls. I got to put them to bed and wake up with them. I got to do a bible study with them each day and talk with them about what they were learning. Through all this hardship is good. And I will try my hardest to focus on the good.