Camping adventure at 3:00 AM

Ruthie Gray Uncategorized 1 Comment

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We were able to get away to the beach for a few days this week. The first day we had warm, balmy weather. We beached, we pooled, we beached again.  Ate crab legs until our eyes bulged.  It got pretty dangerous at our table, Jim is the only one who is good at the crab legs thing, the rest of us hacking and cracking and sucking.  It’s no wonder the waitress stood a couple feet away every time she checked on us.

Every time we set up the camper, Jim and I have a “discussion” about me wanting my little lights up on the awning and him not wanting to put them up.  I won this time, but the wind picked up last night and we had the other discussion we always have when the wind picks up – should we or shouldn’t we take the lights down and roll up the canopy. But Jim had tied down the sides, so we decided against it.  Before we ever turned the lights out, the wind was whistling around the camper.  I awoke around 1:30 AM to a huge thump.  I looked toward the light and wondered why I was hearing thumps in my house.  I had been dreaming about Sasquatch chasing me, so naturally I was a bit disoriented.  It took me a full minute to realize I was not home.  “Oh good, it’s not Bigfoot” I thought.  Then, the realization that the canopy was whipping around – the wind worse.  I tried to ignore it, and I knew Jim was awake also. 

An hour and several thumps later, he says, “Welp, I’m gonna have to go out there and you are gonna have to help me.  And we’re gonna have to get Kylie to help us too – she can push the button to bring in the canopy”.  You may wonder why Kylie and not Hayley, who is the elder of the two.  Even though Kylie is our baby, she has been a very capable and decided individual ever since she was three years old, demanding to wear bell bottoms every day of her life and organizing everyone’s shoes at the front door.  Because Kylie can decide and react quickly, she can also be awake and alert quickly.  She’s like Jim, she just has a sixth sense about things – she gets it. 

Hayley is more like me in this aspect.  I will sleep through a severe thunderstorm and never hear it.  I will sleep through a kid sleepwalking in the night.  I will sleep through a kid throwing up in the night.  A couple of weeks ago, Hayley was moaning and groaning with stomach pain in her bathroom (right underneath our room) and I never even heard a thing until Jim jumped up and ran down the stairs. That’s how Hayley is too, and if she does come to, she is incapable of functioning in a coherent fashion so as to be of any help.  So, we chose Kylie.

Jim wakens her while I get dressed.  He goes out and unties the roaps fastened to the ground.  I come out and hold one of them.  The storm is brewing, lightening flashing over the ocean.  I hear a ripping sound, and then another.  Looking around, I see our neighbor – a shirtless old guy –  fastening down his picnic table cloth with masking tape.  “Someone is out here at 3:00 AM because they are worried about a cheap table cloth?” I muse to mysef.  Jim takes hold of the opposite rope and whispers loudly, “Push the button!”.  Nothing happens. The wind is whipping, canopy snapping, he’s not sure Kylie hears him, so he whispers again, “PUSH THE BUTTON!!” Nothing.  You may be wondering why he was whispering, but we have camper neighbors all around us.  When you live in campers, you can hear every noise from outside.  It was 3:00 AM, and there’s only old people and us in this campground.  We were trying not to wake the neighborhood.

Jim finally gave up whispering from his post and made Kylie trade him places outside.  The poor thing was not prepared for the wind and blowing light rain, she still had her jammies on, her long hair in a bun atop her head.  Here I was in a hoodie and pants.  We watched each other’s silhouettes.  Jim pushed the button – nothing.  He brings his agitated self back outside and starts taking the little tiny clips off the canopy – the ones that hold my lights.  The stupid motor won’t work until they are off, apparently (that would make this my fault).  I try not to laugh at the absurdity of the situation, but between his aggravated body language and Kylie’s top knot blowing in the wind, I’m hard pressed not to snicker. 

The clips off, he presses the button, and the canopy rolls in.  Thank goodness!!!

Hayley got up and stumbled to the bathroom.  We wondered at her comprehension of the situation.  This morning we asked her if she heard us last night.  “Oh, THAT’S what was going on!  I thought I heard something but I couldn’t figure out what it was so I went back to sleep.”

After we got back in bed last night, Jim laughed and whispered, “Always new material for your blog, eh?”  Yep, that’s why I do it.  You can’t make this stuff up, folks, it’s just too absurd!

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