Last year, I wrote about why I hate my birthday. The reasons weren’t superficial, but a byproduct of sweet memories and the ache of loss. It’s interesting to me that this subject has garnered the most search hits to my blog (312 since I began my blog last year.) I suspect my post wasn’t what most searched for because only one of those visits resulted in a comment.
This year is no different. I still dislike my birthday and the month of July. I’m starting to wonder if my last few posts are part of this bigger picture of loss. (You can’t get anything past me.) I wonder if that visit to my grandparents’ house would have cut me so deeply if it had been in August? I’ll never know.
For a change of pace, we decided to go on a camping trip last weekend. We’ve loved all of our trips away from the sweltering heat, so I figured it would be a good thing to keep my mind from dwelling on the fact that it is July…already…again.
I suppose it should have been a sign when my hubby wrenched his back out bending over to pick up the handle to our wheeled cooler. I found it ironic that this happened without any kind of lifting involved. With the trailer hitched and truck half-loaded, I suggested we cancel the trip. (The kids had been fighting all morning, which was not unusual, and I was crabby…which was also not unusual.)
Hubby refused to give in. We were going camping no matter what.
Yes, in hindsight, the back wrenching was an omen. A sign we should have paid attention to. Like a raven circling overhead, hooting owls, or a broken mirror. Instead, we forged ahead.
We were about an hour away from the campsite when my hubby’s right leg cramped and we had to pull off the Interstate. He couldn’t even climb out of the truck and I offered drive. He refused, wisely recognizing that my driving with the camping trailer hitched to the truck on a winding, hilly road may not be the best idea.
We did make it to the campground, where we had reserved a spot over a month ago after scoping out the then-closed campground in March. We drove to our reserved site, only to find someone else already camped there – with the same dates we had scheduled.
We drove back to the entrance and hubby hobbled over to the campground host’s table. It is then that we were informed of a discrepancy between the forest service’s map and that of the reservation site, blah, blah, blah. There was much more to the explanation, but my ears refused to hear it. Bottom line was, our reserved spot was ours no more.
Instead of getting our spot by the creek, with the foliage providing shade, we were directed to another spot (not next to the creek) which had been cleared of all shade trees. As an added bonus, the busy highway was right behind our site. Hubby noted, “at least there are a few trees between us if someone goes off the road.” Comforting thought. I felt so much better.
I unpacked and set up the trailer in silence because all of the things I wanted to say would have spoiled everyone else’s time. Besides, the kids were having fun playing in the area nearby…and I could keep them in sight since there weren’t many trees around to block my view.
It took several hours and a long walk, but I was finally able to appreciate the beauty around us (even though we had to walk farther to get to it.) I was pacified by the camp host’s providing a comment card that we could sent to the forest service, and my hubby’s promise to make his complaint heard. That was enough for me to “let it go.”
We baked in the sun for two days, eagerly hoping the dark clouds in the distance would bring some rain, or at least some much-needed shade. We got moments of shade. The spurts of rain often happened as we made the trek from our site to the bathrooms. The real rain didn’t come until Monday morning, as we were packing up to leave.
I cleaned the trailer as best I could, as the dirt turned to mud all around us. We folded the trailer down, knowing that the wet canvas would have to be aired out once we got home. The desert heat didn’t disappoint – the trailer dried in about twenty minutes, although by that time, we were drenched. It didn’t matter, because at least we prevented a mildew disaster.
But another mildew disaster lurked, waiting to be discovered. On Monday night, I went to do a load of laundry (after 9PM when electricity is less expensive). I found the load of laundry hubby had left in the washer before we left on Saturday.
After three days, it was a fine, smelly mess. I soaked and rewashed the load, and did the load I needed to do in the first place. All without once wishing him harm.
I figured his back pain was enough. I’ll call this an improvement because two days ago, I might have dumped the wet laundry in his truck with the windows rolled up 🙂
Do you believe in omens? Do you have any tips for combating general crankiness? I welcome your comments related or not…