July Tests My Positive Attitude. So Far, I’m Failing.

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.

Our reserved campsite...but that's not our stuff <sniff>

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.

Campsite we got...bright and sunny

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.”

Not in view from our campsite, but we found it anyway

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. 

My mind's thinking green

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…


18 thoughts on “July Tests My Positive Attitude. So Far, I’m Failing.

  1. Tori Nelson July 12, 2011 / 7:39 AM

    Not Camping is pretty much #1 on my list of Ways To Not Get Mad. I probably should’ve shared this tidbit a week ago 😦

    • jannatwrites July 12, 2011 / 7:18 PM

      Not a happy camper, are you? (Lame, I know.)

      I’m not a fan of the bugs, but that’s the kids’ favorite thing. You’ve got a little boy…don’t be surprised if you find yourself camping against your will one day 🙂

  2. SuziCate July 12, 2011 / 8:42 AM

    I would have been cranky, too! And yes, in hindsight I often find if I’d recognized the omen for it’s worth I’d never have ventured there in the first place!

    • jannatwrites July 12, 2011 / 7:20 PM

      I’m glad you could relate to this, SuziCate. My hubby contacted the forest service today and they’re going to verify our claim and possibly issue a refund. I just don’t know if we can squeeze another trip in before the kids start school in August!

  3. nrhatch July 12, 2011 / 11:16 AM

    That’s too bad.
    The site you picked out is gorgeous.
    You have good taste.

    Happy “Unhappy Birthday Month”! 😉

    • jannatwrites July 12, 2011 / 7:22 PM

      Why thank you, Nancy 🙂 We’re picky, so only 8 sites out of 57 made our ‘preferred’ list.

      I will have the happiest “Unhappy Birthday Month” ever! (I like that :))

  4. Debbie July 12, 2011 / 11:54 AM

    I’m not much of a camper; sounds like you handled this better than I would have! My sister has a July birthday, too — my mom’s fond of recalling how miserably HOT it was when she was born. Hope yours is a happy one — know that your grandpa is still near, probably nearer now than when he was alive!

    • jannatwrites July 12, 2011 / 7:31 PM

      I prefer the comforts of home (like flushing toilets, hot water and my own bed.) The boys have always wanted to go camping so the camping trailer was my condition on going with them. I’ve actually enjoyed it, and we’ve seen such beautiful places on our hikes.

      I can relate to your mom – my older son was born in mid-August. That timing wasn’t smart 😉 My family is good at distracting me, so I expect my day will be full of sweetness.

      Thanks for your visit today, Debbie!

  5. pattisj July 12, 2011 / 2:15 PM

    Sometimes vacation plans go awry. We’ve had some like that…anything that could go wrong, did. For me it was an opportunity to see if I could be content in whatever circumstances I found myself. Sorry to hear about the laundry in the washer upon your return. We tend to think we’ll be safe at home all the problems left behind! I’ll have to read your other birthday post. I hope you do something nice for yourself this birthday.

    • jannatwrites July 12, 2011 / 7:37 PM

      Flexibility is a good thing. We often go with loosely laid plans, but this time, we really did have our hearts set on that spot.

      Like a happy ending to a fairy tale, the laundry crisis is over. The clothes are clean and washer sanitized…and I’m much less cranky today (even after a crazy day at work :))

      Thanks for your visit today, Patti!

  6. Jackie Paulson Author July 12, 2011 / 8:27 PM

    I really hate to camp in my older years, but when I was younger I loved it. I love birthdays and feel like you are blessed. I don’t know why, but the way you hate them helps others who hate them. Feelings are real and important.

    • jannatwrites July 12, 2011 / 8:55 PM

      The thing I enjoy most about camping is the kids’ excitement. In the back of my mind, I know the days are fast approaching where they’ll be irritated to have to go with us. If my lack of birthday love helps someone else, it would make me feel better. I didn’t think of it that way.

      Thanks for your perspective, Jackie!

  7. Sankalp July 13, 2011 / 10:16 PM

    still you got to head out with your family.Happy Birthday 🙂
    And the song you shared “Before the morning” is great.Going in loops.

    • jannatwrites July 14, 2011 / 9:30 PM

      I’m glad you liked the song. It is one of my favorites right now. You’re right – we still got to get away for a couple days. The problem arose from my high expectations.

      Thanks for stopping by, Sankalp!

  8. dorcas July 13, 2011 / 11:06 PM

    ha ha.. I’m glad your hubby din have to find a very scented truck.. 🙂

    • jannatwrites July 14, 2011 / 9:33 PM

      He wouldn’t have been happy at all. Good thing his back was out and I was feeling sympathetic 🙂

  9. Connor Rickett July 16, 2011 / 2:40 AM

    Can’t say I’m much for omens, and I generally see complications as something to be overcome as necessary. The challenge is what makes it fun!

    However, I do hate camping next to highways and I’m no fan of wrenched backs. Hope the next half of July picks up a bit for you.

    • jannatwrites July 17, 2011 / 7:44 PM

      You’ve got a positive attitude, Connor. I wish I could maintain mine 😉

      I’m sure I’ll skate through the rest of July. I’m looking past my birthday to focus on my older son’s birthday next month. Thanks for dropping by!

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