I went to my first adult slumber party last week. Although I couldn’t spend the night because I had to work the next morning, I was able to spend some time with some very entertaining and fascinating women from Montgomery County.
With enough food to feed an army, we descended on a little cabin in Carroll County to enjoy nature with the girls. (Well, I don’t really like nature especially when nature gets all over you – particularly nature that crawls). There we were – Gerry Whitfield, Diane Welch, Kay Burke, Liz VanHorn, Earnestine Smith, and me – in the middle of the woods.
Donning fuzzy slippers, the six of us kicked back and laughed (and ate) until we hurt.
I have to admit I had a great time – taking into account I was in the middle of nature. Thinking back to my childhood, I loved the outdoors. I didn’t worry about dirty feet, mosquito bites, poison ivy, sunburn, or poisonous retiles. These days I go through about a quart of anti-bacterial a month.
I was traumatized several times during my youth in the great outdoors. The first being a canoe trip with my family – a Southern-version of the Griswolds. I was four-years-old, and I was forced to canoe on the White River in Arkansas.
Let me explain something: NO ONE IN MY FAMILY IS OUTDOORSY. Seriously, we have never slept in a tent, and we have no intention of doing so. We do not hunt down and kill our own food, and we have never made a s’more (well, outside that is, and it is not smart to try this with gas logs.)
As we were canoeing down the White River (actually, it was more like using your paddles to walk over enormous rocks covered in two feet of water), we went over a huge waterfall and flipped.
Momma was with Stephanie and me in one canoe, and Daddy and Deana were in the other. While my parents scooped up canned drinks and snacks from the river, I floated away. An hour and four-miles later, they found me sitting with a strange family at a picnic area eating bologna sandwiches.
Then there was my experience at Camp Hopewell in Oxford. My parents thought it would be fun for my sister, Stephanie, and I to go to camp for a week. The problem was, she was older than me, and we were not allowed to stay in the same cabin.
I had just watched Friday the 13th with my cousins earlier that year, and I am telling you, that crazed guy in the hockey mask stared at me through the “screen” of the cabin the whole week. (Yes, I said screen – no air conditioner, no locks, no privacy. It was just a make-shift carport.)
Stephanie, of course, had the best idea. She dislocated her knee cap and was sent home – she so did that on purpose, I don’t care what she says. My parents would not take me with them because Daddy had already paid, and Heaven forbid he not get his money’s worth.
The worst thing about Camp Hopewell was that they sent me back the very next year with my best friend, Heather. They thought if Heather was there I would forget about the psychic killer and the bugs and “cabins”. Wrong, we ended up almost being sent home after falsely accused of all sorts of heinous crimes (for a fourth grader, the penalty for these crimes would be a month without Dukes of Hazzard).
I am still looking for a support group for my experiences with nature. I still think of them often, mainly curled up in the fetal position. Seriously now, nature is beautiful to look at – from the balcony of a resort.
Roughing it is all relative. You can give some people a Q-tip and a twig, and they can build a condo. Me – I can’t walk through the yard without getting a rash. To each his own, I guess.