Friday, July 3, 2009

Camp Out

Art by Lucille Patterson Marsh

Annie, of Annie's Song fame, told how she and her husband (John Deutschendorfer) spent a night camping in the Rockie Mountains with friends. Away from the city lights, they watched a meteor shower, and John penned the words, ♫ "I've seen it raining fire in the sky . . . folks around a campfire, everybody high . . . Rocky Mountain high . . ." ♫ He was John Denver when he sang it to us.

Although I've lived my whole life less than five miles from the mountain tops I've never thought of myself as an outdoor person. I don't like dirt, bugs, bees, buzzing, raccoons, rocks under my pillow or ashes in my hamburger bun. Natural is not a look I look good in. Bathrooms with spiders building webs and moths flitting in the corner are not where I want to go.

But I understand a Rocky Mountain high. I've got one! I'm packing for our annual 4th of July Campout, and I just calculated that I've been camping every summer (except four) since 1980! That's a lot of dirt under my fingernails. In a pinch I know I could pitch a tent, start a fire without matches, and dig a latrine, because I have. I've cooked a turkey in a pit, slept directly on the ground and hiked 26 miles pushing a handcart even though I was out-of-shape, old and cross.

These are the lows that contribute to the highs. Although there's dirt on the ground, the air is clean and crisp. It's quiet enough to hear a raccoon rustle in the bushes and a bee whirring in the wildflowers. After listening to wood crackling and loved ones laughing, their chatter soothes me enough that I don't care about the boulders beneath my shoulders.

Mountain kids wash up, 2008

I can't wait to unpack my Oma tent, and have a dozen little grands buzzing around my campsite. Maybe I've turned into a Mountain Mama after all!

Are you surprised at something you've become?


marta said...

i liked this clever and cute post, you've got it back, oma! you really summed it up perfectly, for those of us who like strutting on 5th Ave, it's nice to find the most out of the dusty trails and the firelight of the mountains too. benj was happy to take a bite out of those sticks and rocks.

way to go! you ARE mountain mama with the mostest. i don't know many grands who have CAMPED repeatedly with their grannies. your kits and toys and stories and songs made all the babes so happy.

Heed said...

Thanks so much for all of your help, mom! The only way we can do it is to go with you, so thanks for making it happen. I may be a mountain Mama, but I would never think of bringing paint sets, darling wooden toys, or Easy Reader Spooky Stories. It helps to have your ingenuity to make it all come together!
We had a blast! Keep your kits together for next year.