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Monday, July 15, 2013


Returning to something I loved sheds a new light of perspective to me.  It's part of the whole "cultural shock" phase I've been going through, but in a way it's refreshing to take a new look at an old activity and decide if I want to fall in love with it again.
We headed out on a camping trip with my sister yesterday.  It's is a tradition we have had for years.  We load up the cars with all the belongings necessary to have optimal summer fun for two weeks, squeeze the kids in and drive to Ludington State Park on Lake Michigan.  Days spent here are some of my favorite memories.  The kids often reminisce about the fun we have had - camping.
The first clue that we had changed and maybe the kids had grown up a bit was when Damon, now almost 18, said "this isn't as fun as I remember it being."  The full abandon of childhood has shed it's skin and the activities of childhood no longer entertain.   
Because we have either 1- gotten rid of our stuff, 2- had it shipped to Russia or 3- it's packed away in storage in Virginia, we a going the minimalist route on this excursion and borrowing only the necessities. Because I have become more used to a more minimal style of living I couldn't get over my surprise at all the crap that campers kept pulling from their cars.  The first things to come out when new people pull in seem to be items constructed from PVC piping - games, wood holders, kayak racks, table platforms...  In what is supposed to be a get-away people bring their homes with them - including tacky yard art. Gone is the relaxation of nature with tiki torches burning, Christmas lights sparkling, and plastic floor mats spread out on your little designated piece of earth.  
Camping in this manner seems to attract the lazy of society.  I don't say anything, ever, because I would never want any of my friends to think I was talking abut them.  I'm not.  I'm talking to America as a whole.  You are fat.  Leave this blessed country for a few months and when you return you will be shocked at the size of the people who inhabit this land.  I can attest that part of the problem is that you are carrying super sized drinks of all sorts around all the time.   Marketing has worked and essential to being an American is to supersize me including my waistline.  
I had never noticed how when you car camp you move in with people you don't even know. All the drama of Suzzie and Joe is now on display for everyone within 4 campsites and the fact that Nancy's kids are out of control is now something to deal with  at all hours. 
Despite my complaining the enjoyment of camping is returning.  I'm tuning out the culture that I don't care for and enjoying the nights around a campfire, roasting marshmallows to a perfect brown perfection, squishing them between two layers of graham crackers and chocolate then taking a delicious bite. 
- Kris