August is escaping me altogether! I am suddenly surrounded by a whirlwind of activity.
Attila and I decided to take a camping holiday. He found he could arrange to leave his daily responsibilities behind for four days and three nights. Not a long holiday by North American standards, but a welcome break in the routine by our estimation.
We quickly reached a decision on which campground to visit, and began to pack our tent, camp stove, and other necessities into the trunk of the car. The morning dawned bright on the day of our departure, and by 7:30 a.m. we were pulling out of the drive and following the road to the great outdoors.
In recent years, I have suffered from back problems. Having always been quite active and very much a "do it myself" kind of gal; the transition to caution has been distressing. Camping involves sitting on awkward picnic table benches, sleeping on the ground, and bending to enter cramped spaces where one must dress in a stooped position. The question was, how well would I manage? The only way to find out was to "give it a try".
Exercising caution, I did not participate in tasks that required reaching, twisting, or lifting. My efforts were rewarded with a pain free holiday, although there was one very cold night that resulted in some morning stiffness. A quick walk down to and back from the lakeshore relieved the problem in the most enjoyable way possible.
The campground was new to us, and had a few unique features that will give my holiday memories some real flavour.
The hot sunny day yielded to rainy drizzle just as we drove up to the campground registration office. Yes, the clear skies broke at the exact moment that we arrived to setup our tent! We laughed at the ironic consistency of the natural world.
We first pitched our "kitchen tent", an open-sided affair with a roof, over the picnic table. By the time we had this shelter assembled we were both soaked, and so huddled together on the towel-dried bench to watch the rain fall gently into the lake. The view could not have been better. Our site was on a narrow peninsula, with gently lapping water on either side, beautiful.
Just before dark there was a break in the clouds and the rain ceased for a few hours. Attila took this opportunity to pitch the tent, completing our sleeping arrangements; and so the first day passed.
The night was filled with sound. My dreams were punctuated by the distant whine of transport trucks on the nearby highway. The railway line adjacent to the campground was very busy that first night; the engines throbbed, the wheels whirred, and the whistle was loud enough to convince me that the tent must be pitched in the middle the track itself. The strangest noise however, was some sort of bird. It seemed to be a seagull, and called intermittently in the night; or perhaps it was a child with a very strange squawk. In my dreams, this sound became associated with VISA bills, and by morning, quite a sizable debt had been accumulated.
On the second night, I slept through these noises, taking no note of them.
The campground was filled with happy families. Children rode their bicycles up and down the roadways. People passed by in a steady stream, on their way to and from the washrooms or the waterfront. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to be alive, and to be surrounded by trees, rocks, and water.
As time passed we became more rooted to the ground, more attuned to the breezes and the movement of the sun. Our days passed peacefully and quickly, our evenings quietly as we listened to the loons call and watched twilight steal across the water. One could forget, for brief moments, that this way of life has passed out of existence.
|RECIPES :: Cast
Blooms in Absence
By the Easy Chair
The Golden Notebook
by Doris Lessing
"Dreams squashed like insects by the big shoes of fate."
Crawford MacKenzie in "The Big Tease"
Wind: E 4 km/h
Sunrise 6:25 AM EDT
Sunset 8:34 PM EDT
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