The rolling, rolling, thunder had been just around my consciousness level and I wasn’t sure if I was hearing things or dreaming. When I got up the rolling, rolling, rolling thunder continued and I hopped online to see what was going on.
It was forecast to be a quiet, dry night. But overnight the storms ‘magically’ appeared — from cooling temps after a 90º heat — and the Weather Channel said they had already had 3” of rain fall just to our immediate south.
Normally I’d have worried that we’d be right in the path — but this storm was traveling NW to SE so we missed it. Well, we missed the worst of it.
Strong storms like this always make camping-departure-day an interesting experience. We get the option of avoiding the rain if we choose — we only have 4 arrivals today — but those folks who get to go home today face the ugly choice of how wet they want their belongings to be when they pack up.
I find this fascinating. In a sociological sort of way.
How do we deal with unpredictable? Are we loosey-goosey and devil-may-care about packing up — figuring we can dry things out at home in the basement/garage? Or maybe we don’t have a basement/garage and if our gear gets wet the only place to dry things out is in the condo? Or maybe the kids are screaming because they don’t like thunder and your partner has a headache from sleeping on one of the kid’s Transformers/dolls/legos? It’s fascinating to recognize the various campers — as families — and watch who goes home when: during the downpour, after the downpour, way past check-out time — you get the idea.
We had a lot of children in the campground this weekend. I love it when there are kids here! That was one of the things I loved about our house in Cudahy. Living next to an elementary school I had the distinct treat of listening to the sounds of (mostly) happy kids on the playground 9 months of the year; and when I went out to work in the yard during school hours (always my preference) the kids would line up along the fence line and pepper me with questions…. “Hey Mister…”
WE had but one child. And I was an only child. I can’t say I missed having a sibling — what did I know — I had no experience of a sibling so I didn’t know what I was missing. But I love seeing siblings playing together. They are so diverse! Sometimes I think these are going to be lifelong friends — they seem to get along so well. Other times I swear they must hate each other — even at such young ages.
Yesterday 5 little ones were camping in what we call the Electric Circle — 11 sites that can be rented out as a group for family gatherings or small RV rally’s. The playground is about 1/8 mile from their site; they and their bicycles had made it almost all the way there before we saw them turn around and head back towards their campsite. We were out in our golf cart at the time and they stopped to ask where the playground might be. We gave them directions and followed them all the way there to make sure they found it.
One of the five was a little bit chubby — he reminded me a lot of myself at that young age… always the guy wearing the “husky” version of boys wear …and he was at the end of the parade of bikes. The others were off their bikes and onto the play equipment in a shot … but this young fellow hung back and just watched. We were done with our rounds and heading back to our campsite when he came up to us and with tears trying to escape his eyes asked how to get back to his campsite. We’re not sure what the problem was but the other four were having fun and he wasn’t. On the way back to his site he said he had a migraine — but when I was his age I didn’t even know what a migraine was. Then again, had they even invented migraines in the 50’s? I don’t know.
We half followed him and half led him back to his site. I remembered that sometimes lonely feeling of being the ‘husky’ one, and maybe not being all that athletically inclined. He finally recognized where he was and took off on his bike — probably so that he arrived at the site not looking like he needed someone to help him find his way back. …yeah… I remember days like that.
A week ago we had a family with four kids and the kids were all over at that same playground. One child of the four had returned to the campsite and I heard a parent loudly inquire as to where the youngest of the four might be. The little one answered that he was at the playground. And then the parent shouted, quite loudly (for us to be able to hear) “Don’t you ever leave your brother at the playground along again!” Being an only child myself, my first thought was, “Well, isn’t that your job — to make sure your kids are safe” and not the little kids’ job? But then I wasn’t a sibling. And I had very, very different parents.
You know that I love diversity. I love being around different people, different kinds of people. But that doesn’t mean that I understand them all. Or that I think they are all good people, or good parents, or good siblings. Fortunately, it doesn’t make any difference whether I approve — to borrow that old expression: I’m not the boss of them. They can live their lives any way they want. And I can be happy I had the parents I had, and the family I had, and the opportunities I had.
Yup — we missed the storm this morning. I think that as we go through life we miss some of the storms and we find ourselves right in the middle of others. We all get to react to whatever is happening — storm or calm — as best suits us. Sometimes we make good choices and we have a blast on the jungle jim. Other times we get a migraine and after we arrive at the playground it doesn’t look nearly as appealing and all we want to do is go home. Sometimes we aren’t kids when we make those choices. Sometimes we’re retirees! Sometimes we’re RV’ers.
It’s easy to get all self-determined, to let one’s ego rise up and appear to be in control. But the facts of life are simple. We aren’t always in control; the best don’t always win; misfortune happens to us all and it’s not in succeeding that we prove who we are — rather it’s in how we handle what comes our way that demonstrates to all around us who we really are.
I tend to remember the little children who have been here from week to week sometimes better than I remember the parents. It tickles me when the kids remember us too. They are so open, honest, and creative. I love when they are so excited about nature that they end up filthy in mud collecting snails, or when they dream up stories about a kangaroo in their ear. It’s great to be excited about life. It’s great to see opportunity at every juncture. These are the minds of the future. And if they have anything to do about it — it may just be a pretty great future! At least it will be interesting.
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be here tomorrow to chat. Why not stop by?
2 thoughts on “Dodged a Big One”
Solid gold, Peter.
I never met a kid that didn’t love camping. Adults… not so much? Love families that give their kids the opportunity, however they can.
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