Monday, June 16, 2008

A Sentence To Remember

Elaine at The Miss Elaine-ous Life just did a post about the summer vacations her family has taken together, and challenged her readers to tell their family vacation stories. And man, I've got some good ones. But today I thought I would share the story that my parents love to tell of my very first family summer vacation.**************************************

Every summer when we were growing up my parents would take us all camping. The bikes, life vests, rafts, fishing poles, coolers, clothes, swimsuits, food, tent, sleeping bags, and all other necessities would be packed up into the boat and dragged out three or four hours from our house to be lovingly set up as our temporary home for the week. It was a big deal.

I went on my very first family camping trip when I was 2 years old. I was so excited to be hanging with the big kids. I loved swimming all day and roasting marshmallows at night. I thought it was the most amazing thing to eat every meal at a picnic table, but most of all, I was completely elated to find out that the whole family would be sleeping in the enormous tent together. Everyone! All in one room! What fun!

The first night, of course, was the most exciting. All the cots were lined up one right next to the other. Everyone had their own sleeping bag and pillow, even little me. As dad turned out the lantern, and everyone said "goodnight" I hunkered down in my sleeping bag. But, seeing as how this was my very first time camping, and I was only two years old, I couldn't contain my excitement. I crawled out of my sleeping bag and began jumping from cot to cot to cot, each time landing on top of a brother or sister who immediately began laughing. Oh, what fun! Hop, hop, hop, I'd go from one cot to the next.

My mother gave me a warning, "Okay, that's enough now, it is time to sleep."

Hop, hop, hop. Giggle, giggle, giggle. The older kids didn't do anything to quell my fun as they laughed and cheered me on.

Mom tried again, "That's enough I said. Everyone, quiet! It is late and time to sleep. Kathy, come here and lie down."

Hearing the big kids quiet down made me think mom must be serious so I climbed back in to my sleeping bag again. But that was boring! After a few minutes of silence I crept back out and began again.

Hop, hop, hop.

More warnings followed. I would lie back down for a while only to go at it again laughing and squealing. It was just too much fun. Every time the older kids were just about asleep I would start in again.

Finally, after this went on for far too long mom said, "Kathy, if you don't stop jumping on the cots I'm going to spank your butt!"

Surely she can't be serious! Can't she see the fun we are all having?

Hop, hop, hop.

Then it happened. Mom grabbed me off the cot, smacked my butt, and sat me firmly on my sleeping bag.

Slowly, slowly, slowly I slunk off of my cot. And looking as pathetic and broken as my two year old self could possibly muster I crawled over to my daddy's cot and spoke my very first sentence, "Daddy, mumma 'banked me!"

Looks like I've recovered from that spanking. Just give me corn on the cob and I'll be fine! You can see the gigantic 12 person tent in the background. Oh, and one more thing, am I sitting next to a freaking campfire? Nice.
Please tell me my mom and dad are just out of this frame ready to catch me if I go under.
Mmm, yes. And here we are sitting on a cliff. Ahh, the good 'ole days.
Doesn't camping look like fun?


Mom24 said...

So funny! Those pictures are awesome. No, in my experience, you probably were not safer than it looks. It's amazing how our parents weren't as safety conscience as we are. Probably because the world is so much uglier. Also, being surrounded by 24 hour media makes us much more aware of dangers.

Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed your story, and it sparked me on a memory lane of our camping trips when I was growing up. Like when I feel out of the trailer, in my sleep, in Yellowstone; when bears were roaming the park and rangers had to wake my parents to tell them.

Chrissy said...

This post made me smile, and those pictures made me laugh. I'm glad you survived!

Unknown said...

Thanks for being my one and only participant Kathryn - you're the best!! : )

I love your story about jumping on the cots!

Apparently the fam took me camping with them for the first time when I was only like 9 months old. My Dad loves to go on and on about how he built me this special bed in the camper but I stilled cried almost all night so they had to cut the trip short.

I love your corn on the cob picture too - THAT is a classic!

anymommy said...

Great post. I am now having a lot of warm memories about our family vacations. They were all crammed into a car though, no camping for my incredibly outdoorsy family!

Kristen said...

That is just the cutest of stories!

Hop, hop, hop! Loved it!!

And, just gotta love that picture of you eating the corn on the cob. Your hair is too cute!!

Great post! :)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

What precious photos! And I love the story!
Camping is the best thing for making family memories. At least once a year my brother and I relive our favorite quote from our childhood camping trips...the time we camped at the beach close to another couple, and we heard the man say, "Erma Lou, where's my disco shirt?"
I don't know why but this still cracks me up.
I enjoyed your post!

Kat said...

mom24- That is hilarious! Glad to see you weren't eaten by a bear! Yipes! My brother has a similar story from his childhood but instead of wandering around my dad heard a tiny voice coming from outside the camper saying, "me no can get in." Aww.
Rebecca- HAHA!!! That cracks me up too. I laughed out loud when I read that.

My brothers and sisters like to remind my that my very first sentence was a me ratting on my mom. My mom was mortified.

Kat said...

Oh my word, I should learn how to type!

My brothers and sister like to remind ME that my first sentence was ME ratting on my mom.
Whew. That sounds better.

Life in the Crazy Lane said...

Oh, camping. I remember sleeping in a cabin on my grandparents' 180 acres, down by the lake, with nothing but an outhouse for our business. A couple even honeymooned there once (not my idea of a fun honeymoon, but hey).

Roxy Wishum said...

Sounds like fun times. The topless, corn-shucker picture is a classic! We just returned from three generations spendind a week at the state park where my family camped when I was a kid. I feel like we own the park. It is amazing to see the same cold creek flowing down the mountain after nearly a half century.

Family Adventure said...

That was such a cute story...and the pictures completed it! Thanks for sharing ... you actually made this non-camper consider camping for once... :)


imbeingheldhostage said...

What a fun post! Look at your mom, she's younger than I am now. And you, you little sprite-- I have one of you. He goes by A2 (not really , but out here he does) and I treasure him like you wouldn't believs-- even when he's getting a butt 'banking.
Great playlist, Kat.

Molly's Mom said...

Love it! All my camping experiences were with friends and their parents were allergic to camping, I think. ;)

Amy said...

How awesome are those pictures!! I never went camping with my parents. Maybe that's why I'm so afraid of the great outdoors. But the turndown service at a 4 star hotel, that's what I'm talking about ;-)

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Oh the cuteness that is you Blondie! You totally made camping look fun!

Laski said...

What a great story!!! And you . . . so cute I just wanna hug you to pieces. Is that weird?

Jeni said...

The only "camping" I did as a child was sleeping on our sunporch in the summer with my cousins but it was an "indoor" sunporch, enclosed, usable in the winter months so it wasn't camping in the true sense. But we kids still had a great time sleeping out there on the old pull-out sofa, with the big windows open and feeling almost like we were outside. The old sunporch on the house is now my very tiny bedroom and there's barely enough room to get in there, crawl into bed and then, roast sometimes in the summer cause I can't open the windows and in the winter, it's like a frozen tundra with heat that barely works! So I still "camp" there I guess then, don't I?

Anonymous said...

I love the pictures!!!

Anonymous said...

How awesome! My family did not do the camping thing, but when I discovered it, I fell in love with it. I can totally see wanting to jump on the cots - sounds like you were so, so, so very excited, and those are the best memories :) Crazy first sentence, though, crazy and cute.

Momisodes said...

First, you're parents are amazing taking all of you camping, not to mention a 2 year old!

Second, I adore those pics :) Your family looks so loving and delighted on your camping trip. It's something we all aspire for our families :)

dawn klinge said...

I loved that story! We haven't camped with our kids yet but are wanting to try this summer. The hopping from one cot to the other reminds me so much of what my son does in hotel rooms- only it's jumping back and forth between the beds. ;)

Tiffany said...

Love the walk down memory lane - Looks a lot like my childhood camping pics - It really is a wonder we all survived - given all of the obvious here, no car seats, no helmets with bikes, etc...

SO fun!

Brittany said...

What a great story and GREAT photos!!! I love it!! :) How great to have such memories. \

lime said...

camping with a toddler was brave of your parents. i wasn't ready to try that number until my kids were a bit older. but what a fun story and the corn picture is a RIOT!

Stephanie said...

What great memories - especially your first sentence. Classic!

I'm not much of a camper but those pictures look great! What a wonderful post!

Fire Hunt said...

Those pictures are awesome. I love old photos!

Head Gaggler said...

That is the best story ever!! We love camping (in a camper though) and I hope my kids have stories like that to share when they get older too. Those pictures are way cute too.

Anonymous said...

Great story! My Famiuly always went camping in the summer too. So much fun. Can't wait to start the tradtion with my own little one!


I have not seen these pictures, is the last one St. Croix Falls?, it is an absolutely beautiful place!
My WW was a SUV driving backwards
on the one way street in Evergreen
Park, it is a cool pix! Thanx!

Cheffie-Mom said...

These pictures are great! Especially the one of you sitting by the camp fire!
Family vacations are so much fun! I just got back from France with my daugther Marissa, and we made some hilarious memories! Stop by my blog anytime. I just posted a great recipe from France. And I will be posting some funny vacation stories soon! By the way- the music on your blog is great!

Kellan said...

What a great post and what fun to go back to your childhood and relive your vacation with your family - how fun!! Cute pictures too!!

Have a good day, Kathryn - see you soon - Kellan

Melissa said...

ha ha. what a fun post. You look like you had a fun childhood! Love the cob picture!

Anonymous said...

How did we survive the 70s? Swimming without floatie bathing suits, no car seats, riding on mowers! Thanks for sharing... maybe I'll join the fun vacation story fun tomorrow!

Kelly said...

Great story!! It's always fun to look back on memories from when we were younger. Cute pictures too.

ewe are here said...

Great story.

And I particularly like the picture of you with the corn on the cob.

Beck said...

How did ANY of us survive our parents relaxed 70s parenting? My childhood photo albums are full of TERRIFYING photos. Were they all HIGH?

Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...

How cute! We never went camping growing up, so consider yourself lucky, although your life may have been on the line a time or two. ha ha!

Amanda @ notsoextraordinary said...

this post is just too funny! I love your story about the hopping, can't you just see pretty much ANY two year old doing exactly that *grin*

Tonya said...

That is hilarious! You were only having fun ;) My kids tell on my hubby when he disciplines them! Too funny. Love the pictures.

EatPlayLove said...

We never took a family vacation, ever. Sometimes I find it hard to believe. But my neighbors would take me along when they would take their family of 7 camping. What's one more mouth to feed, right?

Great memories!

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson