Over Memorial Day weekend we went camping in northern Ohio with one of our favorite families in the world, the Parkers.
|I wish everyone knew the Parkers.
And I discovered the Camping Paradox.
The first night out there the temperature dropped to the mid-30's. And despite my supposed 0-degree sleeping bag and double layers of clothing, I spent the night shivering and trying to sleep with numb toes.
Mary was dressed in 5 layers of clothing (nope. not exaggerating) plus a blanket and a hat and didn't make a peep all night. In the morning, in a panic, I felt her cheek to make sure she hadn't frozen to death.
It was cold, and I almost fainted on the spot.
Then she moved. My pulse gradually slowed to a normal rate.
I think she was far warmer than I was. Partly because of all that chubby insulation she has:
Having verified Mary's "still alive" status, I lay back down and tried to remember why people like camping. It's not the dodging mosquitos. It's not the greasy hair. It's not the woodsmoke perfume. And I don't think it's the latrines.
In my hypothermic and sleep-deprived state, I hated camping with a passion unsurpassed by inflation, dill pickles, or mean people. I hated nature, I hated the cold, and I hated the people that rated my stupid sleeping bag at 0 degrees.
As the day wore on and I thawed out a little, we went on a hike.
|The entourage: 10 adults, 9 kids, and 3 babies
We laughed at the kids. We laughed at the dog. We ate a killer dutch oven dinner. We made s'mores. We stayed up far past our bedtimes talking around the campfire. We went to church smelling like woodsmoke. We shared recipes. We watched the kids put on a "parade".
At the end of it all, we found ourselves asking when we were going to do it again.
That, folks, is the Camping Paradox.