It's been a couple weeks since I took you down Memory Lane. Memory Lane is lovely in the fall.
Some of my favorite camping trips took place not in the summer but in the fall. There is not a lot that rivals the sights and smells of a forest in autumn. There was also something kind of wonderful about leaving school on Friday and going on a mini-vacation. That drew a much firmer dividing line between the school/work week and the weekend than just not going to school/work did.
Hikes and bike rides in the fall were longer and more frequent than they were in the summer, when the temperature was sometimes even oppressive in the forest. While a campfire is always a good thing, it just seems even better when you need the fire and a sweatshirt and a blanket and perhaps someone to snuggle with to keep yourself warm.
Yep. I sure do love a crisp, cool evening around a warm crackling fire under a clear starry sky.
What I loved a little less, however, was leaving the fire to sleep in the camper. I had a warm heavy sleeping bag, but it still always felt awfully cold. Sometimes I was tired enough to not care, but more often than not I used it as an excuse for a night cap. One last whine before bed.
My parents’ camper had a heater, but my dad was loathe to light it. I’m not sure if it was difficult to get to it, or if the gas it burned was expensive, or if there was some other reason I just never came up with, but I AM sure that he didn’t like to do it.
Yet I asked almost every night.
One night he surprised me.
“Sure, I’ll light it for you.”
I felt warmer just having the reassurance in place that it was being dealt with.
Sometime in the night I got warm enough to kick my socks off.
The next morning it was revealed that he had indeed NOT lit the heater, and had instead just run his fingers over some grates and made some noises to placate me.
I’d slept that night cocooned in the warmth of a comfortable lie.