Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mind Over Matter

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.



JennyMac said...

haha...ahhh, sometimes a little lie can make us more comfortable. Love the idea of a cool night with a warm fire. I can picture it.

and of course you can use the martini for your club. Thank you for finding it "club" worthy. :) I love to share!

Becky said...

HAHAHA...See! Mind over matter DOES work!
Your dad STILL kept you warm:) (just in a roundabout, lying kindof way:)

BONNIE K said...

That is cute. I am loving this crisp weather. No sweating - it's wonderful!

Mandy said...

I bet he'd have been sorry if you had woken up with frostbite. Sheesh! My parents never took us camping. I feel deprived! I did go once with a friend though and I remember having a wonderful time. I hope it's a tradition we can start with my daughter someday even if it's just in the backyard tent.

Liz Mays said...

Mind over matter is right. That's funny that we really can convince ourselves of things!

Melissa B. said...

What a smart Daddy! We go out to the mountains of WVA occasionally to stay in rustic cabins in their awesome state parks. We chose World Series Week one year...October turning to November up that way. No heat in those cabins, so we did a lot of cuddling!

Pam said...

Fall is my favorite season and your post almost made me able to smell it in the air. Camping, on the other hand, has never been something I enjoyed. And cold and camping - sounds just awful. Motel 6, anyone?

Joanna Jenkins said...

I LOVE the ending :-) Thanks for sharing.
Hope you are feeling good.

Tracie said...

Good story telling my friend. I love the ending! (Love fall, too.)

Carma Sez said...

I can see my dad never turning the heater on either, judging from the temperature in our house! Nice that he wanted to make you happy, though - even if only in your mind :D

The Grown-Up Child said...

I love fall and the cool bite to the air that goes with it. But boy, you are a camper! You grew up with it and go with the gals now too, eh? Myself, I never got into camping. My husband is an avid outdoorsman but I tell him I'm too high maintenance for camping. Cottages I can do. Campers are even okay. But tents? I'll fake an illness to get out of that;)

Anyway, back to your post..I wouldn't have known whether to be thankful for making me *think* I was warm or mad that he had tricked me. hmmm.

Anonymous said...


I love fall and the outdoors, but camping is not my thing...

♥ Braja said...

Love is the best placebo :)

Stacy Uncorked said...

Ahahaha! That's too funny - definitely proof that mind over matter works...and it sounds just like something my dad would do!! :)

Macey said...

Oh geez, that's funny! We went camping on Labor Day weekend of 07 and my oldest and I didn't sleep at all. It was nuckin' futs cold out there. Seriously. Bad. My husband and youngest had the nicest, warmest sleeping bags (we were in a tent) and they slept like, well...babies. Although, if you ask my husband now, he says, "No, I was awake freezing all night." Yeah, right. I heard your ass snoring.

Gibby said...


That is awesome!

Mama-Face said...

hahaha What a great dad.

Just thinking about sitting around the campfire all snuggled in sweatshirts and blankets and smores and hot chocolate and ohmy how I love that.


Sandy said...

Cute story. Have I mentioned my family OWNED a campground in Connecticut for nearly 20 years? Wonderful memories from a great place to grow up. Maybe I should try to share a few....nah, couldn't do it justice after yours. Thanks for bringing back my own memories.