Monday, July 5, 2004

Camping at Lake of the Ozarks


Camping was great!

I always begin a vacation with a vague sense of anxiety, i.e. that I should be working or at least on call, or that I should be doing something besides the fun thing I am doing.

I am not sure exactly where it comes from. It could be leftover from the marriage. The first time D and I went camping together three summers ago, nobody knew where we were that weekend, and I was a nervous wreck because I had dared to go out of town without my ex-husband's permission. I enjoyed myself, but I still remember that Dereck had to talk me down from the anxiety and reassure me that I was an adult in my thirties and that I was allowed to do this, that I would not lose custody of my kids, that I didn't have to tell M where I was going, only where the kids were going when I took them.

Those were days pre-cell phone for me. Honestly, the cell phone is expensive, but it saves me a lot in anxiety attacks. We bought car chargers for them this weekend, and I inquired about the price of a camera phone. Holy Cow!!!! I can wait.

So, we ended up going camping after looking at the weather and realizing that after Friday, it wouldn't rain. So, we spent Saturday cleaning the house (oh, that felt GOOD) and packing leisurely. We had shopped Friday for it (I think? Is that right? I don't remember. Yes.) We took our time getting on the road because we wanted the ground to dry anyway. So, I think we ended up getting down there around 4:30 or 5:00, in time to make a fire and cook our steak. We also had grilled zucchini with green peppers, with olive tapenade over it, and toasted French bread. We don't slum it when we camp.

After I decided that anxiety could possibly also be dehydration/boredom, I got some water and a magazine, and that did the trick.

Yes, we took the dog with us. We got a long lead and a stake to bring down with lots of toys. She slept the whole way down in the car, which was awesome.

Our campsite, I must say, was scary. Very patriotic, lots of RV's that look like they live there full-time, and no privacy. We were camped right next to some young full-time marines who WANT to be in Iraq because that is "what we're trained for," but have three year gigs here in the midwest taking care of recruitment. I don't know why that buzz cut doesn't clue me in that people are military-- it should. But they were friendly enough and loved Goldie.

There was a robust couple (bless their hearts) across the way from us who poured almost a whole container of lighter fluid onto their firewood in their attempt to light a fire. We sat and ate our steaks and watched, making quiet disparaging remarks around our own capable fire (which D deserves sole credit for, but I do have four years of primitive camping under my belt, thank you Mormons, so I have baked a tent in a shoe box lined with tinfoil and sunshine. I could have handled the fire, thank you very much).

Everyone eventually got their fires going, and I ate many marshmallows, to D's amusement. We even had angel food cake. There was an outhouse that was a nice walk away (nice, as in take the dog along). We even discovered a very steep hill on the way, so I'd walk to the outhouse, pause to trek up and down the steep hill, go to the loo, head up and down the steep hill again, and back to the campsite. Got my exercise.

That night they started playing loud patriotic (i.e. country) music and had fireworks. That dog is so mellow. She started a bit (didn't bark) and we calmed her, so she went to sleep. She slept in the tent with us without incident.

I had bizarre dreams all night, so D got up at 6:30 with Goldie, and I slept until 8:30. D had made coffee and eggs (with tapenade) and we had canadian bacon, and small rolls. Mmmmm... Again, our neighbors weren't so lucky with the fires, and we were generally amused.

After some walking around and hanging out, D needed a nap, so I hung out and walked the dog for awhile because she was playful. I started getting hot and so did she, so I headed into the tent for sunscreen and my bathing suit and tried to get the dog to get into the water-- she was afraid of the tide.

We ate lunch and then called Karl (Christian just ate a piece of the dog's food and tells me that cat and dog food are both equally delicious). We headed over to Brad's parents' condo, and went swimming, which felt heavenly. Brad was in love with the dog,and took her down to the dock, where she slipped into the water from the steps, so I looked to see a small girl in a bikini carrying my very wet dog to the pool area, where Goldie promptly went to sleep.

After swimming, Karl, BJ, Dereck and I went to the outlet shopping center at Osage Beach and went to Harry and David for elegant snacks, and The Gap for clothes for Jen (not thrilled with the jeans, but the shorts and t-shirts are very good).

I was positively sun-logged (though not burned) by that time, so we stopped (along with the rest of Osage Beach) for frozen custard on the way back to camp.

We had really really really good ribs last night that had been covered in bbq sauce in the cooler all day. The dog went after brats and startled Dash, so one of the ribs went into the fire. We gave it to her while we ate, figuring she earned it, and she was a very very happy puppy.

When we got back to camp yesterday, we felt comfortable enough with Goldie to let her run free until she drove us nuts, but she was free for about an hour and a half, running in laps around the campsite, and D gave her a pink ball that talks when she touches it, which freaked her out and obsessed her for a long long time. It was very funny. "I'm gonna get you puppy!" it says.

I took a shower after dinner, and felt like a million dollars. Then we settled in for more redneck music and fireworks. The dog slept next to D. The robust couple (bless their hearts) came back after being absent all day, and brought with them Hansel and Gretel, er, their two small children. They once again dosed their wood with lighter fluid, but had kindling last night, so the fire started more smoothly. Not bad for working in the dark.

I got up in the middle of the night with Goldie who was whining and walked to the loo. Then, I woke up to the sound of one of the young marines saying through the tent that a big storm was coming. Indeed, the winds were powerful enough to lift up the tent (with the blankets and sleeping bags in it) as soon as we had it unstaked, so we held onto the strings. Having packed most everything in the car last night, we were dressed and out of there in about ten minutes. It didn't rain, and the storm largely missed us, but I was eager to get back and see the chirrens so didn't mind being on the road at 7:30.

We ate at paneira, which was light and warm and lovely and sweet. Then we zoomed home, threw the contents of the van into the studio, and ran the dog up to get the kids, who threw themselves all at once upon me. They are quite lovely.

Now: Spiderman 2 (Tommy is arguing that he should stay here. Hmmm... Six and a half years old. Nope!). Then dinner out, then Walmart:

shelf/basket thingy for bathroom


kids' shampoo

Shoes for Christian

swim shoes for all children

look at towels


game cube

karaoke cd's

kiddy pool?

doggy pillow

swimsuit for Dash

stuff for lunches for kids at home this week

new water bottles-- old ones are gross

teeth whitening strips

Hope you and yours enjoyed the holiday!

1 comment:

  1. Glaad you had a good time, Jen. I've been incommunicado.

    Where is Communicado, anyway?