Monday, January 5, 2015

Memory Monday: A Sticky Situation

Retired Not Tired Memory Monday
I'm linking up to Memory Monday at Retired, Not Tired today. This week's writing prompt is: A Vacation Memory. If you would like to share your favorite (or not so favorite vacation memory) head on over and link up too.


Have you ever camped? in a tent? with extended family? during a major thunderstorm? I think you see where I am going here...

Jake, Cati, Sam, and I headed out to a campground resort nearby with my parents. Although a campground resort has awesome extras like boat rides around the lake and a mini waterpark, sites are eensy-teensy (to squeeze in as many campers as possible). The 6 of us shared a postage stamp-sized camp size with a firepit, wooden picnic table, 1 vehicle and a 6 person dome LL Bean tent. (Our 2nd vehicle was parked in a nearby lot.) There wasn't much walking room between anything on our site.

At least until my parents camper van broke down and had a couple of overnights at the garage instead. Guess where we all slept (kind of)?

Now, our tent was rated for 6 people, but the rule of thumb around these parts is to divide that number in half for more comfortable quarters. Add in air mattresses, a busy box for Sam, clothing and personal toiletry items for 6, and it was cramped cozy.

Our neighbors, in a HUGE 5th wheeler big enough for 10 and encroaching onto our site, were kind enough to warn us of an incoming violent thunderstorm racing across from New Hampshire. Worried about the predicted high winds and downpours, we staked down the tent, covered it with a large tarp and staked that down as well in a chaotic, unorganized panic with 3 active kids, er, helping. Why we didn't just pile into our one working vehicle and head home or walk down to the rec hall and hang out is beyond me. We were going to "ride it out" though!

When the storm arrived we were all piled into the tent like sardines in a tin can. Fortunately, the storm wasn't that bad and we got through the night. (Unfortunately, a tree did come down on a pop-up camper in New Hampshire, killing two.)

But our night wasn't without mishaps. 

My Dad had staked down the tarp so well that getting in and out of the tent was like escaping a straight jacket, only a lot of wiggling and twisting was it possible. And I had 3 young kids, including a toddler who needed frequent trips to the potty (under the "cover" of  an umbrella HE insisted on holding). Stumbling around multiple air mattresses, too many people and STUFF, and crawling out a partially opened tent door without getting muddy was exhausting (and a wee bit frustrating).

With the mesh ventilation covered, we got mighty hot and muggy inside that tent. It was summer. Although not particularly hot temperature wise, that many soggy people in a 10x10 tent made for a sticky situation.

And then air mattresses started deflating. Have you ever slept on hard-packed ground riddled with tree roots? Yeah.

But did we laugh! We shared stories, growing up ones, other mishaps and adventures (that you only see the humor in years later), embarrassing moments, and snuggled together as one big happy (sweaty) family onto the 2 inflated air mattresses. Sometimes you just need to make the very best of a sticky situation!


  1. Yes I have slept in a tent in a wind storm and high winds. I ran as fast as I could and vowed never to camp again. It took 30 years before I tried in again and even then it was too much. Thanks for participating.

    1. What an adventure, huh? But the stories!

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