When my childhood friend returned home from vacation, I’d run to her house and ask about the trip. She hiked in the mountains and slept in a tent and fell asleep to night sounds of crickets and tree frogs and hooting owls. They cooked meals wrapped in foil and roasted marshmallows on sticks.
Fascinated, I asked my parents one night, “Can we go camping?”
It was uncivilized and dirty, Dad said. And black widow spiders lurked in the bathhouses and snakes slithered into sleeping bags, and bears and criminals hid in the woods. So, no, we couldn’t camp.
Our family stayed at Holiday Inns.
I longed to sleep in a tent and listen to night sounds and cook meals in foil and roast marshmallows, but I was afraid of the spiders and snakes and bears. So campgrounds remained both a tantalizing and fearful mystery to me well into adulthood.
Years later, when my husband and I had our first child, I remembered my friend’s foil meals and marshmallows and tents. My husband grew up camping, so maybe we could pull it off.
“Let’s camp,” I proposed…
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