Friday, August 31, 2018

Kathy Camping?

We went camping last weekend. Sort of.

We rented an RV/trailer on a camp ground a bit more than an hour from home.

People who camp in tents or out in the open will say I’m a wimp, and I am. But even in this RV, with a microwave and air conditioning and TV and WIFI (part of the time,) this is not what I call fun.

Our son Ping-Hwei has talked for years about either buying or renting an RV. My husband Murray and I put it off as long as we could.

Then a friend told us about renting these campers already set up. So, for Ping-Hwei, Murray scheduled one for last weekend.

Then Murray said to me, “I’d like you to go too.”

Hadn’t seen that coming. But off we went.

Once we finally figured out how to make the toilet work, I decided I’d survive. My phone rarely worked in the camper, and Murray’s only did on one end of the room, but, like I said, the internet worked part of the time, so I kept busy with knitting and working on my computer.

Murray sat out on the steps to read his bible, but when it started raining, I was excited we really had an excuse for staying in.

Any time someone took a step, the little camper shook rigorously. I asked Murray if he thought it might tip over on its side. He said, “I can’t guarantee it won’t, but I doubt it.”

We knew this wasn’t going to be a hotel, so we brought a lot of things—food, a few dishes, toilet paper, towels. Never occurred to us to bring pillows or sheets. But hey, we’ were camping after all. The water in the shower was even nice and warm. For a minute.

The area touched some of my rural upbringing senses. The smell of flowers and hay or cut grass as we drove along the road. A couple people with fun country accents.

The sound of crickets. And maybe cicadas? Tree frogs? Okay, so I don’t know which. It’s been a long time since I spent much time on the farm, after all.

No, I didn’t get to stay in the camper. We’d promised Ping-Hwei we’d go to a restaurant for omelets on Saturday. Yummy.

Afterward, Murray wanted to drive to see a ferry boat. On the way, we stopped to check out the Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie. Murray was excited to be able to see some islands.

Of course I’ve heard of lighthouses, read about them in books. But I really didn’t have any idea what they looked like.

Murray said, “It’s a cylinder.” “You mean like a silo?” (My farm girl background coming out again.) Murray said, “Yeah. Let’s say a silo.”

He described about how big it probably was on the bottom, then going up to a smaller top, maybe seventy feet tall, he said. He was thrilled when he read that it was sixty-five feet tall.

Murray read a couple historical signs to me about the Lake and the Lighthouse, then he realized we could go in and climb the steps to the top. I was willing. That would be something different to do.

But then he saw another sign that said it was closed because of weather. It was windy an raining a little, and it said they couldn’t have people in there in case of lightning or too much wind.

I walked along the outside of the lighthouse a little, so I could feel how it curved around. And as we walked away I was amazed to hear these words come out of my mouth. “If we come back next year, maybe we could climb the stairs in the Lighthouse then.”


  1. Haha! Nice ending! My favorite line: "The water in the shower was even nice and warm. For a moment." Which state did you find Lake Erie? I live close to Lake Erie in Pennsylvania, and we do have a terrific lighthouse! There are parts of Lake Erie in Ohio and New York, too.

  2. I live by the Great Lakes, too, though Lake Michigan is closest to me. Our favorite (somewhat nearby) getaway is along Lake Superior. I can't blame you for not liking camping, though. We're hotel people ourselves :) I'm glad it sounds like you ended up enjoying your trip!

  3. Kathy, I camped all my life until I moved to Pensacola, Florida. Never had the desire there with all the mosquitoes, snakes, palmetto bugs, spiders (of every color under the sun), not to mention the alligators. Did I mention snakes. Yeah. Anyway, I've done everything from lean-to to popups. Cooked on open fires, and did "personal business" by candle lantern. LOL Loved it. But haven't camped at all after moving south. Glad you did finally enjoy it enough to consider "next time." But just a little bit of advice. Make sure you have exercised like a track star before you attempt lighthouse stairs. I doubt Arnold Schwarzenegger or even Chuck Norris had anything on those men who manned those lighthouses way back then. My legs felt like rubber-bands when I can down after going up, even the second time I did it.

  4. Love your post! You and Murray are true troopers, and I'm sure Ping Hwei had a great time. We saw lighthouses when we went on a church Mission trip to Maryland several years ago. Sounds like a fun trip and I'm tickled that you may want to go back next year. Omelets are my favorite food also.