Getting Out of Town!

21 May

It’s among my favorite things to do: get out of town.

I blame it on my parents, who are and always have been, serious get-out-of-towners.

I will go nowhere just to go somewhere. Ya get where I’m coming from?

It’s my lunch hour, and currently there are dark and stormy looking clouds looming outside my window. We’ve had no few than 100 days of rain in a row. Okay, fine but it really was like 15 days of rain at least. Maybe 8. A lot of rain though. The big muddy river, like clockwork, has flooded. And like every May that I’ve experience in this area, a heat wave is on the heels of the rain, ready to dry up the flooding. It may be cloudy now, but come tomorrow, the mercury will be rising and the sun will shine.

This combination, paired with my get-outta-town urge can only mean one thing.

It is time to camp.

Last May, and the May before that…we swore we’d never do it again. We’d never again camp during the heat wave that follows the spring flooding. It’s too miserable, too soggy, too humid, too stinkin’ hot.

This time last year, at a campground, under the full sun of the May heat wave, I actually attempted to go swimming under a water pump. Heat impairs your judgement. My husband was there, our good friends were there, we all thought it was a viable solution to certain death-by-heat. When that didn’t work, we drug our wilted, smelly souls to a winery. A winery with a teeny, tiny basement. The kind they stopped building 100 years ago. The kind made of massive pieces of stone and not a hint of drywall. The kind that don’t require air conditioning to be 40 degrees cooler than the main level.

The spring flood had filled the basement just days before. Some of the chairs were still stacked on table tops. Big box fans were still blowing in each corner of the room. The floor was still muddy. And out the little basement window, the waters were still working their way back out of town, back into the banks of the Mississippi.

And there we sat, we poor, miserable, over-heated campers. Just us, thankfully, since our appearance left a little to be desired. And we drank the wine. And we drank more wine. And we continued sitting, drinking, laughing, basking in our brilliant idea to sit in this tiny basement while the world melted around us, until the owners politely asked us to go. Not because we’d reached any limit…simply because night had fallen and the place was closed. And we were still there. In the cool air.

So once again, despite our cries of “Never again!” the camping gear stands ready, the cooler is loaded with beer, wine and lots and lots of drinking water. And we’re ready to head out.

Ready to soak up the sun, bitch about the humidity, act like we’re suffering and have no choice but to sleep outdoors in air heavy enough to cut with a knife. Ready to have the simple, fabulous fun that can only come once a year.

The Mighty Mississippi has her traditions, and we have ours.

Let the merriment begin!


2 Responses to “Getting Out of Town!”

  1. klmphotos May 21, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Woo hoo! One of these trips I gotta join you in the wine drinking merriment. But as always…my life is over-scheduled. I need to get-outta-town.

  2. Eeanor Medema June 2, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    Precious photos of Ty, Sarah, Jeremiah, and June! Unique photography by none other than, Maggie Medema.

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