Camping Memories

I knew the day would come. From the very first moment I held those precious brand new babies in my arms, I knew the day would come when they’d be all grown up and wanting to venture out on their own. What I didn’t know was how fast the time would fly. 

We hit another one of those tough parenting milestones last week. We have been a camping family from the time our oldest was about nine years old. We started with the tent before our popup camper, which we took on an amazing trip to Yellowstone National Park. Then we moved up to our 31’ travel trailer after the kids outgrew the sleeping space. Now that was my type of camping!  🙂

So many wonderful memories were made, not to mention hilarious stories shared . Here are a few of my favorites.

  • The thieving raccoons opening up a cooler and then running off with the deer sausage with my son in hot pursuit.
  • The time a herd of buffalo walked right through our campsite in Yellowstone and hubby acted like the mighty hunter, sporting his ax as the rest of us huddled inside the camper.
  • Middle daughter getting stuck in the mud as the kids tried to cross a low area near the pond and the sound of her screams echoing through the campsite. You see, there were gators in that pond!
  • The crazy opossum hissing at a friend after he walked too close and teasingly said, “Hello opossum, opossum.” The image of a grown man running for his life will forever be engraved in my brain. LOL
  • Pumpkin carving and kids learning to whittle.
  • Waiting out a wicked thunderstorm in our popup camper at the beach in Galveston. It came up on us fast and we didn’t have time to secure anything. Hubby stood in the doorway and supported the top of the camper while the kids and I sat in the truck and prayed! ( I didn’t say they weren’t scary memories 🙂
  • Hiking up to the Devil’s Watering Hole and having a wild fox run right by me.
  • Walking through the Longhorn Caverns at Inks Lake, where they turned off the flashlights and it was so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.
  • Hearing the waves of the ocean only a few feet away on our trip to Pensacola, Florida. And walking the beach at night with flashlights in Port Aransas, Texas to catch a glimpse of the crabs under the moonlight.
  • Just being so close to nature and all the wildlife we encountered was priceless.

Sadly, we sold our camper last week. With the kids getting older and their lives getting busier, we haven’t been able to use it like we used to. Storage fees are not cheap. So the difficult decision was made and a new stage of our family’s life together has begun.  I can’t help but be disappointed and a bit broken hearted. Mainly, because selling it meant letting go of a piece of our past. Man I hate change. LOL

I’m going to try to look forward to our future and all the new adventures we will be making together. But I’ll be honest. It’s not going to be easy.

How do you deal with life’s ever changing cycles? Like it or hate it?

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20 Responses

  1. “All change is beneficial”, right? (shnort) They LIE…:)

    Some wonderful stories, Melissa! Some of your stories made me laugh, others re-affirmed my personal stance ‘camping out’ is a Marriott with slow room service…:)

  2. Melissa, don’t be sad – it’s not the end. Can you say, “Empty Nest?”
    You two can get out camping then!
    I’m with you – some of my fondest memories are camping ones…

  3. The road will still be out there when you are ready to go again. You gave yourself and your family some great memories that can carry you through until then. Happy trails

  4. Life Changes were okay in my younger years, mostly because I knew I could change it again with time. Now, if a change occurs, it may be permanent. Scary!

  5. What a sweet and poignant post, Melissa. I hate change. I’m very sentimental, but not as bad as I used to be. My husband has taught me that things are just that–things. He always says, “if it doesn’t bleed, don’t get attached”–this from a furniture store owner for 45 years:-) He’s right though. There’s lalways something new out there–and our memories sustain us with everything else:-)

    • So true, Pamela! I love your husband’s words! I guess all these little bumps help make us stronger and realize what’s important in life. 🙂 We really never stop growing do we? LOL

  6. I love your memories. Many of them made me smile and even laugh. The road will be there when you’re ready to head out again.

    Life changes. Our needs and wants change. You’ve just opened up a new door on your life’s experiences. Enjoy it!

  7. Thanks for sharing your very special memories with us, Missy. A lot of love in those stories. *hugs*
    ~J

    • Thanks, June! Just sharing my feelings here has helped alot. Your comments and encouragement mean so much! 🙂 It’s never good to keep emotions locked up inside is it? LOL

  8. *sobs* I want one of those so bad! Dh would love to go camping…but refuses to sleep on the ground/tent. When my car is paid off, this will be at the top of the short list to buy!

    Sounds like you’ve had tons of fun and I know yall have a crapton more on the way.

    • LOL Keri. I’m afraid I am with your hubby on this one. Tents and the ground take a special kind of person. That person was not me! 🙂 We enjoyed ours so much. I hope you guys will too!

  9. Looking back on my life I see it as a road that travels upward, dips in the middle, rises again and then evens out. Kids leave, but not to worry. They come back with their kids and make some more memories. You and DH continue on the highways and byways with detours but always finding the main road again. You have planted the seeds, Melissa now watch the family grow and flourish. Your blog is very lovely today. Thank you.

    • Funny how those precious seeds grow right before your eyes. 🙂 Thanks, Marie. Your words lifted my spirits! Can’t wait to find that main road again. Even if it is only for a little while.

  10. I think ideally, we should find a balance between cherishing those memories and making new ones–which is essentially what your post is about. I can see the brave chin-up attitude you’re trying to put on, despite the sorrow. But you’ll be okay. 🙂

    My husband has tons of camping stories. We have just a couple, and only managed to go camping once after the kids were born. It was kind of a disaster and our tent hasn’t been out since, though we still have all our equipment. 🙂

  11. Yep, Natalie. Balance is the key. And I usually do really well at keeping these crazy emotions in check. Until something like this hits me upside the head and I take a long hard look at the young people in my life now. I’m so very proud of them and a bit sad I can’t lock them up and keep them just as they are now. LOL

    Keep that equipment! You never know when the camping bug might hit you again. 🙂

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