We camp each year for Memorial Day. Sometimes it's the only weekend we manage to get it together to camp, other times we go more frequently, but it's a major family tradition to fit in at least that one weekend.
We have many excellent, hilarious memories on these weekends. We're the lunatics who use a series of tarps staked to a big hill to make a 30-yard-long slip and slide, taking barrels of soapy water to the top of the hill by truck. We've had "Survivor" weekends for teenagers. We boil water in paper cups just to show kids it can be done. We sing around the campfire, and build glass sculptures out of fire-melted beer bottles. We staged a 300 pre-filled water balloon war against our children. We play adults vs kids softball.
Last year CityGirl's college graduation fell on Memorial Day Weekend. We rented a house near her campus, and had a fabulous three-day family party. It was awesome, but the only bad thing was that we never ended up camping at all that summer. Babygirl had just been diagnosed, and all of the insanity that surrounded her illness knocked us out of our usual patterns.
We won't be able to camp at our usual park this year. Last September's flood nearly washed it off the map, and the cleanup has been a huge challenge, especially since the town it's in was so horribly horribly affected as well. And even if they opened, the transplant team advised us against camping in any area recently flooded, to avoid the possibility of exposure to contaminants such as mold and untreated sewage.
Hubby and I have kicked this around a bit. We need running water. We'd like electricity. And we'd actually like more than just a three day weekend. Add to this the overall poor health of my parents, and we finally came to a decision: we're going to my home town to camp.
My Dad lives in the country, in a log cabin, surrounded by woods. He also has a hunting lodge a bit further out into the country. The lodge has no running water or electricity, but Babygirl has never been there. Since he's selling the place soon, we figure we can manage a night there, and then move to Dad's. I have no problem tenting in his yard!
I think we'll see a bit of the area I grew up in - take a couple of day trips to local parks, climb some rocks and take some pictures. We'll attend the local livestock auction and flea market. And I'm hoping I'll be able to convince my Dad and stepmom to come out to dinner with us at a casino about an hour away. Their buffet is AMAZING.
It's not beer around the campfire with a big group of friends and family. But it's a great way to catch up with my Dad, keep my Babygirl in a reasonably safe environment, and still make some very cool memories.