It was a few years ago that we decided as a family to go camping for Easter. We go camping as often as we can, and it had been awhile so we seized the opportunity to go, knowing it would be one of the rare occasions when we would all be together. (We're a blended family, and not being together often is one of the downfalls.)
We're pretty professional when it comes to camping, and not in a pansy sort of way. Now I'm not judging all you pop-up campers, or those of you who like to bring along mini-televisions for the electrical outlets that some campsites provide. To each his own, really. And we've even gone both of those routes once or twice before. But we like to CAMP. C.A.M.P. Find a spot in the woods, throw up a tent, find another spot close by to your tent, throw up a tarp in front of the hole you dig for a potty for privacy, and don't forget to pile up the leaves high next to the hole so you're not caught without something to clean your bottom with. Now THAT'S camping.
So we packed up Friday afternoon, sang songs the whole way there, got there by dusk, and made our campsite. It was a great night. It was a little cool out, but clear and wonderful. We sent the kids on the traditional kindlin' hunt to help get our rip-roaring fire going in the fire pit we built from rocks found around the campsite and then ate hot dogs cooked on a stick cooked over that fire. We sang more songs, told the same old ghost stories, then huddled up in our sleeping bags, hunkered down, and went to sleep. What a cheesy, awesome night, eh?
I suppose it was around 4am when we heard the first hit of hail. As I sat up to listen intently and lose the hazy sleep ora, I noticed I could see my breath when I yawned from how cold it had become...what was going on?? What happened to the beautiful clear weather we were counting on?? The hail progressively got worse. We bundled up the kids in their winter's best (we live in Texas, so winter's best consists of a wind jacket and skull cap) and started to tear down the tent before the hail could. We watched the hail beat off of poor Jordan's skull cap (which was on his head) and threw the kids in the truck to wait while we gathered everything up as fast as we could and haul it and the family outta there.
Oh, how disappointed the kids were. They sat in the back of the truck, cheeks red with cold and despair, no more songs in their hearts to sing. I could hardly stand it. There is just something about sharing your kids' disappointment, though, that throws you into go-mode.
It was pouring down rain and the hail was coming in droves by the time we got home, so we lit a fire in the fireplace, threw up the pup tent in the living room, got everyone in their pajamas and made s'mores and played cards and board games while the weather ripped and whipped outside, never getting to infiltrate the campsite we had built inside the house. We stayed the entire rest of the weekend at that campsite, laughing and singing, sleeping in our sleeping bags together, and even went Easter egg hunting on Easter morning. It was the absolute best camping trip (and Easter!) we had ever had.
Sometimes life can throw a wrench in your gears and mess up all the plans you make. You can either let it put a chink in your armor, or you can go with the flow and make the best of it. That weekend, we chose to make the best of it...and it literally became the BEST of it.