Camping Memories

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Today is both a camping memory and one I shared at our dad’s memorial service that we finally held in August, 2 years and 4 months after he passed. Tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of my mom’s passing, so this seemed like a good time to share this memory. I miss them both more than I expected, which might sound weird. But it is part of the process of life, losing your parents. Knowing that hasn’t made it any easier. What helps is to share memories & stories, so I remember them with a smile, sometimes through teary eyes. Here is a good one.

My dad was basically a quiet person, especially compared to my mom. He would listen to the conversation, and eventually add something in. His comments were often funny or thoughtful, and sometimes sarcastic. I sensed he was a little uncomfortable in situations where he didn’t know the people with him. However, Mom could talk to anyone, anytime, anywhere! She once made the mistake of wearing a red shirt to Target… It took her twice as long to shop as people kept asking her questions. (She answered them if she could, of course.) She tried not to do that again.

Usually Dad was patient with Mom talking to random people. There was this one time, though, when we were on a family camping trip in our pick-up truck camper in the New England area. I think we were along the coast in Connecticut. A hurricane (I think it was Belle) was headed in our direction, but supposed to make landfall much farther south.

Mom was inside a cute little store shopping, Dad in the pick-up truck reading the newspaper and listening to the radio. My sister and I were going back & forth, seeing which parent was doing something more interesting. At one point as I went back to the truck Dad said, “Go inside and tell your mother we need to leave now.” My response was, “She’s not going to like that…”

“Go tell her anyway,” he replied. 

So I went bee-bopping in the store and told her. It went over about as well as my 11 year old self thought it would. I walked back outside and reported to Dad that she said she’ll go when she was good & ready and not before that. So he folded the paper, hauled himself out of the truck and walked inside to tell her the hurricane is now forecasted to make landfall right about where we were and we needed to get moving. That was the shortest goodbye ever!

Yesterday as I left the grocery store, I saw a man sitting in a pick-up, reading the paper. I’m assuming he was waiting for someone. I smiled and realized what I would write for today…

This is similar to my childhood camper. The picture is from TruckCamper: https://www.truckcampermagazine.com/question-of-the-week/readers-reveal-vintage-truck-campers/

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One thought on “Camping Memories

  1. The way you begin with a little insight into the ying-and-yang of your parents’ personalities had me hooked. And your all the time…and this one time… frame for this piece reminds me of one I use with kids from Tomie de Paola’s 26 Fairmount Avenue. It is such a nice way to capture the ways we remember moments like these. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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