Friday, August 17, 2012

A Weekend of Lemons Turned to Lemonade

Recently we purchased my parents' camper. Jon and I were very excited about this, especially after they showed us how to pop it up and all of it's features. We used to camp quite a bit before we had Amelia, but tent camping and babyhood does not really mix. Well, except for the folks that I witnessed with a pack and play in their medium sized tent. Brave souls. Anyways, a camper seemed like a perfect solution because it give Amelia a nice place to sleep, it stays drier than a tent, and we can bring Molly along now when we go.

August fifth was our sixth wedding anniversary, so we decided it'd be the perfect time to try the camper out for the first time. I worked all day Friday and then Amelia took a late nap, so Jon and I did too. It was 5:30 when we all woke up, but no worries-- the campground was only 45 minutes away and it wouldn't take long to pack everything up. I threw some clothes in a bag for Amelia and I and gathered the dog food/toys/leash while Jon pulled the camper out of the shed. We were minutes from departing when Jon discovered that the camper brake lights weren't working.

I could go into the fifty things that Jon tried to discover what was wrong but the bottom line is this-- we didn't leave Friday night. It got to be 8:30 p.m. and the lights were still not working, so I finally suggested going out to eat. Jon looked mildly frustrated and annoyed, especially since we had already paid for both nights at the campsite and had already passed the time frame to cancel and have our money refunded. I was rather surprised at my own reaction because in the past, I think I would have been pretty upset. But Amelia had spent an hour playing outside, and since it had been my first week back to work, I was just grateful that I was spending good quality time with her rather than being stuck at my computer.

I also have to give my mom credit for my calm, positive reaction. We've been going on vacation together every summer for the past decade. During that time, we've weathered storms while tent camping, lost the car keys while be six hours from home, and forgotten to pack vital items. Never do I recall my mom getting angry or frustrated about this. We always develop a plan B, and sometimes that ends up being more fun than our original plan.

The following morning Jon was still struggling with the lights and was about to give up. He had ordered a new part but it wouldn't be in for a few days. He was adamant that we go camping anyways, given that our campground was not too far away. It was tempting, but because Amelia was with us, I worried that someone would rear end us. I needn't worry though. We were saved by my migraine.

Yes. A migraine. During the weekend of our anniversary in the midst of trying to get the f*@$ing camping lights to work.

My doctor recently gave me a sample of migraine medicine to try, but I was worried about using it for the first time before we planned to be out of town, especially when we planned on having some drinks around the fire that night. So, Jon directed me to go inside and rest and he'd try one more attempt to get the lights to work. Amelia and I headed to the couch and threw a Disney movie in. We cuddled and relaxed, and alas, my migraine left. And...

Jon got those lights to work. Hallelujah.

With that, we headed to the campground. The camper popped up easily, Amelia and Molly did great staying within the boundaries of our campsite, and we went swimming in the lake. Things were going wonderfully and Jon's frustration had melted (assisted by a few adult beverages). And then?

It started to storm.

Not just any storm either. Not a nice little pop up thunderstorm that us Midwestern folk experience throughout the summer. A hail producing, damaging wind kind of storm. Or so I was texted by my family that was southwest of us. Jon and I nervously watched the radar on his phone (thank you, technology) and miracle of all miracles, the most northern part of the storm eased to mostly thunder and lightening. We laid Amelia down to sleep on one end of the camper and watched the lightening show through the camper windows on the other side. A rather nice way to end the evening, and Amelia slept a good 10.5 hours that night, which is a rare occasion for her.

The next morning? Rain by 8 a.m. We surrendered, drove home in the pouring rain, and went to a brunch buffet for our anniversary. It certainly was not the anniversary weekend that we had planned, but it was truly memorable, and I wouldn't have changed a thing about it.

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