Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Family camping trips!

Our family always loved to camp, something that I still like to do. When we started out camping it was very different than it is today. There were no Rvs or air conditioners, things that is a must today. My family was invited to go camping at Sardis Lake in Mississippi one 4th of July by friends at work. We were told that they had plenty of room, so come on down and join the crowd. We loaded up the old Station wagon, a few groceries, a cooler or two and struck out. When we arrived at the camp site, there was one tent set up for their family and no one else. Another couple, with two kids, who had also been invited showed up like we did expecting to have somewhere to sleep. We should have known when we showed up and they acted surprised that the invitation was only to be nice and to let people know that they were going camping, but we made the best of it.
We all got together and had a good time around the campfire and kids roasted hot dogs and after swimming all afternoon were ready to go to sleep when bedtime came around. We backed the old station wagon in under the trees and put down the tailgate, made pallets in the back and they were in business. The rest of us slept in lawn chairs, on cars or pallets on the ground. In all, we had a great time camping and the next week, we went to Sears and ordered a 9' x 18' tent and we started getting ready for our next camping trip. When the tent came in, we learned to set it up in the back yard and went by Fred's Dollar Store and picked up some blow-up mattresses and took off for Sardis Lake.
When we got to the lake, we found a smooth shady spot under the trees that was close to the swimming beach. There was a cold shower that you pulled on a chain and the water sprayed you off. After we had cooked that night, using a pump-up Coleman stove, we blew up the air mattresses and spread them around the tent and started trying to go to sleep. After about 15 minutes, Karen started crying: " I want my bed"... After a while, she started crying: " I want a drink of water".... I got up and got the water cooler and went down to the store down the road and make her some Ice water and brought it back. This satisfied her and she slept the rest of the night. The next morning after breakfast, the kids, Darleen, Hugh and Karen, went to the beach and swimmed until lunchtime. After lunch, while they swimmed, we started packing up the tent and everything. When we were ready to go, they wasn't wanting to go and we almost had to drag them from the beach. They kept getting away and running from us. Our Old station wagon had 4 doors and when we put them in one side they would come out the other. This went on for several minutes with them crying and running, with everybody in the camp ground laughting. We finally got them coralled and secure in the car and left for home. That was our first camping trip by ourselves, but not out last.


  1. Is that how it was? I thought Hugh and Karen were trying to sit by me and you know I didn't want them to touch me, so I was trying to get away from them. I remember when we started camping a lot and swimming that you made us take swimming lessons. And even though we turned out to be water bugs, you required that we wear a life preserver or those lifesaving ski belts for us 60's kids whenever we went swimming in the lake. We would wake up and put on our swimsuits and ski belts so save time when you were ready to take us swimming. I remember going to the restroom once and after dancing around to keep from having an accident while trying to take the belt off which was already tied in a knot, I had to grab the bottom of my swimsuit with one hand and sit on the toilet backwards while holding my nose with the other hand because of the stench in those nasty bathroom. A little girl who was in the stale beside me notice me and told her mother that my feet were on backwards.

  2. And we didn't have flies and mosquitoes! Who needed Thermacells or Off when we had paper plates hanging down over our table from our fancy tarped tent to shoo the flies away.

  3. I can still remember Gayle learning how to ski! She was so cool, but not on skis. She would forget to release the rope when she fell.

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