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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Camping (07/11/05)

TITLE: All the Comforts of Camping
By Shirley Thomas


“This is absolutely the last time I agree to this! How do I let them talk me into this every year?” I thought to myself as I applied mosquito repellent for the fifth time in just as many minutes.

My husband and our four children loved going camping. Not me, my idea of camping was staying in a four-star resort with room service, spas, turn-down service and beautiful views. I was just not the out-doorsy type, but somehow each year my wildlife loving family convinced me to give it one more try. There were always promises of things going more smoothly….they promised they would watch for skunk tracks before we set up camp this year. I also believed them when they said we would find a campground near some really good restaurants. Oh, the one they really sold me on was the fact that they all had taken first aide classes and now knew how to tie a tourniquet.

So once again, here I am in the middle of nowhere, longing for a hot shower, a salad and a movie. Instead I have several families of mosquitoes surrounding me, a very strange noise that seems to be getting closer by the second and the after taste of a really bad supper. I also have a feeling that they didn’t check out the skunk situation either, because there is this unforgettable smell when the winds blow from the east side of the campground.

Meanwhile, my husband and children are having the time of their lives playing horseshoes with some of our neighboring campers. I had left the lighted game arena about an hour earlier before I completely embarrassed myself and my family. The only thing I was worse at than camping was game playing. I had made up some excuse about having to get things ready for the next day at our camper. The only thing I had to get ready for the next day was putting on “my happy face” so my family wouldn’t realize how truly miserable I was on this trip.

It was too hot to go into the camper, so I decided to just battle it out with the mosquitoes and sit outside for awhile. I could hear my family and the other campers laughing and talking in the distance and I could see the night fires they had built at the different camp sites. I began to look into the darkness of the sky above me and was instantly overwhelmed by the beauty of the heavenly sky. The sky was totally ignited with constellations and constellations of twinkling stars. They all seemed to be twinkling directly at me, almost winking at me. There was a full moon and it seemed to be smiling at me. And then, in the corner of my eye, I saw a falling star. It seemed that the skies were putting on an amazing show of fireworks just for me. It was at this instant that I realized that I needed this time just to marvel in the creation of God. I also knew that my God was amused by me and my wonderment of nature.

My eyes began to flow with tears of thankfulness to a God that had known this night was going to happen, to a God that knew what a total misfit I would be feeling like at this exact moment, so He lovingly arranged a beautiful demonstration of His beauty, His creation, just for me, His child. I took a deep breath and I could smell the freshness of the air, I could feel the gentle breezes blowing through the trees and I could hear the chirping of the crickets and the croaking of the frogs. Maybe camping wasn’t so bad after all.

“Hey, it’s my turn at the horseshoes,” I yelled as I arose from the ground and hurried back to my family.

“Oops, ouch…… hey kids, honey, where’s the first aide kit, I dropped my flashlight on my foot and that tree limb almost got one of my ears! I’m sure that was a bear I just saw. Hey, I need some help over here!” I painfully, but joyfully continued to yell.

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This article has been read 864 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Tammy Johnson07/18/05
I love it when God brings perspective! I appreciated that the "trouble" wasn't over at the end but her attitude was different. Makes a huge difference!
Phyllis Inniss07/18/05
Sometimes we learn to appreciate what God is doing for us in the most unpleasant situations. This article was well written, interesting and shows how a little sacrifice for the sake of the family can turn into something beautiful.
Nina Phillips07/18/05
I really loved it, how that God gave you a little "boost", a kick with the camping boot.
Really nice article, pleasure reading. God bless, littlelight
Alyssa Colby07/19/05
This is a hilarious story! Good writing job.
Michelle Burkhardt07/19/05
Attitude is everything. Nice job. The ending was cute but, I think I would have ended it with her rushing back to her family.
Sandra Petersen 07/19/05
This was totally delightful! I've always enjoyed camping; never camped in a camper, always a tent. My pastor would identify with you; he says he is a Holiday Inn camper. Maybe he would benefit from a dose of the revelation God showed you? Thank you for a well written piece.
Venice Kichura07/19/05
I love this & can relate. Thanks for posting.
Shari Armstrong 07/22/05
Great story!
Val Clark07/24/05
You've developed the character well, I can really identify with her. Her reasons for not liking camping and why she changes are believable. Well done.
dub W07/24/05
Very well done. An examination of her soul, very introstpective with a touch of humor. Thanks