My Girl Scout Troop planned a camping trip up in the mountains that summer. There was one problem...my mom and dad were short on funds that summer and the cost of the trip was far above their means. Sure, someone would have probably funded it for me from the church but being eleven years old, I was too proud to ask. It would have been so nice to get away from the city, away from my six sisters and away from the house which felt like a microwave in the summer. It would have been so nice to sleep in a tent under the stars. Something I never experienced.
I had no camping gear either, like a sleeping bag or fishing pole so that would have been an awkward situation anyway. So I told the girls in the troop company was coming and I had to spend time with my relatives.
Than on Friday afternoon I waved good-bye to my troop , smiled and held in tears of disappointment. Disappointed I wouldn’t be roasting marshmallows on a fire and telling scarey stories to each other. Most of all I wanted a chance to get away from my family and lay beneath the sky by myself . A chance to bask in the moonlight under the stars and let the quiet of the night surround me.
Oh well, I had to get out of this self-pity frame of mind and think about how I could get the chance to go on a trip like the one I was missing. Just to sleep under the stars would be so thrilling.
I darted through my house and opened the back door to the yard. Our yard was about 10 feet by 6 feet and the ground was all cement surrounded by a wooden fence about 5 feet high. Clothes lines hung across the yard and tied on hooks to the fence.
“If I took a big blanket and hung it across the lines,” I thought, out loud, “I could make me a nice tent”.
Good, Idea, I thought. Than bring out the old cot and with a few pillows and covers, I’d have a nice bed to sleep in. So, with Mom’s permission, I gathered all the extra linens in the house. I even drug out a small end table from the basement and set that up beside the cot. It was still light out and my little home under the clothes lines was looking really great. I had a big flash light on the night stand for a lamp. That’ll do just fine. All I needed were some snacks and juice and I had my home for the night away from everything and everybody. An escape to be proud of.
I stretched myself out on the cot and with the warm sun bouncing off the my home made tent, I soon fell asleep. When I awoke, it was dark and the fireflies and mosquitos entertained my habitat. Startled, I jumped up ran from under the blanket tent, almost taking it down from off the clothes line. I tried to open the back door but someone had locked it. It must have been later than I thought. The lights in the house were out and it was quiet. I ran out the back gate and to the front of the house where that door was also locked. I tried opening a window but as usual Dad had them locked too.
They forgot about me, I thought. How dare they forget me out here. At least they could have checked on me to see if I was alive or something. I went back to the yard and put on the flashlight. The bugs took that as an invitation and swarmed quickly to it. I dropped it on the cement floor. All I could think of is sleeping in my bunk bed. Curling up under my light blue quilt without bugs flying in my hair. I thought about my friends sleeping in the mountains. Suddenly it didn’t sound appealing to me. I realized, I’d rather sleep with my sisters than with bugs. I scratched my arms, legs and face from the mosquito bites. The old sheet on the cot was now covering my whole body for protection. Than I heard a rumble....thunder...than lightening.
Rain ...oh no! The rain soaked through the blanket tent than onto me.
“Help!” I screamed, again banging hard on the back door. The lightening came closer and the thunder clapped louder. There was no where to run to for cover. I was freezing cold from being drenched.
“God,” I prayed, “please, help me escape this mess!”
I leaned hard against the door. It opened ... There was Mom with a big warm towel. She wrapped it around me and took me into the kitchen. She administered a pink medicine on my mosquito bites. After changing my clothes Mom had a fresh pair of pajamas ready for me to jump into. Than she made a kettle of tea and we cuddled together while drinking our brew. No one but me and my wonderful Mom. Who could ask for more.
Mom tucked me in bed...said prayer’s with me than kissed me good night. The rain continued in a drizzle. I stared up at the ceiling feeling warm inside knowing I’d never want to escape from home until I was grown up, that is.
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