Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Twilight Years of Life (07/02/09)
TITLE: Mom and Pop Atop Mt. Misery
By Glenda Lagerstedt
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The signpost materialized through fog and mist. Mt. Misery. I chuckled at the name. In the distance the sky looked brighter, a teasing suggestion that the rain might pass by journey‘s end. Farther north - so the forecast optimistically stated - there was less chance of rain. We hoped our camping trip would be dry.
Many years ago (never mind how many) we had been avid tenters. Priceless memories of family vacations, both local and cross-country are documented within the pages of our family albums.
A few years ago we abandoned the faithful tent in favor of a camper. While the hubster declared himself too old for the tenting life, I secretly pined for those long-ago days of the cloth house. So when the camper succumbed to pressures of age and long usage, I wasn’t all that broken up.
“A nice tent is better than a beat-up leaky camper,” I insisted. “There is no room in the budget for a decent replacement,” I truthfully declared. “We can do just fine in a tent a little bigger than the last one,” I persuaded.
I triumphed when our son lent us his tent. Bigger than its predecessor and dryer than the defunct camper, it was my dream come true. Lost youth returned.
As we approached our chosen spot, the sky opened and the rain cascaded down, washing away hopes for clear weather. Apparently we weren’t far north enough to benefit from the hope offered by the weatherman.
Friends greeted us and invited us to wait out the storm in their camper. Gladly accepting, we visited. Then we ate and visited some more, until simple courtesy demanded we leave them to their night of rest. Truly waiting out that storm would mean snuggling in bed with them. Our friendship is close but not that close.
Simple logic forbade tent-pitching, so we opted to set up our cots on the dirt floor of the “buffalo shack”, a rough structure used as a shelter for target shooters. It was dry and boasted a wood stove. Let the fun begin.
My first bout with reality besides the rain was arising from the cot. The struggle gave a whole new meaning to getting up in the morning, in that one must really get UP! A strenuous roll to the side and off the cot. Hands and knees on the stony dirt. Rising in inconsistent, uncomfortable stages to sort of an upright position. Ooh…ouch! Massage that leg cramp. Could this be the same body that once went from prone to upright instantly in response to a whimpering child?
My strong steady husband has long been the memory master, in charge and making sure we included the necessities. I on the other hand was born forgetful. At birth I felt uncomfortable and embarrassed because I thought I forgot something. I later learned that everyone is born naked. What a relief.
I know my own forgetfulness is not a result of age; I can’t vouch for him. At breakfast he groaned, “Oh no.” He looked at me sheepishly. “I forgot to bring a frying pan. Um…actually, I forgot to bring cookware at all.” (He didn’t point out that the camper was always supplied.) Oh well., the muffins we brought made a fine breakfast.
Fortunately we were able to set up camp by nightfall. It looked like all was well. Then, “Oh no!” A new outburst from the memory master. “Aw, I forgot to bring the propane tank for the heater!” Thank God for friends who come to the rescue with whatever has been left behind.
I was awakened by a gentle mist on my face. Rather pleasant, so it was surprising when my manly man, bolted with his pillow to the foot of his cot. Was he moody because he had to be in a tent when he is old? Humph! I continued to savor my spa treatment, unaware that tiny drops of mist congregated in a pocket above, waiting to go ‘splat!’ on me, too. No wonder our heavenly Father counsels not to judge others.
Oh, speaking of dampness about the head: I have spiritual hair; it ain’t got no body. Do you know what unremitting dampness does to spiritual hair? It ain’t a pretty sight. I hear of old ladies who simply don red hats. Anyone know where I can get one?
The above articles is 99% poetic license free.
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