I think spring has finally, FINALLY sprung. Thanks be to God.
And now? Camping season. Yes, you read that right. The Kimerers are about to become camperers.
I might as well confess right now that the thought of camping scares me more than the number of hits YouTube got during the royal wedding last Friday morning. Seriously.
Listen people, I don't think it's a coincidence that so many horror movies are set in campgrounds / forest cabins, are centered around camping / hiking, or contain some other similar relevance therein. Think about it.
Hmpf. Let's face it, camping is really, really macabre.
First of all, you've got the bugs. Lots of them, of many varieties, which crawl and creep and fly and buzz and sting and bite. That alone frightens the bejeepers out of me.
Have I mentioned that I'm an insect-phobe?
In my defense, I've spent more than one sunny afternoon (then summer evening) in the ER due to allergic reactions to insect bites, but I digress.
Then, there's the plethora of direct sunlight involved in camping which is awesome for replenishing some of that lost vitamin D from the past eight months during which we've lived like vampires here in northeastern Ohio.
However, lots of sun also means UV rays ... i.e. sunburn, sun poisoning, ozone alerts. See how bloodcurdling sunshine can be? Have I mentioned that I'm also a sunscreen Nazi?
Sure, sure, they all yell at me now for slathering their cheeks, arms, legs, ears, elbows, noses, knee backs, armpits, heels and every other exposed or hidden body part in sunblock - but when we're all old and should be wrinkly and their skin's as smooth as a baby's bottom they'll have me to thank. Not that I'll know, because I'll clearly have had significant memory loss from all of the insect repellant I will absorb while trying to avoid the dreaded aforementioned insects.
I don't believe I've yet touched upon my fear of sleeping bags or potentially rabid woodland creatures including but not exclusive to low-flying vampire bats. Oh, and what about random cliffs or drops offs on the hiking trails, or contaminants in the creek beds, or the - I can barely even type this without shivering, but - snakes?
And just when I was teetering on the edge of absolute terror, my new acquaintance Linda Haber, originally of Brookfield, pushed me clean out of the campfire circle and straight to the nearest locked hotel room.
"Oh, there's nothing to be scared of, Patty! Except, of course, there was that one time there was a prison break nearby, and we spent the entire night with one ear on the radio listening for updates on the escaped convict. I don't think I slept a wink until they caught him the next day "
At least I'm pretty sure that's what she was saying. I blacked out after the word "nearby" but regained consciousness just in time to catch her finish
"They had to take him down by force right outside our campground. They were so close to our campsite that we could actually hear him screaming," she recalled.
As they will be able to hear my husband up in northern Canada when I tell him I've changed my mind about this whole camping concept and that I want to give our camper away to the first taker.
"Come on, Mom, it's going to be great!" said Kyle, blissfully unaware of the real-life "Friday the 13th" tale my would-have-been friend Linda shared.
Oh, maybe they're right. Maybe it's not going to be that bad.
I thought about the fresh air, the pine cones hmm, I started to feel better. Ah, yes, the babbling brook, the wind whistling in the trees
Or was that the wind? Gulp. Stay tuned, friends the adventure begins.
---- Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.