First of all, a word of thanks. Many folks weighed in on last week's column about the questionable behavior of certain celebrities. Elaine and David of Trumbull County particularly liked it; Judy let me know via Facebook that she mostly did not. I want to let you know how much I appreciate all feedback and I truly thank everyone for writing - and for reading!
Moving onward to this week's topic: The Top 10 Things I Hate about Camping. You may recall that my family and I forayed into the exciting world of camping beginning this spring - and I was a little uncertain about my passion for the outdoors, especially when some of its furriest representatives showed up indoors on the second week into the adventure. Hmpf.
And so, as the traditional camping season winds down, I thought I'd share my impressions from our inaugural term. Here's the top 10:
10. The tall, tall trees. I mean, all that annoying shade in the summer time and gorgeous foliage right now. Who needs it? Er, um, the leaves and pine needles are irksome to have to keep cleaning off the camper floor.
9. The incessant fresh air. Where are the exhaust fumes? Where is the recycled office ventilation? Where is the burnt toast smoke? You're outside; it's wide open. I mean, all that oxygen, for heaven's sake! Must have something to do with all those confounded tall, tall trees.
8. The hiking and fishing. More of that darned fresh air PLUS heart-healthy, muscle-strengthening, balance-inducing walks in the woods where you'll see, like, a dozen types of birds you never even knew existed. Oh, and who can stand that sun-drenched peaceful calm along the creek bed or lake shore when you're forced to go down and cast a line or two?
7. The quiet. It's not just down by the water - that pesky solitude is a true hobby hazard. It's almost everywhere you go at camp!
6. The panoramic vistas. Right; it's not just the birds, deer and occasional coyotes (true story). It's the pinkish orange sunrises and sunsets, the rolling hills, the idyllic farmhouses atop sprawling spreads dotted by horses, cows and sheep. We certainly don't have to be bothered by those kinds of irritating sights at home.
5. That faraway feeling. Even though our campsite is only about a half-hour away from our home, when we're there it feels like we're on vacation. Er, I mean, like we're far removed from home. And who wants that? A little getaway every single weekend? A change of scenery? A break from the everyday stressors of life? Heck, we can't even always check our email from camp.
4. The wi-fi and TV disconnect. Yes, as I was saying, you are pretty much forced to unplug when you're camping. And that's really annoying to workaholics, videogame addicts and cell phone junkies. Having to put the electronics down and sit around a campfire talking and making those dreaded s'mores. Really?
This can only end one way, people
3. In happy camper-ness. That's right, that's correct. Getting that dad-burned camper was clearly one of the biggest, best family decisions we have ever made, hands down. The long walks, the games of Apples-to-Apples and Yahtzee, the very close friends we made with the family of four next door. Oh, fine, I don't exactly hate camping, OK? Having that time with my boys and our puppy, laughing, eating, relaxing, playing. Darn it, I don't even mind doing dishes or laundry or cleaning when I'm there! I mean, when else am I going to be able to spring clean the entire house in 27 minutes? Which leads me to my No. 2
2. Closing up camp for the season. Seriously. Legit. In case you can't tell, all of my above-mentioned reasons were in tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek. Truth be told, I never expected to be so genuinely sad as we prepare to winterize our camper for 2011. I admit it, already. I love camping. I really, really do.
1. Except for the bugs. Them I hate. For real.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.