When I was a kid my parents loved camping.
They were nuts for it. Apparently in their younger days they caught some sort of disease from using unbleached toilet paper and then all of a sudden had this pressing urge to run out to Kmart and buy camping gear. By the time I came along their madness was unstoppable. Our garage was full of canvas tents and rusted poles, two-man sleeping bags (I didn't want to think about that one too closely), folding plastic tables with chairs attached, gas cookers, gas lanterns, gas bottles, portable gas barbecues, and a set of very weathered-looking tin pots and pans.
Apparently having children had only somewhat dampened their enthusiasm for sleeping on the ground outside. Each school holiday brought new horrors. Do you know what it looks like when at least seven families who see each other no more than twice a year pack their 4WDs full of camping gear and their many children, take it all somewhere remote, and attempt not to murder each other for a weekend? Well I know what it looks like. It looks like happy school holiday fun!
Anyway lately I have been thinking about those family trips quite a bit. It is camp season in the US right now, and as I lose weight I begin to imagine what my life will be like once I am no longer hamstrung by my physical inadequacies. Naturally, the mind turns to images of beautiful, free-spirited young people, dressed in only slightly dishevelment by armed-forces grade jumpsuits of pure energy, clutching their tactical assault liquid nutrient vessel, smiling wholesomely at a camera. Behind them is a stunning sunset, glinting off the towering peaks of a n incomprehensibly beautiful canyon. In front of them is a life of athletic endeavour, punctuated with sights of all the wondrous splendour this Earth can provide.
It is prudent to remember that the reality is never quite what you imagined.
images from Happiest People Ever! via Laughing Squid.