Camping I

by Samuel De Lemos

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We’re going camping.I finally
paid for my pop-up camper and
it took six months to save
up for it. The kids are beyond excited to go this weekend. My son Moshe, was so persistent yesterday to have me pop it up. I was so busy working knowing once the camper goes up my day is done. So, I was putting it off until I had what I felt was enough work under my belt for the day. By five in the afternoon I was done and I came to my couch to read my emails and drink a glass of scotch in peace, maybe even write a poem or something like that.

In comes Moshe my twelve year old, “dad when are you going to pop up the camper?” I said to him “Mosh!” “I’m chillin drinking my drink and reading my emails, give me break for twenty minutes-please”
Moshe rolls his eyes and said, “ten minutes, dad” leaving with a devious grin.

I went back to reading and winding down from a hard day of work. Meanwhile ten minutes later on the dot, Moshe starts persisting again, “come on dad” “it’s time to pop up the camper”
Under strain I get up look at the house and say, “the house is a mess-the kitchen has dirty dishes and I’m not budging until I get a clean up, starting with you Mosh.”

So Moshe goes to mom and tells on me, something to the effect that I’m not being “cooperative.”

My wife Joanna comes in smiling, she’s been working on our website all day in Jer’s room because our iMac has been uncooperative, unresponsive and Jer’s homemade PC is running better. Joanna says to me that the kids have been patiently waiting all day for me “daddy” to put up the camper…I look at her and say, “honey the house is a mess-I’m working and you’re working and my only incentive to get our house in order is the camper-so please babe back me here” Joanna agrees with me, that using the camper is a great incentive to motivate the kids. She, using her motherly direction- starts organizing the work details effectively.

This bit of respite, gives me enough time to write a love sonnet and drink another scotch and water.

Moshe and the kids are grumbling in the background, I ignore their feelings of blackmail and quietly go outside to level the camper. Pop-ups need to be nice and level before they get raised, otherwise the end result is out of whack.

Meanwhile, the kids all agree that the house is spick and span, and ready for inspection. So I come in and give it a quick looksy and say, “nice even the floors are mopped-time to raise the camper.”

I told Moshe to get a bucket of fabuloso and water and a cleaning rag, because the camper is been sitting outdoors and will need to be cleaned, he happily obliges.

Moshe is the nostalgic one in our family and loves to create memories he’s the one kid that will work the hardest to create an “atmosphere” he lights candles, dresses himself up real nice, and tirelessly works on his writing skills, he loves to please. Moshe is a looker and got in trouble last year for kissing girls at school. I told my wife that he’s going to make some girl a great husband because he’s a worker and a perfectionist and loves to please.

Everyone is standing outside patiently waiting for me to start cranking the pop-up. I start the process inching my way until the cord is tout and the door can be opened.

My wife opens the camper door the inside of the camper has to get arranged, curtains need to be placed on their hangers and the stove needs to be lifted before everyone can pile in and admire our traveling home. Finally, after much fussing and cleaning, we let the kids come in and admire the pop-up.

We’re going to Caswell National Park which has no electrical hookups, so we’re in need of a generator. Our quest to find a generator yields multiple phone calls and google searches before we hone in on a great deal at Harbor Freight and Tools. Off we go to find our deal and some other knick knacks we’ll need for our camping excursion. stuff like batteries, flashlights, and LED lights for indoor lighting, I find a cool serrated machete, everyone needs a machete on a camping trip, right? We load it all up and pay the cashier named Becca and head back home.

It’s dark when we get back, the kids want me now to set up the TV and DVD player so they can watch a movie, in what they now call the “man cave” I oblige and set up the system and we all decide to watch iRobot with Will Smith. everyone is as happy as a clam on my driveway watching a movie on a small screen TV in the dark as if we were at a world premiere.

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