James and I woke up at 9:45 this morning. We couldn't believe it. I thought the older you got, the earlier you got up. I imagine it has something to do with all the fresh air and exercise we've been getting. We did get to sleep a little later but still not past midnight. Adam came home around 11:30 and told us there was a car with a camper pulled off the road with a flat tire just over the bridge. He wanted to know if he should go see if he could help them. We said yes, but be careful, as we laid there all cozy in bed. He came back 5 minutes later telling us that their wheel had come off so they'd been there an hour fixing it and now their car wouldn't start. Adam got some jumper cables and drove back. They had gotten the car started right after he had left them but they waited for him to get back to leave. They were heading to the campground where he works and said they'd tell the owners how helpful he was. It's always good to earn brownie points at work. Those poor campers. First they lose a wheel less than a mile and a half from where they're headed. It was late at night. They had children in the car and now it's their first day of camping and it's pouring rain. This will be a vacation they will remember.
I once asked my sister, Elaine, if she had as fond memories of camping as a kid as I did. She said she hated it. It's funny how our memories of it were so different. We talked more about why each of us liked or disliked camping. She told us a story of going camping with friends and getting lost when she came out of the bathroom and couldn't find the campsite. I pointed out that while she didn't have all that much fun, she was still telling the story and laughing about it. Some of my favorite memories are of trips we've taken where things got really tense but in the end it all came out fine. Lots of rainy weather, scary canoe and kayaking and getting lost stories. As a matter-of-fact, it seems like I remember more about the trips where something went wrong than ones that flowed smoothly. I also have very clear memories of getting in trouble and crazy things I did as a teenager and hope my teenager doesn't do but I won't elaborate on those. Of course I have good memories of some magical times too. Meeting amazing people on vacations, perfect strangers who have invited us into their homes or invited us to eat with them. Seeing Adam play with kids who didn't speak much English. Exchanging addresses with people from other countries who we'd only known for a day. Gathering green-lipped muscles off the rocks just outside our shack and eating just them and broccoli for dinner. Running up and jumping down huge sand dunes on a secluded beach in New Zealand on Christmas day. Watching James get chased by a seal because he got too close trying to take a picture. Getting attacked by a bird when I got too close trying to take a picture. Walking on hardened lava above a hot lava tunnel and later watching a film that told us how dangerous that was. Fishing from rowboats. Meeting James in the Poconos. The night my water broke and a million memories that began with that night. Even learning there wasn't a Santa Clause was kind of a fond memory (okay, a little disappointing) because Debbie and I learned that together. And on and on and on.........
A few years ago my family came here for my parents 50th anniversary. It was a great 3 or 4 days. It would be fun to do that again but this time talk about what it is we remember about different things from our childhood. What makes some of us store away some occasion while the others have no recollection of that time at all?
I wonder if those children in the car with the camper will have any memory of this weekend 10 years from now and what will their memories be?