Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why Do They Call It Vacation?

I looked up the origin of the word and found this:

From the latin Vacare, which means "be free or empty", also the same origin for the word, vain.

I sort of understand now. I vacated the house (empty), when I got home after seven days, the fridge, from which I removed food to take with me was empty, I felt free to do laundry or go without underwear, and I almost cried when I saw how bad my hair looked (vain) after seven days of camping, washing it, but not having the proper tools to style it. Is it me, or is the the term, vacation, misleading?

After thinking about, I realized I do fit the profile.

I made reservations at a campground from Thursday through the following Sunday. The idea was to "free" myself from the Internet so I could accomplish more writing. I pictured myself enjoying nature, sitting in my comfortable new Captain's chair beneath a huge shade tree. Well, when you reserve something sight unseen, you sometimes don't get what you bargained for.

Because of availability, the only site left was horrid--probably the worst in the campground. There was not one tree shading the area, and even with the awning out on the trailer, the relentless sun beat down on me and my laptop if I tried working outside...you know that "trying to enjoy nature" moment I talked about?

Across from me, the scenic lake was beautiful, until the huge diesel pusher arrived and totally blocked the view. Oh, I loved their little colored lights, the sign bearing their name that they put out next to the roadway,and of course, the American flag they flew, but...

I had no cell service, which was good in some ways, but stole my secure feeling that If I needed help, I couldn't reach anyone. You see, I was there alone. My husband worked most of the week, but did come and join me for a few days. He brought our "cornhole" boards, which is a popular game back here...and get your mind out of the gutter. It's a game like horseshoes, except you throw bags filled with corn at holes in the boards. It was fun, until I pulled a muscle in my back and had to stop.

The next morning, I hobbled around like an old woman...OH wait, I am one...okay a much older woman, and found it hurt to sit for long periods of time. I guess from placing all my weight on one knee in my "professional throwing stance," I also wrenched my knee, so my knee hurt, and my ankle...not sure what I did there, swelled up until I developed a severe case of "cankle." I believe that term means that their is no point of differentiation between calf and ankle.

The second day, the sky clouded and thunder began. Before retreating inside (I sat in the shade of someone else's tree), I folded up the mats so they were beneath the awning. I gave no thought to the fact that the picnic table for our site was on a raised altar (hill) and, of course, when it poured all night, the water ran down from the altar and soaked my new mats.Of course with a temperature of 90, after a hearty rain, you have the "heat you can wear" people talk about back here. Needless to say, I sought relief from the AC inside our RV.

For all intents and purposes, I looked like a seasoned camper, but I am so not. BBQ on table, chairs beneath awning, nice mats (at least until they got soaked and needed to dry, cornhole boards propped against the neighbors tree, and solitude...all the solitude you ever wanted but learned to hate while you watched everyone else having fun. A handsome young man in an adjacent camp kept glancing my way, and deep down I knew he wasn't looking at me...but my cornhole boards. So, I loaned them to him and his friends, and then watched them enjoy. My good deed did earn me a bowl of homemade ice cream. Yum!

I did speak with a few people, but most were couples, had bikes, or were with a group. I never felt so alone or so glad to see my husband when he came.

I didn't rest much at night because it hurt to turn over and the rain sounded like someone pouring marbles atop the trailer. To top it all, the camper radio kept coming on all by itself, despite being off, and not at the low setting, but at the highest. Even when we started to leave, had everything put away, locked up, hooked up, we had to go back in and turn off the radio one last time. I think we have a ghost who likes country music. :)

So, I'm home. Am I rested? Nope. Did I feel free? Perhaps...I went braless most of the time since I was indoors. Was it a true vacation? Not sure. I came home to unpaid bills, grocery shopping to do, over 600 email (even though I went digest on all my groups), and several missed phone calls to answer. I think I need a vacation to recover from this vacation, but I'm afraid of what might happen next time.

Maybe next time I'll go to the Bahamas. *yeah right*. We're going camping again the end of the month, but this time, I'm not going alone. :)


Diane Scott Lewis said...

Ginger, your trip sounds heavenly, LOL. We camped one time when the air was so thick you could hardly move...not fun. I don't like to camp and be stuck inside the RV.
Ours sprouted a leak the last time out. But I can't wait to go again.

unwriter said...

Camping? Rose, my other half, has been talking about it. Not without a laptop do I do this. She's talking tents, of all things. I've done that. Bad back to start with,then sleeping on the ground? Ha! I may be a grouchy old bear, but let them sleep on the ground.

Well, at least you got away from the net for a bit. I am retired and have less free time than I ever did before. I drove my son to work and watched the 9 to 5, 8 to 4 rat racers and remembered that I don't like cheese so I jumped ship and retired. Make that RE tired.

Kat said...

LOL sounded like a very interesting vacation.

Victoria Dixon said...

Oh dear. I hope you get a short story or novel idea out of this!

My husband wonders why I refuse to go camping until I've taken one single walk through grass in springtime. I exit said grass with four chigger bites that will eventually call for steroidal treatment and he begins to recall....

I won't even go into the allergies and asthma symptoms. Sigh.

Lin said...

Oh Sweetie...have you met the same guy that forced me to blow Carrie's Track Changer out of track? The guy they say is named MURPHY? Murphy's Law seems to have decided we both needed his unusual brand of guidance last week.

And your radio...reminds me of the car I had when my marriage ended. At 3 A.M. I'd be sound asleeep with the keys to the car in my purse beside my bed and the darned car would varoom into screeching life loud enough to wake people minding their own slumbering business three miles away.

I believe my ex hired a poltergeist to haunt me. Eventually I just got rid of the car. Had to...not that I was all that keen to keep a haunted car, but neighbors are only understanding for SO long.

Welcome Back Sweetie. And thanks for sharing your many "adventures" in the majesty of camping heave.

Marsha A. Moore said...

Welcome home to peace and quiet! We're glad to have you. :)


Roseanne Dowell said...

Sounds like the vacation from hell. LOL My camping days ended years ago when we discovered cottages at the lake. So much more pleasant, especially with six kids. My sister and I (her with 3 kids and I'm talking young) camped for a whole month. Our husbands came back and forth from work. Mine worked nights, her worked days. We used to laugh, one would leave and one would come home shortly after. Of course, mine had to sleep all day so we were on our own with nine kids, hiking and what not. When we look back at some of the hikes we took (down a huge cliff and her youngest had braces on her legs) every day so they could go to the nature center, we realize we must have been nuts. But we had fun and what memories we made.

Chris Redding said...

In college I went camping in the Keys. A tropical storm came thru. I was in a tent.
I still don't like windy days because of it.

Rebecca Ryals Russell said...

This is hilarious .... wait for it.... because it's.....TRUE! I hated camping. Did it every summer growing up because Daddy loved it. I camped once with my husband just after getting married. Was in a hurricane and got deathly ill. I never camped again.

MC Halliday said...

You are vey brave to camp on your own although I am sure you achieved your goals for writing. In all other ways, it sounds like a holiday from hell...which is why I don't camp.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Gigner, sorry it wasn't all that you expected. Sort of like life and men in general, huh? But, I'm glad you had some time to yourself. That's a nice thing to have once in a while.

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