Camp Life. It’s not glamourous, despite the images you may have conjured of our shower-less family in matching onesies living in a van, but it’s good for the soul. Because of the mind-blowing capabilities of our 4wd home-on-wheels, we spent only four nights camped and set-up in State Parks. When we did it legit, this is what we looked like:
I am so well-suited to van life; a place for everything and everything in its place. It is a socially acceptable outlet for my organizing and cleaning obsession. I was able to fold, stack and organize our neatly compartmentalized life several times a day, and it was glorious. My achilles heel was the dog hair, and it was everywhere. Everywhere. So much of it. One thing we learned about van life is that the tail of an average-sized Beagle fits perfectly in the crack of an open sliding door. Factoid. Considering we very nearly amputated said tail on our third night, I suppose I can excuse him the naturally occurring incidence of shedding.
Life in a van becomes a rhythm. With three people and a dog, every navigation inside becomes a choreographed dance move. It gives purpose and enjoyment to the most mundane tasks. Coffee tastes better; every night is the best sleep you’ve ever had; you forget what day of the week it is . . . did we celebrate Christmas on the right day? Who cares. The microcosms of our delightful life become even more delightful in our delightful little homestead. Laundromats and dishwashing are about as stressful as it gets.
I was lost one night in a State Park, (totally understandable if you could see the infinite loops filled with infinitely adorable and altogether identical camp site set-ups), and it struck me: camping really is the best conduit for memories with your children before they are too old to be forcibly cohered into quality time. The night was starry, the smell of campfires and roasting meat abounded, and there was laughter in the air. It positively reeked of drunken boasting, giggling toddlers, and adolescent trysts. Memories were being made, for better or for worse.