JCK is engaging in derring-do this coming weekend. She will be out. In the open Air. Outside, under the stars. Sleeping on the ground. In something called a tent. Yes, she will be partaking in what people call...family camping...in the desert. Oh, the wonder! The adventure! The...what if it all goes awry?!
Camping is not something that instantly appeals to JCK. No...JCK's idea of a weekend outdoor adventure is akin to having a day hike with a picnic of assorted cheeses, bread and wine. Perhaps a waterfall, after a couple of hours hiking at a leisurely pace. And then the finish... a night in a cozy bed at a B&B, if not the return to her lair. At her age of ripeness, JCK is picky about her sleep, what she is sleeping on, and who she is sleeping with...
JCK has a few fond memories of camping as a child. Her parents owned a Volkswagen camper, and she remembers the hammock strung across the top, and the fold-out bed. The table with one leg, and the bright orange curtains.
In Junior High, JCK camped with friends in the Cedars of Lebanon. She remembers waking up in the cold dawn, climbing lots of Cedar trees, and the smell of coffee that she didn't yet drink.
Later, in her Turbulent Twenties, she attempted camping with friends, and the occasional boyfriend. Often there were dramas...couples fighting around the camp fire, keys locked in vehicles, a bit of overindulgence of alcohol, finished off with a case of poison ivy where legs meet ass...
This family camping will be new. It turns out there are lots of people who do it. And, who think it is Fun. JCK wants to be like these frolicking family camper aficionados, but she is frightened. There could be scorpions or snakes slithering about. Worst of all, she might not be able to sleep...
JCK is surrounding herself with friends who have experience in this unknown called family camping. They will be in it together. They do it all the time... She has borrowed sleeping mats, and pans, and dishes, and a lantern.
JCK's daughter is a bit like her. She has many questions about this adventure called...camping.
GIRL: Will there be bears?
JCK: No, there won't be bears in the desert.
JCK isn't that worried about snakes. She's more concerned about dropping trou, and placing her tender parts over a cactus in the middle of the night.
JCK knows that her children will love it. They will run around with their friends, intent on exploration, and enjoying a different kind of freedom. JCK loves the image in her head of her dirt covered children, their white teeth bright in smiling faces. The scent of smoke in clothing, cheeks pink from windy days. Families sharing meals. Laughter and s'mores.
It is wildflower season in the desert. It will be glorious! It will be 2 nights and 2 days. JCK can do it! And, secretly? JCK's getting a little...excited. But, she might need her own private stash of chocolate in the bottom of her sleeping bag... just for emergencies.