I will have to confess that I have been having a “Pity-Party” since camping season is here; moaning and bewailing my lot in life because I am not able to go any more. I’d get sort of a sick feeling when we would meet numerous campers on their way to river campsites, and I was left out. Browsing through my files, I found a poem that my sister Susie wrote several years ago, and I think it cured my longing. Here it is:
OUR FISHING TRIP
By Sandra Sue Loomis
`On Easter break, we took a trip
To beautiful William’s River,
It got so cold it froze our toes,
And also froze our liver.
It froze the eggs; it froze the milk,
Also the onion dip.
I ask myself a thousand times,
“Why did I make this trip?”
It snowed one day-
Then rained the next,
The mud was thick,
I was so vexed.
The kids run in–the kids run out,
The camper is a mess.
I ask myself, “Am I having fun?”
“Not much, I must confess.
The kids wake up at the crack of dawn,
I’d like to break their necks or arm.
“Is breakfast ready? When do we eat?”
I try to ignore them and pull up the sheet.
Their voices louder, they start to whine,
I’d like to kill them, but I think it’s a crime.
I finally get up, very grudgingly,
And fix them some eggs, some sausage and tea.
I carry the water and tidy the dishes,
While Charlie is out, fishing for fishes.
Charlie comes back, wet as an otter,
Somehow he managed to fall in the water.
He broke his finger when in he fell,
Now it’s turned blue, and starting to swell.
Alison’s arrived, snottin’ and bawlin’
Into the water, she has just fallen.
She also did ride her bike and did wreck,
Now she is bruised from her toe to her neck.
Oh, why did I leave a nice, warm house,
To come here and rough it with my spouse?
I thought I’d get to relax and be lazy,
Sometimes I think I must have been crazy.
Wait a minute! The sun is shining
The kids have gone out, they’ve quit their whining.
Into my heart comes a ray of cheer
I’ll probably do this again next year.
Oh, yes, that poem brought back a lot of memories. I remember the year when we camped at Three Forks, along with son Michael and his family, and we got up to about three inches of snow on the ground, the campers, and the bicycles that the kids had brought to ride. Of course Mike’s son David, who was about five years old, promptly went out and fell into the icy tributary that flowed by our campers.
I think our mind has a way of sorting out the good times and makes us forget about the bad. We remember the cold, mountain water coming from the pipe in the rock, the lovely trilliums, along with the yellow buttercups blooming in the rich soil. We remember the rippling water that lulls us to sleep, and how we gather around the glowing campfire and roast marshmallows and relax in family togetherness. We forget how it feels to fall in the icy waters of the river.
One year we went to Deer Creek with my sister Jeannie and her husband Jim. There was a big flat rock hanging over the creek, and I stepped on it to rinse out a pan. The rock flipped over and dumped me headlong into creek, where I cut my leg on a sharp rock and it bled all night. It was also an unusual cold spell, and the water was more than icy.
We went camping every year as far back as I can remember. It was a different adventure for my husband Criss. The spring after we were married, he was initiated into this family activity. We went camping on William’s River, as usual, and set up camp. It rained all the next day, and the next, and the next. I remember rain pouring down through a hole in the tarp that covered the campfire, into a skillet of steak and gravy that Mom was cooking. Criss had enough. We packed up and came home, and it was several years before he was persuaded to go camping again.
The rain that came yesterday was most welcome. The early crops of potatoes, onions, cabbage and lettuce were needing moisture, and the rain came in time. It seems that the Bountiful Father knows just exactly when to send the early and latter rains. Grass in the meadow is growing rapidly and the cattle spend their days browsing through the greenery.
We sent our young Jersey heifer over to son Kevin’s farm, where his young granddaughter, Katie, who is 13, pets all the young calves. She raised one from a tiny calf and called her “Honeydew.” She is so tame that Katie can wallow all over her. It was ten-year-old Wade’s turn to name our calf, and he dubbed her “Ruth Elizabeth.” He said that was his two favorite women in the Bible. When our niece, Lisa Ann, was quite small, she planned to name her children “Pickin’ Flowers” if she had a girl and “Yellow Numbers if she had a boy. Well, she had a couple of boys, and she didn’t.
This is such a glorious time of year that it is a pleasure to awaken in the morning. At dawn, before your eyes are hardly opened, the songbirds are trilling their salute to a new day. The sweet scent of lilacs comes through the open window, and the sun is coming up over the mountain. How blessed we are to live in these hills, and witness the dawning of another day. Sometimes I tell myself, “This is the first day of the rest of my life.” I want to make it count.
Psalms 65-8… “Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice. Verse 9 Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: Thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: Thou preparest them corn, when Thou hast so provided for it.”
Verse 10 “Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: Thou settest the furrows thereof: Thou makest it soft with showers: Thou blessest the springing thereof. Verse 11 Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness; and Thy paths drop fatness.”
Verse 13 “The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.
What a mighty God we serve!