Tuesday, March 30, 2010

the peaceful, easy feeling

This past weekend, minus the flaming airborne marshmallow, was positively awesome.


The children had a wonderful time and were extremely sad to learn that they couldn't sleep in a tent for the next 218 days. I don't know where or how they came up with that number, but it is what it is.


Even though there wasn't much for them to do, except collect rocks and scale treacherous slopes on the sharp look out for rattlesnakes and cacti, they didn't want to leave.


Each morning, they would wake up and scamper to the top of the hill next to our campsite and yell out, "Look!! We found the SUN!"


And then at night, when the sun would set on the opposite side of the sky, they'd look to see the moon magically rise in the same exact spot where the sun had been, hours before.


There is no doubt, the great outdoors is a child's paradise.


So long as they don't run headlong in to a cactus - according to Henry and one badly bruised thigh - there is no place better.


Camping really is so much fun.


We love the whole experience.


Especially the cooking and dining, outdoors.


Whenever we'd finish eating, all the children would RUSH to do the dishes.


Which was fine by me, since this is one of my least favorite camping chores and since the children are lower to the ground, it's less bending over for me to do.


Since the goal is to remove gross contamination - and not sterilize - the children did a perfectly suitable job. Although after the girls washed the dishes following dinner one night, before I had the opportunity to dump the dirty water, I heard splashing and turned around to see that our youngest had immediately stripped down and opted to take a bath in our "sink."


I suppose it's a good thing I'm not overly opposed to this kind of thing. Although when Henry climbed out, he had rogue spaghetti noodles hanging off him.

(FYI: My beautiful blue eyed toddler soaking in our camp sink is quite possibly the cutest and most hilarious thing I've ever seen.)


When we returned home late Sunday afternoon, I felt rejuvenated and invigorated. Ready to take on the world with a fresh new attitude and mucho gusto. A trip in to the wild was exactly what I needed to clear my foggy mind and help me see things with a renewed perspective.


Yesterday morning, Charlie packed the children up for an outing and about an hour after he left, he sent me a text message declaring how much he loved living in San Diego. The weather is perfect, the scenery is beautiful, there is so much to do, he couldn't be any more content. I wrote him back and asked, "So would you feel happy living here forever?" and he replied, "For as far as I can tell, this is the BEST place for our family!"


And for the first time in a long, long, long time, I felt truly settled as a sense of peace washed over me.


Until five minutes later, when my boss called to tell me that a job will be coming up in Virginia this summer, and if I want to stay with the company - I should really consider a move sooner than later. And with that, the beautiful, peaceful, settled feeling I had just summoned instantly vaporized.



Yesterday afternoon Charlie and I discussed the next steps in our future and we've both decided that we're going to sell off everything and move in to a tent. A house and mortgage and electricity and running water and indoor plumbing are TOTALLY overrated.


I think everyone in our family will be happier with our new arrangement.


Most notably, the children.


  1. Really? You might move to Virginia?
    It is beautiful here too!

  2. Jen, don't you DARE go! The very best thing about our neighborhood is Charlie's parade.

  3. I love how life does that: Ah, a fresh new perspective, I'm finally settled and at ease!

    And then BANG! Time to test the resolve.

    Your blog is nice, it tells me that I'm not alone with this kind of happening.


  4. LOVE the pics of the sink bath!

  5. You've rediscovered your outlet! Seems funny that you'd forgotten your joy of sleeping under the stars, doesn't it? Consider making a Camping Weekend your regular thing once a month. You will all look forward to it as a wind-down thing and as an adventure thing, and when you come back you'll feel ready to tackle the world. And you'll turn those kids of your into avid outdoors(wo)men for sure! I'm so happy you've found your centering activity/place!

  6. San Diego is beautiful, no secret. But Virginia is beautiful, too! The Blue Ridge Mountains! The Appalachian Trail! The Chesapeake Bay! All very nice places to sleep under the stars :)

  7. Henry pictures adorable, moving to Virginia NO ABSOLUTELY NOT.

  8. What a heavenly sounding weekend. I'm glad you got a chance to recharge.

    As for your move, there are so many amazing and beautiful places in the world. You embrace what comes at you with open arms. :) You'll learn to love anywhere you go.

    Sleeping in a tent for ever...now...that does get old. I've done it for a year (not straight, I did go home on the weekends) but by the end of the year, I was SO TOTALLY READY to live in a place with walls. And no critters in my bed. Running water, clean feet. Nice. But at the time the tent was fun too.

    Like I said, embrace what you've got and love it!

  9. Oh I think I need to bite the bullet and go camping with the boys. I know that they would LOVE it... and I may just discover that I love it because they do. I did not grow up camping and never grew to love it as a single person....

    Henry sitting in the camping sink was DARLING!

  10. Jen, I just had to add my two cents when I read the word, "Virginia." I too was contemplating a move to Virginia this time last year for my husband's job. Luckily that didn't work out because they had one of the worst winters in history. Just think about it! Winter!
    Stay in San Diego. I can understand wanting to be closer to family, but you just can't beat the perfect weather!
    Currently it is raining on the East Coast, the rivers are at near flood stage after just having come down last week. The extreme weather this year had been dreadful. Just when I was telling people that in all my time spent on the East Coast, I've gotten to experience all that weather has to offer. And now we're dealing with the extremes!
    It's terrible. Or perhaps we should just switch houses, I'll move to out to Cali and you can come to the Northeast! Then we could always switch back!

  11. I am totally unplugged in nature at Zion National Park right now. But I've got WiFi and three queen beds in our family suite, girlfriend while the people in the RV lot are holding on tight in 50 mile an hour winds.

    So what are you going to do now? Virginia might be awesome too.

  12. Curveballs.

    A coworker's father was a career army man, and after a zillion moves, they decided to buy an RV and set up house. That way, moving would be easy. They spent the next 7 years at Ft Hood, living in the RV, not moving once.

  13. I'm a teacher, and whenever I see kids at school drop trash on the ground I think "they haven't been camping" where the motto is leave the campground cleaner than you find it. Some of our happiest memories of when our son was little was when we were camping - especially group camps with lots of friends. We always marveled that the children emerged from the tents each morning looking perfect, while the adults crawled out looking . . . well, like 40 miles of bad road!

  14. Forty miles of bad road?!

    Jan, that is such the truth.

    I have a small camp mirror that is attached to my toiletry bag and I learned long ago, don't even bother looking because when you sleep on the ground, you're not going to like what you see. It's the reason I'm almost always in a hat and sunglasses.

    But the children? After a night in the tent, they look even more beautiful with their pink cheeks and bright eyes. And absolutely no body aches.

    It's good to be young...

  15. You will have a great time where ever you go. You all have the spirit of adventure.
    I would like to try camping again with you guys but I do not have a shovel.

  16. Virgina is a Beautiful Place to VISIT, but SAN DIEGO IS THE PLACE LIVE! Trust me,trust me, I'm an east coast girl with lots of wisdom, LOL... Not, just lots of gray hair. Maybe you can tele-comute? I know you and Charlie will do what's best for your family but if I ever meet your Boss, make sure I don't have duct tape on me :o)