Labor Day Weekend

“Welcome to camp, how can I help you?”

“We’re checking in for Labor Day Weekend.  Last name is Thompson.”

“Um . . . I don’t see a reservation under that name.”

“Well that’s ridiculous, I have my confirmation email right here.  I printed it out to be sure I had the right address for my GPS.”

“Ma’am, I’m sorry, but that email is dated July, 2012 – last year.  Our computer does show you were here last year, but there’s no current reservation.”

“Well where am I SUPPOSED to be?”

You know, I felt bad for her.  She’d worked all week, pulled her family together, packed the tent, and driven 3 hours to spend 3 days camping – but had no idea what campground she’d booked.  We were full, not a single site that I could put her on.  There are at least 10 other campgrounds within 15 miles and the best I could do was give her a list of phone numbers to call.  You’ve got to respect her attitude though.  She laughed and said it was all part of the adventure!

Labor Day Weekend is the riotous end to vacation season in New England.  It’s still summer time during the day with temps in the 80’s, but nights are starting to feel like autumn with temps falling into the mid- to low-40’s.  Plants have stopped growing and fruit is ripening for harvest.  The city folk are making their last forays into the country before kids go back to school and 4th quarter quotas demand attention.  It’s some interesting to see what people will do to squeeze the last bit out of the warm season.  As noted, every single one of 300+ campsites are rented.  The forest is full of tenters and trailers and pop-ups and motor homes.  The riverfront beach and the pool are both crowded with bikini-clad teens and some older women who should know better than to wear those things.  The boys are showing off for the girls, and the men are back at their sites drinking beer with their buddies and keeping the campfires burning from 9am to midnight.  The little kids are careening around the camp roads on bikes, trikes, and power wheels.  People who’ve never been closer to nature than their community square park are kayaking down the Saco River at great risk to life and limb.  Couples in color-coordinated Old Navy outfits and flip flops are starting their hiking adventures by attempting to climb Mount Washington (and didn’t they think I was crazy for suggesting different footwear and a backpack with winter jackets?!?!).  Families are trying to cram a drive over the Kancamagus Scenic Driveway through the National Forest , a visit to Clark’s Bear Trading Post, and the Conway Railway dinner train, all into one day.

I have to agree with Mrs. Thompson – it’s part of the adventure.  And what a wonderful adventure it is to live life to the fullest!

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Do you smell POO?

When I went to our “closet” the other day, I got a whiff that distressed my nose.  First, let me define “closet” as used by RV manufacturers.  Just inside our front (and only) exterior door, is a shallow (6 inch deep) compartment with controls for our sliders, power awning, fantastic fan ventilation system, A/C, propane furnace, water heater, etc. at the top.  There are 2 coat hooks on the back wall below the controls, the bottom (which is at roughly hip height) serves as a shelf, and there’s a door that closes to keep it all out of view.  We use this closet to store our jackets, dog walking supplies (leash, collar, tennis balls, poo bags, water bottles, flashlight, etc.), and all those things that in a sticks-and-bricks house would be left in a pile on the kitchen counter near the door.  One never knows what one will find in the closet.

Being one who never quite trusts her own nose, I called Everett over to analyze the situation;  “Do you smell poo?”

“Oh crap,” he shouted (I don’t believe it was intentional word play, but it could have been), “Have we got a leak in the sewer system?!?!?!”  Everett, as I’m sure you recall, is one of those people who always leaps first to the most catastrophic explanation for any oddity.  I blame his mother for having frequently sung him to sleep with the lovely lullaby “When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.”

Many hours later, not having found any sewage leaks, and after having removed every last item from the closet and piling them on the picnic table outside, we could no longer smell the odor.  Ah ha!  Something that had been in the closet must be the culprit.  We went through everything, sniffing each item carefully.  The tube of tennis balls didn’t smell good (have you ever sniffed new tennis balls? ick), and the dog’s wet-foot towel went into the laundry, but these were not the odor we sought.  One by one, we eliminated items and put them back in the closet.  Finally we came to Everett’s dog-walking jacket.  The good one he’d gotten at the outlet store.  The one he thinks makes him look like he’s back in high school wearing a barracuda with the little stand-up collar.  The one with a poo bag in the pocket FULL OF DOG POO!  Now, how does a grown man who thinks he’s looking cool manage to put a bag of poo into his pocket instead of the trash while he’s out walking his fluffy little cocker spaniel – and completely forget that he’s done so?  I’ll leave that to your imagination as mine is simply not up to the task.

Do you smell POO?

Do you smell POO?