camper

Susan at 28My niece, Susan Griffith is a sweet, kind of quiet girl, who loves living in the country and being outdoors. She loves doing all the homemaker things, like baking cakes, and this time of year, baking pumpkin seeds, which her whole family absolutely loves. Susan and her husband, Josh live out in the country, near his parents, who have horses. That gives their girls, Jala and Kaytlyn, and them the chance to ride horses sometimes, which is very cool. This summer, Susan was able to work from home, so her girls actually got to sleep in and had more time to enjoy their summer. I think it was really nice for Susan too, because she got to really spend some quality time with her girls. Most of us work, and so having a whole summer with the kids is a real gift.

Susan and her family love to go camping, and in the past, that meant sleeping in a susans-tenttent, but no more. This year they bought a trailer, and camping took on a whole new meaning. If you have ever slept in a tent, you know what I mean. The ground is hard, even if you do have an air mattress. The nighttime coolness doesn’t stay outside of the tent…it’s right in there with you. And if it rains…well, it’s in there too, or at least that’s how it was with any tent I ever slept in. A camper is so much more comfortable…and, cooking is easier too. Susan and her family love camping, and all that goes with it, so hiking, fishing, and kicking back around the campfire are things they love to do. I can relate to that, especially the smell of coffee heating over a campfire. It doesn’t get better than that. Susan and her family often go camping with her sister, Machelle Moore, her family, and their parents, Debbie and Lynn Cook. It’s a huge procession to their favorite camping destination, the Big Horn Mountains, where they all have a really great Susan, Josh, Jala, and Kaytlyntime every time they go.

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that Susan, or the rest of the kids in the family, are grown up already. I remember them as little kids, giggling, running all over the house, and fighting as much as they played, but now, they have all grown into wonderful adults, who are still friends…and funny thing, they don’t fight anymore. The years just go by too fast. Before long it will be those same kids who are looking back on how quickly the years went by with their own kids. That’s why we all have to treasure the time we’ve been given, and I think Susan definitely does. Today is Susan’s birthday. Happy birthday Susan!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

CampingMany people can’t wait for summer, so they can go camping. As kids, my sisters and I loved it. It didn’t matter if we were sleeping in a camper or on the ground, as long as Dad was willing to put another log on the fire to keep the bears away…which is what we thought would work…and it probably did no good, but we were girls…what did we know.  All we cared about was that we were traveling and had no school, and we got to see new places and do fun new things. Of course, one of the things we always liked was the campfire at  night. The smell of the burning wood, roasting marshmallows, looking at the stars, and just enjoying the warmth radiating from the fire, made the evening so fun and relaxing. Those were times we enjoyed so much, and times that I miss sometimes. Around the campfireIt’s funny, because I’m not much of a camper these days, although I love to go hiking. It’s just that at night, I kind of like a nice soft bed and a room without bugs and cold air. I do still love to sit around the fire though.

Kids, especially love to be around the campfire. They want to add wood to it, stir it and everything that they are so sure is important to having a campfire. I love to watch little kids around the campfire, they just get so excited…but then which one of us isn’t a kid at heart when it comes to campfires. These days you can even buy a little fire pit to have in the back yard, so your can enjoy those fires whenever you feel like it. It’s not exactly like camping, but it gives you a little bit of that feel…or whets your appetite for summer…or at least summertime things.
Camping in Ethan's bedroom
Sleeping in a sleeping bag these days isn’t my favorite thing to do, but then it does remind most people of camping out. Some people love it so much that they can’t wait for summer to go camping. It is a matter of have sleeping bag, will camp. For those people, and my grand nephew, Ethan and grand niece, Aurora certainly qualify in this category, it simply doesn’t matter where you camp out. The campground, the back yard, or even Ethan’s bedroom will do, as long as you are sleeping in a sleeping bag, and not in your bed. I don’t know how much sleep Ethan and Aurora got on this little camping trip, but they definitely had a great time.

Travel has always been something my family has enjoyed doing. As a kid, I remember that my teachers and fellow students were surprised at some of the places we had been. When Bob and I got married we wanted to pass that on to our girls as much as possible, and while we didn’t do quite as well and my parents had, Corrie and Amy have had the opportunity to go a number of places. Bob bowled in the national bowling tournament, so the places we went were places we might not have gone.

One place we went that was not on a bowling vacation, was Beartooth Pass in northern Wyoming. It was an amazing trip. The area is beautiful and the mountain views are awesome. It had been quite a while since I had seen summer snow. The year my daughter, Corrie was born, in fact. She was born June 30, 1975, and it snowed for a few minutes on the 4th of July that year…I couldn’t believe it.

The trip through Beartooth Pass, however, made the 4th of July snow look like a rain storm. It was so much fun to see all that snow. It was over the top of our camper. They had to have poles to show the snow plows where the edge of the road was. I know we have all seen stuff like this before, but we really hadn’t come across it, in my memory anyway, so it was pretty cool. Our girls got pretty wide eyed when they saw it too.

Vacations are all about going to new places and seeing things you wouldn’t normally see in your own area, so I guess you could say that we definitely accomplished that. And some vacations are of the type that you really never forget them, and for a variety of reasons. This was one we never forgot for several reasons. The vast scenery, which was so beautiful, the deep snow, and the breakfast that became lunch because what appeared to be a few miles down the road on the map, ended up taking several hours to travel. Everything turned out ok in the end, because we also tried Buffalo burgers for the first time, and they sure were good.

 

My Uncle Bill is a man of many talents. He hates to see something be thrown away or junked out if it could have some value. Now, I’m not saying that he is a hoarder, because that just wouldn’t be accurate. He just sees value in things that others don’t…such as an old bus. Uncle Bill came into possession of an old bus, and spent some time fixing it up to be used as a camper for his family. And it worked quite well.

They did a lot of traveling in it, coming out many times to visit us here in Casper. We took trips around Wyoming in that bus, and it was also a favorite hang out when they were here. Uncle Bill and I used to go out there and play Cribbage, while some of the other kids played in the bus. My little sisters liked to play house, because it was a separate “house” from my family’s home. And Of course, there was the various kids who wanted to play “driving” in the bus. I remember one time when my cousin Billy was “driving” and he found out that if you take the bus out of gear on a slope, the bus will roll. Thankfully, Uncle Bill and I were playing Cribbage at the time. I never saw my uncle move so fast. He ran to the front of the bus, and put it back in gear. Then, when he stopped shaking, he calmly backed the bus back to it parking place with a boys will be boys attitude. Thankfully there were no other cars in front of us. Looking back now, it’s easy to laugh, but it wasn’t very funny then.

The trips we took in the bus were so much fun. No one had to be tied down, you could sit and the table and talk or play games, and just enjoy the freedom to move around. It was much like traveling in a train…and we all loved it. I remember Uncle Bill teasing us kids about having to lick up our ice cream if we spilled, and then when his son Jimmy did spill, and started to get down to lick it up, Uncle Bill laughed heartily and said, “Don’t lick it up!! I was just kidding!!” The relief on Jimmy’s face was just hilarious!!

The memories I have of that old bus are varied and many, too many to put here. It was a great old bus, and my Uncle Bill did an amazing job on creating a great travel bus, but more importantly he created memories. I know I will never forget them, nor will my sisters. Those were such good times.

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