Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Practical Scamping

I would say that any time I get to spend in the Scamp is good time. But in the last while, I've come to differentiate between Practical Scamping and The Other Kind. Since I can't have my Scamp here with me (it's being stored at my parents' for the foreseeable future), I was feeling a little depressed about not getting to Scamp this summer.

Which is not to say that I haven't used it this summer. I Scamped out here to Lincoln in May to find a place to live. This is Practical Scamping: towing the trailer so that you have a place to sleep (and cook, etc.). Since it's become increasingly impossible to leave the cats for any length of time (Galway and his annoying separation anxiety, which manifests in peeing on things when I get home), it's just easier (in most cases) to take the cats with me when I go places for a couple of days. So I camped in Lincoln for a week (with Mom, cats, and me in 60 sq ft) and it was great. Saved us a lot of money in hotels. Last year, Practical Scamping was how I got from Ohio to MN and back again (thought I made it into a trip and took my time, going both directions. That's also how I spent some time at William O'Brien State Park in Stillwater--Dad did a wedding down there, so the parents and I camped in adjacent spots.

And this coming weekend, the parents are going to camp in their behemoth 33-foot fifth wheel (and K3's godparents are going to "camp" in their Class A) and I'm going to Scamp in my 13-foot Scamp at the campground closest to K2, K3, M, and C (and Marley), because C is getting baptized this weekend. K2M don't have room for all of us (plus Gram, plus cats), hence the camping. This is Practical Scamping. I really can't wait. I'm hoping we can do some cooking over campfires at the campground, at least introducing C. to the idea of camping and camping food (s'mores, etc), even if she's not old enough to fully process.

The original plan, then, was for Mom and Dad (with Gram) to tow the Scamp behind their fifth wheel up north and I was going to go back to Lincoln. But, as I said, the thought of doing nothing but Practical Scamping was depressing me a little bit, and there was no good reason why I had to go back to Lincoln immediately, so I made reservations for myself on the North Shore for two nights. Get some breathing room on Lake Superior before the fall semester starts. Feel like all is right with my world, which currently has no link to any body of water. Maybe get some writing fodder. My idea for my dissertation, after all, has to do with Scamping. And then I'll drive to the parents' house, drop off the Scamp, spend a day or two there, then head down to the Cities to babysit C., while K2 sleeps off her night shift. Then, we'll head back to Lincoln.

Every once in a while, I'll be a little bit blind-sided by the intensity that the Scamp brings to my happiness. It's something that I absolutely need in my life to be happy, I've realized. Maybe it's the mobility, the freedom, the ability to see new places, the feeling of self-sufficiency, or something else entirely. The point is that it's there. Even though "there" is a couple hundred miles north of "here."

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