Slice of Life

When the long weekend found us with three days off and an empty to-do list, we did what any couple in their right minds would do. We decided to take relaxation to its furthest level. We decided to go camping.

After all, what could possibly be more relaxing than a weekend at the lake? Oh sure, fighting the long weekend crowds to get to the hamburger buns, canned beans and mosquito spray wasn?t exactly relaxing. And returning home to hook up lights to a dyslexic trailer wasn?t what I would call soothing. But what else were we going to do with those 11 hours anyway?

Nope, better to spend them standing behind the holiday trailer shouting out such exciting updates as, ?It?s still signalling left. No, I said left. I guess I know which side is left. Yes, I?m sure it?s not my other left. Now the brake lights are on! Now . . . nothing. I said nothing is on! I guess I can tell when nothing is on.?

Really, why would anyone choose laying in a hammock in their own front yard over the calming ritual of camping preparation? Once you?re no longer speaking to each other, it?s even more peaceful.

We pulled into the campground at midnight and by three am had the trailer levelled, the fridge humming and our divorce settlement practically finished. There were still a few kinks to iron out. Like who got custody of the trailer. Neither of us wanted it.

The next morning we spent an excitement packed hour finding a patch of level ground on which to set up our lawn chairs so we could get a face full of lake view, without tipping over and getting a face full of lake.

Finally satisfied, we settled into our chairs to absorb nature. The reason camping was invented. To get away from the stress and the noise of day-to-day living and rediscover the glory of nature To sit in our lawn chairs and listen to the peaceful sounds of the great outdoors. To loons sending their haunting messages across the rippling water. To the waves gently, rhythmically, washing the edge of the shore. To the sigh of the summer breeze through the nearby stand of spruce.

To the muted voices of two fisherman anchored in a cove on the other side the lake. To the roar of a motorboat, slapping its hull across the water. To the screams of two children who have discovered a fine fat leach on the back of their little sister. To the unfortunate little sister, who doesn?t so much add to the screams, as overtakes and laps her siblings several times around the park. In fact, her fine use of vocals made Janet Leigh of Psycho fame sound as if she were merely amused at the sight of the knife in her shower.

I turn to Darcy to say, ?Isn?t this peaceful? I can?t remember the last time I felt so relaxed. And by the way, I?m really sorry about yesterday. It was wrong of me to imply you had the mental capacity of a broken Pop Tart? but my words are lost in the sudden roar of a . . . Grizzly? Enraged Sasquatch? Floater plane? Nope. That would be the neighbour?s generator.

Turns out that the couple in the motor home across the gravel way are very fond of their generator. They fire it up at seven o?clock in the morning and keep it droning at a fine tuned thunder until 10 am, before firing it up again for the noon time meal. At five p.m. it roars to life once more, only silencing itself for a ever-so-brief period between 7:45 and 8:27 before coming on again to fertilize their 27 inch travel television well into the night.

The only time I see the man of the roaring home is when he walks from the motor home to the generator and back. The only time I see the woman is when she goes into the bush to throw a dishpan of soapy water right in the face of an innocent alder who has never uttered a foul word in its leafy little life.

I turn to Darcy, ?Relaxed yet???Completely. You pack up the trailer, and I?ll hook up the truck.? It?s good to be home.