I seriously need to record what we've done over the last week so I don't forget but I've felt too intimidated by all the events and I fear a blog that is so long no one will ever finish reading it.
And even longer will be my take on the whole experience. But I will try.
We borrowed my parents pop up camper and hauled it down to Jimmy's parents house in Brandon, set it up in their side yard, and "camped" in it for 5 days. We were visiting because Jimmy's brother Gary and family are there, plus Gary's wife Sharon's sister and her two kids were there, so there was limited space in the house. We thought it would be a good test to take the pop up camper there, to see if we could hack it at a real camp site some day. I think we passed the test, but we sure don't want to try it again any time soon.
Jimmy kept telling me it would be an adventure. I begged to go on a different day when Sharon's sister was almost gone and there would be no need for a pop up. No, it will be an adventure. I begged to drive my mini-van behind him in the pick-up truck so we wouldn't all have to cram in the extended cab truck and be so close to each other. No, it will be an adventure. So I kept reminding him of this adventure.
When Jackson woke up screaming the first morning at 5 a.m. and woke everyone up I said, "It's an adventure!" When an alarm in the pop up went off on the second morning and pierced our ears until Jimmy ventured all the way to the garage to retrieve a screw driver to fix it, I said, "It's an adventure!" On the third night, when we were freezing and sleeping in 40 degrees, totally unprepared for such weather I said, "It's an adventure!" On the fourth night, we crammed into the house. Still an adventure, but at least under normal temperatures.
So this is what I kept thinking. Under regular "non-adventurous" circumstances, my patience is put to the test every hour. I can barely hold it together sometimes on normal days. So being able to remain sane and just plain nice to those around me was a huge test under these "adventurous" circumstances. Because really, to me, now an "adventure" means, let's do everything we can to make our lives much more complicated and busy, let's be loud, let's encroach upon everyone's personal space, let's get sleep deprived, let's cram ourselves into tight spaces, and let's do all this with a dog. Add some cold temperatures and an allergy attack and hey, "It's an adventure!"
So the whole thing for me culminated in the ride from Brandon back to my parent's house to return the pop up. We were all crammed in the cab of the truck and travelling at nap time. (Nap time is slowly becoming meaningless for me since I only have one child who naps. This is currently one of the saddest parts of my existence, but that's another topic.) I was desperate for everyone to be quiet so that Penelope could sleep and I could catch a few minutes of sleep myself. I knew I had reached the end of my adventure when I turned around and said in some monstrous (but quiet) voice, "If you do not stop talking and be quiet some sort of fire is going to shoot out of my face!" I knew I had reached my limit. We arrived at my parents house and I grabbed my bag and headed straight for the shower. Because sometimes, the adventure is over and you just have to wash it all down the drain.
We really did have fun visiting with family and each other. We took the kids to Disney World on free "volunteer" tickets. We got to see friends we haven't seen in two years. So it was totally worth the "adventurous" circumstances. But Jimmy has said more than once he's not going anywhere for a long time. And I all but kissed my bed when I got into it last night. And the kids actually didn't awake before 7 a.m. this morning. Glorious sleep! I'll consider it hibernation in preparation for the next adventure!