Friday, August 3, 2012

Camping Out In The Back Field

For me and my cousin, summer meant camping out in the back field behind our uncle's house who was as much of a kid as we were. I'm not sure but I think it was his tent that we used. I do remember he was the adult who helped us put the tent up-from pounding the stakes into the ground with a sledge hammer to making sure it was secure. It had to be secure. You never knew what creatures (or uncle) might be lurking in the night! Were those dark, spooky shadows really tree limbs in the moonlight? Were those moans really the wind or some creature climbing out of the swampy creek not too far away? We usually had my brother's dog Smokey or that uncle's dog Bess with us but they seemed to sleep through anything. They showed more signs of life when food was around.

The tent was a real heavy canvas-an olive green shade with flaps that we tied in the front when we'd finally settle down inside our sleeping bags. When we woke up the sun beating in made it so unbearable that we'd quickly untie those flaps and run outside for fresh air unless it was storming. That's when we'd stay in our sleeping bags and talk or read our books or roll over and go back to sleep.

Once we were up and going we'd cook our breakfast over an open fire built within a cement block fireplace-the same fireplace we used the night before for roasting marshmallows under the stars. It had a steel grate on which we'd place our wrought-iron frying pan. Once the butter was melted we'd crack the eggs. As the eggs cooked we'd put slices of bread at the end of a big fork and put the fork over a flame. It was the best toast ever! Most always we were joined by that uncle who thought it was the best toast ever too! But then when you're just a kid at heart you don't mind if your toast is a bit charred or even dusted with embers after falling off the fork. A little more butter and a whole lot more jam made those embers very delicious! Sometimes we'd have cereal in a milk-filled paper cup. Whatever we ate always tasted so much better out in that back field. Though we never went camping in a fancy camper in a park full of other fancy campers I dare say we had just as much fun-maybe even more!

1 comment:

  1. The simple things in life are usually the best. What a great uncle you had.