Monday, July 26, 2010

A Country Girl Will Survive-- the heat

I am home recovering from our annual camping trip. Those of you who have been with me for a while, may recall hearing that on last year's trip I had the honor of removing a tick from my sister's bare rear. And you may also recall that the place where we camp, which is in a majestic, beautiful setting, has no running water or bathrooms. It does have very nice latrines (note the little brown buildings in the top pic)

This year had all the regular fun PLUS the bonus of being Hotter than Hell.

This is a picture of a bank clock in one of the little towns on the way to the campground. When we drove by the first time it said 101, but I couldn't find the camera amidst mountains of crap packed in our car, so this photo was taken on the way home. Yes, it had cooled down my one glorious degree by that time.

So, if you recall Fry Fest, which has been re-dubbed "Fry-Day" because it took place, well, on Friday, you'll know that my brother will and does deep fry anything he can get his hands on in beer batter and a vat of oil.

Here's what we he fried this year:

french fries
chicken nuggets
chicken thighs
corn dogs
egg rolls

The master in action:

All that frying also helped take our minds off the fact that it was nearly impossible to keep our food cold this year. When I pointed out that I didn't love that our other food was floating in water alongside packages of chicken thighs, my brother pointed out that deep frying makes everything okay. Ummm. Okay.

I ate and obeyed.
And ate. And ate.
I also forgot my toothbrush.

A fun twist to this year's festivities was that my brother's best friends from high school plus his best friend from college joined our regular crew of siblings, relatives, and friends. His high school buddies actually rented an RV, or "The Rolling Turd," and braved the winding, mountainous roads to join us.

These guys hadn't all been together in decades. This was an interesting experience for me for several reasons. First of all, when these guys graduated, this is what I looked like:

Please ignore the scratched-out face of the Worst Date Ever and travel back with me to 1984 or'85. It was not a lovely time. Short of digging up my college Sorority composite photos and parading them about the campsite to try to prove to these guys that I did indeed blossom, I had no recourse but to accept the fact that they, the cool guys in high school, would have no inkling that I got slightly easier on the eyes in the ensuing years.

Why, you might ask, did I not dazzle them with my 40 year old beauty on this camping trip, making up for any 9th grade ugliness and a mullet?

Well, perhaps you have forgotten it was 101 freaking degrees.

There could be no make-up, no swishy, figure-flattering clothes, no pretense whatsoever. When they pulled up in The Rolling Turd, I had just gotten out of the river and was sporting my latest Lands End skirted bathing suit, uber-flattering water shoes, and a splotch of gray.

I pretty much stayed in the bathing suit the whole weekend in order to avoid spontaneous comustion. And if you are wondering whether every body part can sweat, I'd have to say an emphatic yes. Even earlobes.
The neat thing was, while a lot has changed over the years, some things remain the same. Sitting in camp chairs, luke-warm adult beverage in hand, telling stories and catching up, is balm for the soul.

It makes all the packing and schlepping and sweating worth it. Molly learned to fish and jumped off the rope swing for the first time. Jake shared a raft with his favorite cousin. My sister and I wore our matching Botox shirts I got at the thrift store as a joke. We parked ourselves in the river as much as we could.

We re-connected with old friends and my brother introduced us to new ones. And the view of the full moon out of our tent flap was pretty cool, too. And by cool, I mean, about 92 degrees cool, not 100.


purejoy said...

ohmyword. i would have died. i stopped for a second to think of what i would REALLY do, but i nailed it. died. as in dramatically collapsing on the ground and dying. decomposition setting in like immediately.
you are braver than brave. you are amazing beyond amaze. you are cooler than cool.
well, not really. but i bet you really are cooler.
than this weekend.

i should send you a trophy or something.
i'm your biggest fan (like where was i this weekend?? you could have used a fan!)
oh. i know. i'm quitting

for a different kind of girl said...

It is 93 degrees where I am at this moment, and I, well, listen, I'm steaming with jealousy at how hot (in the HOT hot sense) you look in that photo with your sister. If you look that good in 100 degree temps, and I look like the slump I currently do in 93 degrees, well, I need to come and learn at the feet of the master!

(that would be you...because my feet might actually be sweating right now...)

L said...

Loved sweating with you - and not needing any tick removal. Those blackberries were good, too!

XO Liz

Christy said...

It actually sounds like a lot of fun. Minus the heat. But you made the best of it and I love that photo of you and your sis. I miss camping!

Sarah said...

Sounds so fun! How did you not puke with all the fried food plus heat? I would have! You're a better woman than me. My mom tried to take my 5 younger siblings camping this past week by herself. They range in ages from 5-8. They were in the local Holiday Inn by 12:30 that night, so glad yours was more successful.

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Sarah, I don't blame your mom one bit! If I had tried to take FIVE little ones camping, I don't think I would have made it! :)

Shana said...

I went camping this weekend also, but it was just myself, husband, child and child's friend. On the plus side: did not get hotter than 90. On the minus side: we fried NOTHING. Bah. Humbug.

Unknown said...

First, bravo to you. Makes me think of that phone commercial where the dad has tricked the kids into shoveling the snow while he drinks cocoa inside watching them from the window. He tells his wife "it's brutal--I'm not going out there". Yeah, that's me--just brutal hot rather than cold. I stay in the AC. Hot flashes and 100 degree weather? Not a good match!

Second, what? No fried Milky Ways??

kim jackson said...

hey there friend. miss you. look how tall the kid is getting!!!!! :]

K A B L O O E Y said...

Hey, the botox shirt picture could be an ad; especially under the balmy circumstances, you guys look beautiful. And the cousins shot is fantastic -- one to repeat every year, perhaps. And if there's one thing that adds to a sentimental family gathering, it's mountains of deep-fried victuals.

anymommy said...

Yeah, the list of fried food almost made me want to go camping with you. And I hate camping. Glad you had so much fun.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering when you snuck into my parent's house and stole my old prom picture?? Because I am pretty sure that that's exactly what I looked like in 1987 at my own senior prom, whcih happened to be one of my own Worst Nights Ever. Stupid boyfriend made me cry while we were in line for pictures. Nice.

Welcome back! I'm glad you had fun. Totally envious of Fried Food Friday.


Pamela said...

Hey - I've got one of those t-shirts. I'm so glad you had a fun visit. Hi L!