Punishment Time

A few times since he last forgot, I thought for sure Lion would forget to set up the coffee pot again. One evening I think he only remembered because he happened to wander into the kitchen while I was cooking. His normal routine is to give the dog her treat and then do the coffee pot. I don’t know how he forgets the coffee pot. The dog will certainly not let him forget her treat.

This weekend we’re going to start getting the camper ready for our first trip of the season. I’m fairly sure this will cause some tensions and, possibly, some punishment. Lion has his way of doing things and I have mine. Normally we do things Lion’s way, but he needs to remember that I’m the one doing most of the running back and forth. I will get tired and short-tempered. That’s a recipe for a sore Lion butt.

If setting up the camper doesn’t create tension, then certainly the trip will. I don’t mind doing all the driving, but there’s usually a division of labor once we get to the site. Lion always did the outside stuff and I did the inside stuff. He’d set up the water and electrical and I’d do the sewer. The sewer takes a little more patience and a lot more bending over and, since I’m closer to the ground, it made sense for me to do it. On the inside, I set up the bathroom and kitchen. I get the dog’s bowls and toys out. Lion usually pushes out the slides and gets his precious satellite TV set up.

Since Lion isn’t as steady on his feet, I do a lot more of the outside stuff. This isn’t necessarily a problem on the setup. It’s the break down that’s the issue. He has a certain way of cleaning out the gray and black water tanks. I never paid much attention because I was always busy getting everything else broken down. I don’t remember which way the switch should point. I don’t remember the order in which to do things. He can be very short with me about that. He wonders why I can’t remember. Maybe it’s because camping was simpler when I was little. Obviously my father did everything with minimal help, but it was actually simpler. There were no filters and circuit breakers. You had a hose for water, an extension cord for electricity and a sewer hose. When you packed up, you rinsed out the sewer hose, undid everything and packed up. Simple.

You’d think that with all the annoyances, I’d find plenty of reasons to swat Lion. Well, the truth is, I’m just too damn tired. I’ve driven, I’ve fought with hoses and water pressure, I’ve had to get the angle right on the sewer hose, I’ve had to get the coffee pot ready and the dog bowls and the bed made and the towels out. (Camping is sooooo relaxing.) And just as I get my butt in the comfy recliner (that I had to unhook and pull from the wall), it’s time to go looking for dinner.

Maybe I’ll keep a running total of his infractions except that I feel tired when we’re away. I don’t sleep as well. I drive a lot while we’re gone. It takes a few days of being home to recover from going on vacation. It always reminds me of my mother’s story of when I was born. Apparently I cried so much, my father had to go back to work to get any rest from taking care of me. (Yes, I did have a child just like that.)

If camping is such a pain, why do we go? Sometimes I wonder about it myself. The simplest answer is that we own this behemoth and we have to use it to get our money’s worth. The real answer is that we usually discover someplace we never knew about. Where in the Sam Hill are we? Well, we discovered where that saying came from. We camp where Sam Hill — Yes he was a real person — lived. We’ve been on the highest mountain pass that stays open all year in the state of Washington. We’ve been to lots of dams along the Columbia River. There are a lot of things we read about that suddenly we’re seeing first hand. I guess that makes up for all the annoyance of setting up and breaking down the camper.

Now, I just need to work in time and energy for Lion punishment. [Lion — No need to tire yourself on my account. :)]