By Mir
July 31, 2007

Today the kids went to an all-day program judiciously selected by us because it only cost $10 for the entire day. But, you know, it was church-affiliated and that means it has to be good. I mean, it was really cheap, but it was approved by Jesus himself. Especially the pottery part. Monkey presented me with something that may be either a clay donut or a pencil holder, and Chickadee showed off a gigantic blue whale with a comically tiny Mr.-Bill-like Jonah who fits in said whale’s blowhole. (Don’t ask me, I DON’T KNOW.)

While they were gone, I taped myself to my desk chair and completed about a dozen assignments so that we can leave tomorrow (to go here) on a mini camping trip without me spending the entire time trying to find some WiFi. And Otto went and ran some errands and sold his house.

I haven’t breathed a single word of his house sale all this time because part of me truly believed that today would arrive and the phone would ring and it would be his relentlessly perky (but also somewhat daft) realtor with the news that the buyers couldn’t get financing, or they changed their minds, or were all hit by a bus. Something. Anything. I just couldn’t accept that it was real. But today the closing went off without a hitch and it’s official: We now own ONLY two houses.

(Do not ask me about MY old house. Just. Don’t.)

So after dinner we told the kids we were going out to celebrate and threw them in the car without telling them where we were headed. They whined and complained and demanded to know what the surprise was, but we were CRUEL and RELENTLESS and drove them right over to Sonic with nary a word. We then toasted the sale of the house with root beer floats all around, and it was very good.

When we came home, we sent the kids to get ready for bed and started pulling out camping gear, whereupon we realized several things in very short order:

1) Hey, the trunk of your average sedan is not all that large.

2) We never did buy a pump for that air mattress. Huh.

3) Tents are heavy.

4) Camping for one night requires only marginally less gear than camping for a week. It’s not like you get to bring LESS TENT or FEWER CHILDREN just because you’ll only be doing the one night.

So, after a triumphant day and delicious post-dinner treats, we got to relax and enjoy the spoils of our efforts. Or, maybe Otto headed out to buy supplies while I yelled behind him DON’T FORGET THE MARSHMALLOWS! and then I started working on this mountain of laundry that has somehow magically appeared here. Our plan is to leave bright and early tomorrow, which means that by the time we get done cramming everything into the car and deciding if we have enough room to bring anything other than s’mores fixins, we should be able to get three or four hours of sleep before spending the day in the hot sun with two overexcited children and then capping it all off with sleeping on the ground.

I can’t wait!

The children are very excited, mostly because I think their mental image of camping includes far fewer bugs and more indoor bathrooms than reality will prove to entail. But hope springs eternal that this will really be one of those “family trips” I always wanted to take but never did.

Now if only I had our bacon salt already, I could report back on bacon-flavored s’mores. Pity.


  1. bob

    I just KNOW you are going to hike to the top instead of wussing-out and taking the tram.

    enjoy the laser show.

  2. bob

    oops, almost forgot. WOOT! Congrats on selling one of your boat anchors, uuh, houses.

  3. Barb Cooper

    I’m really impressed that ya’ll are going. We’ve NEVER taken the kids camping and I actually used to LIKE to camp. Kudos to you. Eat a marshmallow for me! (Hold the bacon salt –I’m sure Otto will deliver on that score.) Best, Barb

  4. Sara

    Mazel tov and happy camping!

  5. Emma C

    As a fellow Lover of Bacony Goodness, I await with truly baited breath your review of the bacon salt. I picked up some Norwegian smoked salt at the farmers market the other day (by the time I realized that it was $5 an ounce, it was far, far too late), and have similar high hopes…

  6. tammy

    Congratulations on your newfound lack of real estate!

    And don’t forget the bug spray. It’s not a real camping trip unless everybody is sticky and reeking of OFF while they are complaining about the heat.

  7. Emma C

    Oh, dang, I always get my own blog site wrong. The correct link is on my name now. Not that I’m advertising my blog, because that would be So Very Uncool. It’s just that I’m a perfectionist. And embarrassed that I can’t remember my own website address. *sigh* The perils of being inclined to OCDism.

  8. Chris

    Congrats on the ONE house sale…the other can’t be far behind, can it? We’ll just have to wish it sold for you. Then you can truly settle in.
    Good Luck with the whole ground sleeping thing. You are very brave.

  9. Daily Tragedies

    I camped last weekend was delighted to find that the ground was much more comfortable than I remembered. Thankfully, I didn’t have two children in tow, just me. Good luck!

  10. Sheryl

    yay, 2 down, 1 to go.

  11. Stay At Home Dad, Geek Style

    I think it’s awesome that you guys are going. I have never been camping! My parents always were part of the “screw that” group when it came to roughing it. I could definitely see going once the kid is a little older, though. Have fun!


  12. Dawn

    Hooray for selling Otto’s house! Yours is next, I just know it!!! Happy camping!

  13. Carrie

    We have camped there several times. It is VERY nice. We are actually going back in November and we are very excited. They have WiFi there if you can believe it. Leave it to my husband to find a campsite with WiFi. Have fun!

  14. Crisanne

    Congrats on the house sale! I hope you have fun on the trip with the kids and your husband! Doesn’t that still sound just great??!!??

  15. Judy.

    I love Stone Mountain. The laser show is way cool and easily worth the whole trip. Of course, we usually just go for the laser show and then leave . I’ve never camped there.

    At least camping you won’t have to face the traffic.

    I think y’all might want to consider a camper if you’re going to do much camping… it stays packed :-)

    Have fun!

  16. Kate

    Yay for selling Otto’s house! Hopefully there will be good news about the other house soon, too.

  17. carolyn

    We hiked to the top last year and it was fun. Of course, the thunderstorm at the top was a little scary, but we look back on it as an adventure.

  18. chris

    Mmmmmmmm bacon flavored smores.

  19. Leandra

    You know what, even if it’s not perfect, it’s still a family trip that you can look back on fondly. Heck, if it’s miserable it just makes for greater laughs down the road. Believe me, I know from experience! Congrats on the house! Big sigh of relief on your behalf.

  20. juliness

    Congrats on the house sale, my dear! I was just thinking about you and decided you deserve a break…not sure camping out qualifies as a “break” but hey, whatever works for you!! Have a lovely bug-free time.

  21. Lulu

    Two words about the Laser Show—Lee Greenwood. You’ll understand later. And don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

    Have a great time camping!

  22. Lulu

    Oh, and one other thing. If one were confused about being in the South? One wouldn’t be after attending the Laser Show. I’m just saying.

  23. Chris in NY

    I love camping. Actually I should say I used to love camping- as it was in California. Here in NY there are biting flying things the size of Buicks (Nature is not my friend!), thunderstorms that blow up out of nowhere and turn the campsite into knee deep mud, and noisy fellow campers who think we should all hear their favaorite songs…over and over. YMMV.

  24. Megan

    Camping with kids is easy as long as it’s “camping lite” where you drive up to the camping spot and spit everything out of the car. Proper Camping camping with long treks carrying gear (and therefore FAR too little paddage for sleeping) should not be attempted unless you’ve already brainwashed your kids somehow.

  25. Randi

    Congrats on selling a house! Hope the camping trip goes well!

  26. liz

    Hey! I think Jackson might be at Stone Mountain with my parents the same time you are. Look for a 3-ft. kid who likes to jump and some grandparenty-looking, stressed-out people.

  27. Melanie Marie

    One down, one to go! Yeah!

  28. Jenny

    Oh, man. The Stone Mountain laser show.

    I feel like every camping adventure should incorporate lasers, Lee Greenwood, and a giant stone carving of Robert E. Lee (because that all makes so much sense). I’m sure you’ll feel the same way.

    Congrats on the house-selling!

    Don’t forget sunscreen!

  29. dad

    A long time ago, when I read “The Red Badge of Courage,” I must admit I rooted for the Union. But Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson have a beautiful mountain carved with their images and I have a soft spot in my heart for old Stonewall. He was purported to have uttered: “…who harms a hair on yon gray head, dies like a dog, march on (he said)….” So at least he liked old people.

    And yes, the soft spot is in my heart not my head.

    Congrats on the sale and enjoy roughing it.

  30. Terri

    Enjoy your mini-trip — and s’mores! Hopefully you’ll get to see some of the Animal Planet summer shows.

    And congrats on the sale!

  31. jenn

    Sleeping on the ground? It’s why we only camp in the Vanagon. Fold down bed and hammocks for the kids. Now if it would just kill bugs…

  32. Katie

    Congrats on Otto’s house sale!

    The trick to camping with kids is to have something to distract them with while you are cussing at, err setting up the tent. Hanging around the campfire late at night makes it all worth it though.

  33. Wendy

    Have fun. Maybe if you dance around the fire naked in the pale moonlight while chanting, “Someone buy my house!”. You will wake to the wonderful news that there are many buyers and the price has been driven up. Like you said, “Hope springs eternal.” If none of that happens, the other campers have a good story.

    Good Luck

  34. Amy-Go

    YIPPEE! One mortgage down…

    And sleeping on the ground? Makes you a better mom than, say, me. Um, have fun? Don’t forget the bug spray! ;)

  35. Tara

    It’s weird, my friend and I were just talking about Sonic today. I’m so jealous that you have a Sonic within driving distance. They toy with my emotions by showing commercials to a place that is at least 75 miles away.

  36. ScottsdaleGirl

    YAY for one sale done!!!

    Boo for sleeping on the ground.

  37. Sheila

    I am not so much down with the camping thing, as the ground seems to get harder and the birds seem to begin their twittering (damn nature!) earlier with each passing year, but I salute you and Otto for taking that on. Having one less mortgage will make it much more enjoyable (if one were to use that word about camping, which I would not). Have a great time!

  38. carrien

    We used to take the kids backpacking on over night adventures when they were tiny. I wonder why we still don’t…oh yeah , we left Canada with it’s never ending trail and campsite network and moved here were getting back to nature means hanging out in the desert. I don’t like the desert. I like trees. Have fun.

  39. LadyBug Crossing

    Congrats on the house sale!

    Camping for one night is essentially MORE work than camping for a week – just so’s you know. Have fun!

  40. Mimipz5wjj

    LOL! The only time we went camping with our oldest (who was 2.5 at the time and is 6 now) we ended up leaving because it was thunderstorming outside. The campsite was at a GA state park just up the road from us. We came home, slept in comfort and a/c, then went back to our tent and stuff the next morning and continued “camping!” Yeah, baby!

  41. becky

    one down, one to go.

    here’s to hoping the ticks & chiggers aren’t out too much during your camping adventure. have fun!

  42. Jenifer


    man, 3 houses, I don’t know how you were managing. When we bought the house we remodeled we had to move in with my Mom until we were done because we couldn’t afford our apartment… Kudos to you girl!!

  43. -jean

    Camping with kids, Fun. Great opportunity for wildlife adventures….Like how we put all the FOOD in the car overnight so the raccoons couldn’t get to it- and then forgot to close all the car windows! Oops. They left a marshmallow trail off into the woods. I’m thinking they must have been doing a Hansel and Gretel type trail to get back for more goodies. They also made off with the entire BOX of graham crackers – never even found a wrapper. BUT the Hershey chocolate bar wrappers were all left in the car. I guess even raccoons know to eat the good stuff first.

  44. Cele

    I hope you are having oodles of fun, don’t forget to make Banana Boats. darn now I want to go too.

  45. Brigitte

    When young, I thought that only the hiking-in-and-roughing-it thing was TRUE camping. Now I see the appeal of those motor homes (though I’m still unsure of those giant ones that cost twice as much as our house and two acres)!

  46. Aimee

    Woo hoo! Congrats on the house sale. I’m still keeping all my digits crossed for the other house to sell, SOON.

  47. Ei.

    Your children LIKE indoor bathrooms? Hmm. Maybe it is just my little heathen boys. Nothing makes them happier than peeing on a tree.

  48. Pam

    I apologize in advance if your next story is about Stone Mountain and two hellions age 13 and 9 and an older woman taking care of them, as that is my MIL and two nephews that went the same day as you. Hope you had a semi-decent time, at least!

  49. Kris

    The treehouse challenge and riding the ducks sounds like SUCH FUN!!!

    Congrats on getting rid of one house (too bad it wasn’t yours, but hey baby steps, k?)


    And you’ve GOT to share pics of that whale and Mr. Jonah Bill.

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest