Sunday, November 18, 2012

show me the way to go home

A little over a week ago, Jack started talking about buying a trailer so we could go camping.

We have camping history.  We bought our first tent on the day we were married, a little springbar pup tent.  We camped at Lava Hot Springs on our honeymoon.  In October.  It was rainy and cold, but there were hot springs and we were young and newly married.

Later on, we acquired my parents' camper.  The camper of my youth.  My dad was a carpenter by day who decided he wanted to camp with his family so he built a camper.  We spent many happy days and nights in that camper when I was a kid.  It seemed reasonable that when I had two small children I too would want to spend time camping with them, so dad gave us the camper, bought a new, larger version for them, and we changed from tenters to campers.  We camped until the family grew too large and too busy for that camper.  We sold it to a sheep herder who probably still lives in it year round.

Earlier this week, we settled on a new trailer.  It's larger and less campier than the first camper.  It has the potential to make and hold many fun memories for years to come. 

Alas, it is winter now though, a great time to find bargains on new trailers, a not so great time to take them to the local mountains.  (Although it has the "Arctic Pack" insulation package, so in theory we could take it out now and be perfectly snug.) 

Before we parked it beside the house for the winter, we decided to drive over to show it to dad.  As usual, he was asleep on the couch.  I nudged him, nudged him again, and again, and he slowly blinked his eyes, closed then opened his eyes, and gradually recognized and greeted me.  He slowly pushed himself up and around the sofa until he was sitting upright.  I pointed my finger in the direction of the trailer parked outside and after a few minutes he spotted it.  He immediately noticed the brand and logo and said he'd considered buying that brand years ago.  As much as I tried to get him to go out for a tour, he just wasn't up to it, but he did want to hear about all of the features and all of our plans for future road trips. 

We visited for a while, talking about past trips in the camper to Shady Dell and motorcycling at the sand dunes.  Out of the blue, as we prepared to leave, he started to sing:

I'm tired and I want to go to bed,
Had a little drink about an hour ago
And it went right to my head,
Wherever I may roam,
By land or sea or foam,
You'll always hear me a'singin' this song

His eyes were twinkling, his whole face smiling, and it was just like the dad I remember from my childhood, always whistling or singing a song, and completely happy when I joined along for the last line:

Show me the way to go home.


Lisa B. said...

What a lovely essay you've written here. Really, truly. *love*

Joey said...

A wise man said that in motherhood (and I believe in life) joy is found in the moments.

So glad for you to have had a real moment of joy with your dad. And we're old enough now to appreciate them enough to keep those kins of moments closer to our hearts than we were at 30.

Shi said...

:) I love this story line! And look forward to the memories we will all make together!