Twenty years ago, my mom and dad bought a two-room tent for camping out with their grandkids. I think they gathered up my kids and Craig’s kids who were the only grandkids at that time and camped in El Rito, NM, where they had some acreage. It was their one and only time to camp out with the grandkids. After that one time, they made Toby and me the keepers of the tent. Supposedly the tent belonged to the whole family and anyone could use it. Through the years, Toby and I have used the tent quite a lot. I have blogged about this tent and our adventures in it many times. It is a pain in the butt to set up and take down, but it is a nice roomy tent. It has a jillion pole pieces that fit together and usually cause a family fight on how to do it. The how-to numbers on the pole pieces have long ago vanished, but they were never much help anyway. We usually get the tent up with one side taller than the other and have to break it down and redo it all. I have learned not to give my opinion on how to put the poles together. It is easier to just wait and see if it works out. I have been known to be wrong. I have also been known to smirk when the tent turned out lopsided, which was probably not wise when everyone is holding tent poles that could be used as weapons. One year at Camp Y'shua, where our whole church goes for a family camp out, we had a friend set up his camp chair and watch us put up our tent. He said it was the best entertainment he had had in along time.
I thought all tents were difficult to put together, but realized that modern tents are practically push a button and out pops your tent. Lately, Toby and I have been shopping for a new tent, although the old one is still usable and has a wonderful mold smell to add to the usual tent smell, and the zipper doors are not so easily zipped anymore. It is really not so bad.
Friday night, we set the old tent up in the yard with the help of the GGs. Talk about entertainment! It was like putting up the tent with all its usual problems plus two raccoons running around getting in to things, ghosts disappearing with the hammer, pirates sword fighting with the poles, monkeys jumping on the air mattress (which went flat before morning). You get my drift. At one point GBN1 accidentally zipped up GBN2
‘s hair in the tent door. There was a fight over who got to sleep on the pink air mattress. Excitement was high, but we finally got everyone quiet and in bed about 11 PM. Then Toby got up and said, "I forgot to turn the water off in the garden." GBN1 popped up and dramatically said, "Oh no! Not the water!" Drama was high, too.
At 5:30 AM, I was cold and needed the bathroom. I told Toby that I was going in the house, and I was not coming back. I managed to get out the broken zipper door without waking the GGs. About the time I snuggled down in my own bed, here came Toby with the GGs who were not willing to go back to sleep. It had been a short night. Now I know why my mom and dad only camped out once with their grandkids. And then I think, "But if we had a new tent, and maybe a new air mattress…"