So, last weekend, "a" and I went camping.
I've been wanting to take him camping for years, but with my health, it just never seemed like a good idea.
As it was, it still didn't seem like a glorious idea, but I did think that it was long overdue, and that at six, he would at least be old enough not to take off on me where I'd have to worry about his safety.
He had fantastic fun, I had some fun and a ton of work, but am still glad we went.
I packed up the car on Wednesday night - and we drove to Eastern Iowa Thursday morning - spent a couple of hours setting up the tent, and getting the gear all organized at the campsite. Felt like we had the place to ourselves, and our site was immediately next to the lake - it really was a pretty place to camp. The first night was extremely cold - it dropped down to about 50 degrees. Not so bad after that.
Biggest advantage to our spot (besides being right on the lake) was an enormous old oak tree. Biggest disadvantage to our spot was the 20 degree incline over the whole lot - good news was that it was easy enough to set the tent up with our heads uphill - so sleeping wasn't impacted. On the other hand, we tended to tip over a lot in our camp chairs, and cooking in a skillet on an incline was an experience that I could have lived without.
"a" got to fish for the first time, learning to cast, didn't quite get to the point of putting a worm on the hook, and didn't catch anything, but, it's still a good start. He went swimming a couple of times although it was unseasonably cool still through the whole weekend.
He was really, really good on Friday and really impressed me because I had managed to overdo things on thursday setting up camp and was completely miserable - we spent the entire afternoon, early evening in the tent so I could lay down because of the pain; and he sat beside me quietly, playing - until he fell asleep and took a long nap.
On Saturday, my sister, her two children, three grandchildren, and her son's girlfriend stopped by - which was nice. Plus, "a" had a blast playing with his cousins and showing them around.
However, my sister also managed to invite two men - one of whom she works with (and is always flirting with her) and his friend. The "friend" is a guy that she decided a couple of years ago really needed to meet me. In fact, at some point back then, I had to provide a picture (because he's got taste supposedly) and -- in fact, got told that the picture was a bit too blurry and he wanted a better picture (whatever!).
Anyway - she decided to take last weekend as the perfect opportunity to spring him on me. OMG. I'm still furious with her. It isn't so much that she's trying to set me up (although that's bad enough) -- it's the actual guy that she thought I should meet. I don't even know how to explain how completely NOT appropriate this guy would be for me. The first "glowing" recommendation is the rude hand gesture he made when joking about his favorite activity outside of watching tv. Really - REALLY not ok. Seriously NOT acceptable. I could have killed her. Instead, I spent a couple of hours "entertaining" these two guys while she took the kids swimming. I felt a little better that at least my son wasn't getting overly exposed to these losers, but still? What was she thinking?
Anyway, Sunday was the pack-up and head-home day ... and I ended up leaving a lot of the camping gear in the car. Spent Monday at home on PTO (planned for it) in recovery. Didn't feel terrific, but my new chiropractor certainly made it a little more tolerable.