Since school started this week, we decided to make the most of the last few days of summer last week and went on a camping trip. I know not everyone enjoys camping, but I love it! We had such a good time that I've been trying to figure out ways to keep the "camping spirit" alive, even though we are back home, sleeping in beds at night and following long to-do lists by day. Here are some of the things I love about camping and my ideas for bringing them home. If you're a camper, please add your own!
Being outdoors. There is no better way to wake up in the morning than to the sun peaking in the tent and the birds singing. It's impossible to sleep in when I'm camping, because I want to get up and see the beautiful day God has made! And going for hikes is the best way to get close to the wonders of nature. There's nothing like going around a bend and suddenly seeing something that takes your breath away, whether it's a distance mountain, the edge of a lake, or a deer standing in your path. Back here at home, my daughter and I take a walk after breakfast. We walk down a dead-end road which goes by a park and some woods. We listen to the birds sing and watch for deer. We once saw a doe and two fawns who stared at us before running off into the woods. As a family, we are planning to make hiking nearby trails a regular weekend activity this fall.
Minimal housework. When you're camping, there are no floors to mop, no lawns to mow, no unfinished projects sitting there making you feel guilty. Cleaning up is as easy as zipping up your sleeping bag. By necessity, meals are simple and use few dishes (since you have to haul with you any dishes you use). Plus they are well-received. Anything tastes good when it's cooked and eaten outside, especially after a day of hiking! Now that we are home, I am trying to plan simpler meals, ones that don't require an hour to make and even more time to clean up.
Campfires! There is something about a campfire. It makes people draw close, relax and tell stories. Here at home, we don't have a fireplace and we can't just start a fire in the middle of our living room. But we can decide to turn off the television and computer in the evenings and spend time sitting together talking. It's amazing what we learn about each other when we have some uninterrupted time to just talk about whatever comes up.