Oh the 4th. Oddly enough, it’s not a huge holiday for me. So when I was thinking about posting today I thought “well, the 4th makes me think of summer which makes me think of summers when I was young which makes me think of CAMPING.”
Now. When I was young my family and I went camping. But not the kind where you bring a tent into the woods and really rough it. Nope. We went to Jellystone Park in the Wisconsin Dells. Yes, like the Jellystone in the Yogi Bear cartoons. We had a pop up camper and the campground itself wasn’t really roughing it: there was a store, bathrooms with showers, a swimming pool, an outdoor theater and a playground. But seriously, those summer camping trips are some of the BEST memories from my childhood.
We would go with other friends of my parents and a lot of those friends had kids near my age. Now, when I think about those old camping days I also think of my very first crush Matt. Oh gosh. I had a thing for him. He was the first person to ever say “I love you” (aside from family, of course). I believe that happened when I was 8 or 9. He said it quickly and then… ran away. Oh young love! Oddly enough, Matt and I found each other on Facebook and it’s good to know someone who knew me way back then, the girl who had no problem getting a little dirty (definitely not like that now, oops).
Camping makes me think of sneaking around in the dark and hiding in the Yogi Bear statue’s picnic basket, learning how to make hot chocolate with hot water, finding out that you shouldn’t swallow your gum and that stealing candy from the store is not the world’s best idea and that haunted houses can be positively terrifying (especially if the older kids tell you they are). It makes me think of the smell of campers and sleeping bags, the taste of s’mores and the way leaving on the last morning was always so, so sad.
I may not be the biggest 4th of July fan but I love that this holiday is such an amazing summer holiday and that today I am remembering all those sweet, carefree Jellystone days.
Happy 4th all! Have a fun and safe holiday!