Monday, February 15, 2010

The Happy Camper

I've had a series of posts I've been working on for a LONG time...since August, in fact.  I've decided to finally post them since Tricia taught me how to much more easily upload photos.  (I'm a little technologically challenged.)  So, over the next week, I will be posting the "Chronicles of the Happy Camper," a series all about our amazing vacation this past summer in a camper through Maine and Canada.  So, without further adieu...

Meet our Happy Camper!

Ready for a crazy story?

I've wanted an RV for as long as I can remember. Something about a tiny, portable space has fascinated me since I was a pretty young child. Whenever I played MASH in 4th grade, one of my "cars" was always an RV. Whoever I was playing with always looked at me like I was crazy and asked, "What's an RV?" and I'd answer, "You know, one of those cars that are really a house!" Dream of my life. I think I loved the idea of traveling from a young age, but was always terrified of being away from home. I think I liked the idea of being able to bring home with me everywhere.

Fast-forward to 2009. I'm now married and poor. (Youth ministry hubby+ Christian school teacher wife + graduate school bills coming up = poor.) The RV will be a thing of the distant future. However, we love to travel, and we love to camp. Camping is rough on me though because I have nerve and muscle pain issue called fibromyalgia, so camping always involves an air mattress and foam pad for me. I get it in my head to scour Craig's list to see if I can find a cheap, old pop-up camper that might work for us, and lo-and-behold, I find one for sale in Thurmont for $500.

It's actually still a stretch for us. But considering how much we'll save not paying for hotels, we decide to check it out. We head up there with my grandparents (experienced camper owners) to check it out. As we head down the driveway, we see a sign for their adorable farmette that says "Promised Land Farm" and I say, "Hey! They must be Christians!"

We meet the incredibly kind family and look around the camper. It is older than me, but in really decent shape. It's been kept really clean and everything works; no bugs, no tears inside, no signs of mice. We really like it, but we're still nervous about shelling out the cash (keeping in mind that installing a hitch on my truck is going to cost another $400) and thinking we really should go with tent camping.

We get into a long, wonderful conversation with the family. They notice Lenny is wearing a Young Life t-shirt, which spurs lots of talk about Young Life, youth ministry, church, Bible studies...this Christian family knows a ton of people we know and are truly so kind. Finally, we shake hands, and they tell us, "Call us please! We'll make you great deal. Really, we'll make you a great deal."

We go home and talk and still feel unsure. The next day, Lenny has a message on his phone from the wife. She says, "Call me back! We want to make you an offer!" What? Wait, aren't we the ones who are supposed to make the offer?

So Lenny calls her.

They want to give it to us.

For free.

No ifs, ands, or buts. In fact, she tells Lenny, "You just say, 'Yes, ma'am!'"

I cry.

And that camper is such a blessing. I am convinced that time away with the person you love makes your marriage. I love that thing. Many people might call me crazy, but I love it. I love sleeping in my own sheets. I love hearing the night creatures singing. I love that the air gets cold so I have to cuddle closer to Lenny to get warm. I love that we look like the little engine that could among all the $50,000 (and wayyyy more) RV rigs. I love the way campground people are pretty generally kind, respectful and private. I love having electricity to plug in my heater and computer. I love watching DVDs outside. I love gluten-free s'mores. I love campfire hot dogs. I love gazing at stars. I love sweatshirts.  I love saving money. I love making memories. I HATE campground bathrooms.

But that's ok, because everything else rocks. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout out. :) I LOVE this story! I think that camper was a "divine appointment" and I LOVE that you love it. Remind me to tell you my RV stories some day ...

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