I seriously considered writing a post entitled "Unfortunate Swimsuit Decisions and Tragic Tattoos". After spending a week in warmer climates I was an unlucky witness to a multitude of both. I have three children, two of which came at the same time, and a love of all things chocolate. I know the importance of shopping for a flattering swimsuit. It is my firm belief that many people, both male and female, grab a suit off the rack, put it on and strut out to the pool or beach with out ever looking in a mirror. At least I hope they don't know how they look. I digress, crayon sketched tattoos of mangled mermaids and poorly worn Speedos are not my focus this week. These observations were made because of something that has become very precious to me and my husband, relaxing time away.
I know what you're thinking, that's great for you, but not everyone can flit off to the beach. Well most of the time neither can I, but it doesn't matter where you go it's the peace you get when you arrive. Several years into our marriage my husband and I were stressed to the max and money was tight, which probably added to the stress. Our solution to a relaxing getaway, camping.
It sounded like a good idea at the time. Just thirty dollars a night and a borrowed tent, what could be better? Famous last thoughts. With everything packed and ready to go my hubby came home late from work with an eye injury. You may not have noticed, but telephone lines are wrapped with a wire. While working on a telephone pole that guide wire had sprung loose and stabbed him in the eye. Go ahead, cringe. Had we been a little older and smarter I would have insisted on going to the emergency room, but we weren't so bright and we were desperate to get away. After twenty minutes on the road he was blinded by tears and in a good deal of pain, so we pulled over at a Wal-Mart and I went in to search for a solution. I knew his patience was waining so I raced through the pharmacy aisles scanning the shelves for anything that might help. My solution, eye drops, pain killers and an eye-patch padded with tissues. If a peg leg and a parrot would have helped I'd have bought them, I was beyond desperation.
The pirate routine bought us some time. We were able to get to the campground and set-up the tent, but then he was done. He collapsed on the empty floor of the tent in pain, while I unloaded the truck and established our campsite by the beam of the flashlight and prayed. Exhausted I stumbled through the woods to the showers and prayed some more. Settling the dog under the truck and zipping us into the tent I was finally done. Oh, and did I mention I prayed?
Saturday morning broke sunny and beautiful. I was woken by a very large rock in my back, which was a bad sign considering we had been sleeping on an air mattress. My hubby cracked his good eye open and then gingerly lifted his patch. There was a slight dot that looked bloodshot, but no swelling and no pain. The prayers of the faithful were answered.
With joy in our hearts we bounced out of our tent only to be slammed back by...what exactly was that smell? It was so overwhelming we couldn't immediately distinguish the acidic stench that was burning our eyes. Then it hit me. During the night we had yelled at the dog to be quiet and settle down. Surely he had not been sprayed by a skunk while tied to our truck, in our campsite, in the middle of a very crowded campground. We peeked out at the pooch. He kept his nose in the dirt and wouldn't make eye contact. Yep, that's exactly what had happened.
I don't know about you, I pack a lot of things when I camp, but not skunk remedies. Checking out the camp store the closest thing we could find was V-8 juice, and it wasn't cheap. We bought two bottles and rationed it out between the dog and the truck tire that had been in the line of fire. Low and behold it worked. I'm telling you, the Lord helps those who help themselves, and He was definitely helping us.
Our day went on to be fabulous. It was the first time we spent just completely relaxing together, no activities, just sitting under some trees reading magazines and taking naps. I might have put enough effort forth to paint my toenails and later we went fishing, but the point is we took time to quiet our minds and check ourselves out of reality for awhile. The peace and sanity we gained that day was life saving. It didn't matter that we were camping in the woods, we could have been on a beach or at a park. The experience is what counted. The fact that there were challenges in our path made it all the more worth while. Things that come to easily also come with less meaning.
Take time for yourself, your marriage, your sanity and don't let anything stand in your way no matter what ridiculous thing pops up. Even if it means taking a pirate camping. Maybe it's the very thing that could save you from a disastrous swimsuit decision or tacky tattoo.
So, when are you going to find a little peace?