Monday, August 15, 2011

Sometimes Your Luck Just Comes to an End!!

This past weekend happened to be our annual Lake Canton camping trip with our good friends Lane and Cindy and their youngest Harli. And in more than 15 years of camping all weekend in a tent, we've never had to weather a big storm. . .until this weekend. As luck would have it, I let Dev and Tristan bring a friend for the weekend. (Grant and Harli are the same age, so it worked out great.) So not only did we weather a storm out. .we did it with two kids on the first night that have never camped and barely knew most of us!!
We knew going down that there was a 50% chance of rain Friday night. By the time Cindy and I had stopped for some groceries and supplies and got to the camp, it was midafternoon Friday. The boys had put up the tents and unloaded the pickup. They played around on the water for a little while as Cindy and I got organized and came up with our meal plans.  As we enjoyed grilled salmon, scallops, and hot dogs (for the ones without a sophisticated palate) for supper, we watched the sky darken slowly as the clouds rolled in. We messed around some more, letting the kids fix S'mores. We finally decided that it was probably going to rain, and started putting some things up from the "kitchen," (AKA a huge blue tub that has our supplies in it). As the lightening started flashing in the distance, the kids were removed from the water.
As the wind started howling through the trees, we started moving kids into our 50 year old HUGE tent (as we were already sure that their tent may not stay up based on it's initial reaction to the increased wind. .and we put coolers of food in Lane and Cindy's to at least keep it at our camp site if the wind pulled the tent stakes up. Tristan and Jonah ended up in the Yukon during the rain and thankfully had grabbed their belongings and pillows. The rest of us pulled in lawn chairs for a time of visiting. .which didn't last long at all. Soon, the wind was shoving the wall of our tent clear in, the corners were ripping at the seams, four of us were pushing back on the wall to keep it upright as the rain streamed into the tent. .through the new holes being made. The thunder and lightening were right over our heads and we had a LOT of nervous little guys (and at least one nervous BIG girl)!!
The rain pooled up onto the floor, soaked our bedding and our bags of clothes. It was pitch dark, so we couldn't see what was getting wet. .and had no idea of the extent of water infiltration!
It lasted probably around 30-45 minutes before it calmed enough for us to assess the damages. Cami was scooping water off the cot, and you can see yourself how wet that sleeping bag was!! 
There was a burn ban that prohibited open flames this weekend, but we figured after all that rain, we were safe warming everyone up and trying to dry out some pillows to use. It didn't stay dry for long, and another wave of rain WITHOUT the wind came through, sending us all to our wet tents to try to sleep for the night. The rain lasted until after midnight as I prayed that God would mercifully put the kids to sleep for the night! And as I lay on my big man cot, in a dampish sleeping bag, on 1/2 a pillow, squished to the side with a 3 year old taking more than her share of bed, with rain dripping on my forehead. .I discovered a whole new meaning to the song "Rain drops are fallin' on my head." and I laughed out loud hysterically, getting the kids' attention. .No one else thought it was funny. .
Not even a little bit!!
But if you don't laugh, you're gonna cry. .right???
When I walked out of our tent the next morning, the first thing I noticed was that it looked like Lane had moved his bed to the picnic table after the rain stopped! 
The boys' tent was pretty well collapsed. . .
 so it was good that the older two were in the Yukon. The other boys all slept in our tent.
There were lots of limbs down around our campground, and were even worse up the hill a bit. Unbelievably, once the storms had cleared around midnight or one. .people put their boats BACK in the water and carried on with the night fishing!
Everyone was a little droopy and draggy. . .
. .And no coffee for this crew of little guys. .
But the discovery of all these cool creatures perked them RIGHT up. .
. .and the hunt was on!! I actually watched one of the locusts shed its nasty little brown crusty shell. Ick!
The kids loved playing in the water right off our camp site. The sad thing was that the water was SOOO low. .where they are playing and as far as you can look to the left of the photo SHOULD have been under water!! We were amazed. One of the campground volunteers said that in addition to the drought, earlier this summer, Oklahoma City told them to let 4 1/2 feet of water loose to flow down the river to them (apparently they own the water rights, and can request/demand water when they wish.)
While the kids played. .the big people attended to trivial things like fixing breakfast and drying out our belongings. .over the blockade. .
. .the picnic tables and BBQ grills. .
. .and the boat trailer!! It didn't take long for everything to dry out. .and we enjoyed a fantastic, cool morning. .followed by a nice breeze-free afternoon! Perfect camping weather!
We had a great lunch Saturday that removed the rest of the rain soaked memories from our minds!! Lane and Cindy had eaten pizza fixed in a dutch oven some months earlier, and brought their cooking magic to our campground. It was beautiful in the dutch oven BEFORE we cooked it. .
And completely DIVINE looking (and tasting) after we cooked it. If you can imagine. .those two pizzas fed all 11 starving campers with enough small pieces leftover to provide snacks for the ravished children later in the afternoon! I can say with certainty. .that these will be fixed again at our house too! Unbelievably delicious! We also enjoyed hash with bacon, tomatoes, eggs and cheese; biscuits and gravy; sausage, cabbage and potatoes fixed in the dutch oven, fajitas, salmon and scallops, peach cobbler (in the dutch oven), s'mores, and bananas cooked with mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips. I'm sure we all gained a little weight!
The rest of the weekend was spent being silly. .
. .getting makeovers. .
. .watching this little love (yes, I have graduated to dorkisms of a new level. .I brought my own feeder to hang in the tree). .
. .water play. .
. .resting. .
. .fishing. .
. .practicing our "fish whisperer" skills. .
. .and just hangin' out with our buddies relaxin' and enjoyin' life!!
We were so relaxed that when we drove into our driveway Sunday afternoon and saw this. .
. .our trampoline hung over the outdoor furnace. .we didn't even flinch.
Well. .maybe we finched a little bit. .but not much!
 I was just thankful that the wood stove caught the trampoline instead of my greenhouse. .which you might notice about 20 feet behind the stove.
God is GOOD!
We'll look forward to our trip next year. .and the two newbies both said they would go again. .
But they both plan to check the weather first!
 Have a blessed week!


  1. What a great adventure--certainly one that will be remembered!
    Though things got soaked, everyone was okay. And it sure looks like they had fun afterwards. Good deal!

  2. Well, it was memorable. Sounds like you made the best of everything. I'm sure I would have been freaked out in a tent during a storm. I've only been camping a couple of times. The first time ever, it rained (not stormed) just rained. My hubby wasn't sure I'd try again. The second camping night was perfect. I'm glad the trampoline missed
    your greenhouse too!!!!

    Love that you took a feeder for the hummers.

  3. Sorry about the trampoline! WOW! That sure got close to the greenhouse.
    Looks like you made lots of memories. I'm thinking your more a camper than I am. I would have high tailed it to the nearest motel. ;)
    Why does food ALWAYS taste better when your camping?? Love the hummingbird pic! Mine is still around. Hoping he will just stay forever and ever. I'm going to be really sad when he heads back home!

  4. Oh man, I know that rain like that can really be miserable on a camping trip. I can't believe you laughed out loud, you are such a good sport. I have done that on occasion but it's usually when I get "punchy" really tired and then things just get silly. LOL I'm glad the rest of the trip went well. We have not camped this summer. My hubby did take the kids in the spring, but I stayed home to be by myself! ahhh! I think we may go in the fall when it is nice and cool!

  5. Wowee! I'll bet you'll never forget that! That dutch oven pizza looked delicous.

  6. Hey, just stopped back to see if you posted again and saw your new look! I love it! I love the colors, they are so pretty and fresh! love the pic of you and your hubby!!

  7. 1. You are very Brave to resist mother nature in a windy tent.
    2. Lane is the funniest friend I have,
    3. Your energy amazes me.
    4. I have 3 hummingbirds coming to my feeder thanks to you and Becky for 'making' me get one...
    5. God is pouring abundant blessings on you and your little family.
    6. Good friends are the icing on the cupcake of life....

    7. The end.

  8. Awww. .you guys are all so sweet! Robin. .glad you were "provoked" to get a hummingbird feeder! We are VERY blessed. .beyond anything we would ever deserve for sure!! Thanks everyone for reading and leaving your comments. .they always make me smile!

  9. Oh My goodness!!!! Wow, what a story! Sounds really scary to me. You know that is a little dangerous! Isn't it funny how the kids handle it all so well and you too! I can't believe how low the water is. The pizza looks terrific! Looks like you all didn't go hungry. Ha ha And that trampoline, wow! Crazy! So glad to hear you all are safe and fun was had by all.