Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Missing something so much it hurts.

When I was a kid, our family went camping. At first it was just tent camping at various family-type campgrounds. There was water and electric, a store and organized activities, usually mini golf or a basketball court. It was not roughing it by any means. We went with another family and had so much fun. Then one weekend we camped at a new place called Arrowhead, about an hour outside the city where I grew up, and my parents fell in love with it. Before we knew what was happening, my parents had bought a camper and we were official seasonal campers who paid a yearly fee to leave our camper parked on a small plot of land in the campground and we could come and go as we pleased between May and October.

Soon afterward, our fellow camping family joined us and every single weekend was spent there- roasting marshmallows, swimming in the lake, doing whatever we wanted. Us kids were allowed to roam freely and it was so so awesome. This all started the summer before high school.

In time, we met the other "seasonal" kids and spent every minute of every weekend with them. They came from all over the area- I never had friends who lived outside of the city before then. And they came to be some of my closest friends. Every weekend was a never-ending party: music, dancing, shenanigans of all sorts!!! Even made some trouble :)

Many of my camping friends were boys and these were the summers while I was I high school....15 16, 17 years old. Need I say more? ;) I can still remember all the kisses in the dark, holding hands while walking around the lake. These are the years of my life that are so amazingly vivid in my mind and so much of the emotion I write about now is pulled from that time in my life when everything was new and fun and felt so damn good!

I met my husband at this campground and he asked me to marry him around the campfire.

And here I sit, nearly 20 years after that first time we camped there. After college, I moved away for a little while then moved back and had a job and a home and my husband had a job that rarely allowed weekends off. Both of our families gave up their seasonal sites, each for different reasons. We visited a few times after that, but each time it started to feel less like "home" and more like a memory.

I still keep in touch with a few of my friends from Arrowhead...thanks to Facebook. One of them posted pictures today from this past weekend...the holiday weekends there were always the best. I flipped though her pictures and my heart ached. This place used to mean so so much to me. But's been so long that I don't feel like I belong there anymore. So much has changed. I'm an outsider now. We used to call the outsiders "weekenders"...they were nothing to us.


  1. ah this was such a bittersweet post. it's tough when time comes with changes we're not quite anticipating.

    but i'm sure that despite this loss you're feeling, some other truly great things have come into your life.

    don't lose heart!

    i'm certain all will be well for you :D

  2. Thanks Tahereh! I have a wonderful life now and I wouldn't change a thing...but sometimes the nostalgia gets to me!! :)

  3. Sometimes, it is so hard to leave our childhood traditions behind. It definitely sounds like a major part of your memories - but a wonderful part!!! :-)

  4. Thanks Shannon! It really was a wonderful part and sometimes I just get so sad that it is gone from my life.