Finally, campground season has arrived and hopefully warm weather with it. Not so much on our first weekend of work out there. Dave and I and our Beagle Boy Cletus went out Friday when I got off work. Dave worked on putting the kitchen together and putting away the stuff we brought to get started with.
It was mentioned recently that the camper costs too much because we have to stock two households. That is double the stuff and so double the cost. Not true.
We buy the same amount of everything as we do in the "off season." Seven days worth of toilet paper is still seven days worth of toilet paper, regardless of where we use it. We still only need seven days worth of food per week no matter where it is cooked or consumed.
It was also said it costs about $150 to stock the camper at the beginning of the season. Also not true. We don’t go out and buy brand new stuff for the camper. Well, except for toothbrushes. I’m not using last year’s toothbrush.
We stock up on stuff that will last in the off season, like a roll of paper towels, a pack of paper plates or a package of toilet paper. That’s maybe an extra $1 to $5 per grocery day.
Starting in late March, we replace stuff a little early. Buy a new can of hairspray or deodorant before we run out and put the old ones away for the camper and use the new ones.
At the end of April, we do that with fridge and cupboard staples. When camp opens, the food we take is whatever we planned for the weekend, home or camper. There is no big chunk of change spent all at once.
Anyway, while Dave worked on putting things away, Mr. Cletus lost his little mind when he saw his camper blanket. He hadn’t seen it in six months and you could just see the light come on when I tossed it on the couch. He immediately began "nesting" in it.
Since it was about 65 and sunny, I thought we should be working outside since the weatherman was calling for 40 and yucky the next day. It was supposed to rain later in the evening, but we weren’t staying the night anyway.
Getting our lights back up around the campsite went better once I quit looking for more old-school strands (which we didn’t buy) and remembered how to split the strands so they were on three different circuits.
One of my highest priorities was putting up little metal garden fencing as "skirting" to keep Cletus from chasing chipmunks under the camper and porch. I’m too old and claustrophobic to crawl under there and untangle him.
I swept leaves off the porch and started raking them away from the camper so the leaf blower could blow them away, which was next on my list.
We had visitors when friends came walking up the road toward our camper. Impromptu visitors it turned out. They were out for a ride on their golf cart when it ran out of gas just as they got on the hill.
The guys took off to go deal with the gas situation and she and I and Mr. Cletus sat at the picnic table "catching up." We all scrambled for the porch when the "mini tornado" hit.
The sky turned black, the wind kicked up something fierce and branches were snapping and flying all over the place. When it was over, I had 10 times as many leaves on the porch as I started with before I swept.
The next day, we got an early start. I packed up a bunch of stuff for subs, plenty of pop and beer and most importantly, a heater for that 40 and yucky weather we were expecting and got.
After Dave hooked up the TV, he and Cletus sat wrapped in a blanket on the couch while I washed the walls and ceilings in the bedroom and bathroom. After we stashed our Halloween paraphernalia under the bed instead of on it, we made it a shorter day than planned.
Partly because having lunch there would have required me to remember to pack bread of some sort and mostly because the heater was an epic fail, never getting the camper warmer than 58 degrees.
We spent Sunday morning cooking — putting Swiss steak in the crockpot, making the mashed potatoes I knew I wouldn’t want to mess with later, and making the chicken noodle soup we were supposed to have done the day before.
At the camper, with a much better heater, I got back to cleaning walls and ceilings, Mr. Cletus discovered the whole yard is a sun spot to lay in and Dave helped the neighbors clean up their site some.
I remembered to bring a mask but ran out of cleaning wipes. Since I didn’t bring safety glasses, I didn’t really want to be spraying over my head, but I didn’t want to stop. Cleaning walls and ceilings takes a certain amount of motivation that I don’t always possess.
Stopping then may have meant stopping forever. Then it finally occurred to me to put the cleaner in the water directly. No spraying. Barely even needed the mask, which is good because wearing it too long poses a passing out problem.
I’m glad I kept moving. It not only looks and smells better, it feels better. Good for the camper, because I won’t be feeling better for a while, having used muscles I forgot I had. At least I only had two days to wait until my next visit with my deep tissue massage therapist.
Don’t let the name fool you. It sounds relaxing but for the first couple of days afterward, you feel like you’ve been worked over by a brute in a back alley. At least the sun is shining.
© 2018 Laura Nethken