Hello and happy Wednesday! I hope everyone is making it over the hump and can see the glimmer of the weekend in the near future. This week I find myself feeling very thankful. Not that I am not generally a thankful person, but it seems that the activities from last weekend have given me an extra boost of gratitude for this life I live.
Saturday, we spent the night in the woods. We didn’t go far, just down in the woods on the property where we live. Our barn is one of several apartments on a few acres of land, and we are lucky enough to have our way with utilizing the property. I think our landlord likes to see when we are enjoying what the land has to offer. Anyway, we decided Saturday night would be a good night to try out our backpacking gear. The forecast called for thunderstorms to roll through the night, so we gathered our newly purchased rain gear and headed down into the woods. There is a pond located down there and it is a perfect spot to set up a campsite. There is a fire ring next to the pond that (I assume) never gets used. There is also a tall bench to sit on or put a couple of back packs on. Pretty much the exact setting we will have when we visit some of the state park system backpacking sites. Literally, the best place for us to start practicing!
With the rain on its way, we started setting up our campsite. The first thing we focused on was the tent and how to keep it dry. Every single person who has been camping, knows what it is like to get a leak in the tent. We have all had that same miserable experience. Either the tent gets a puddle somewhere inside, or things brush up against the walls of the tent and create a leak. We all know the struggle.
There are several ways to put a tarp over your tent to keep it dry. Most of which involve a tree or two to hang the tarp over the tent with some paracord. Where we were, there were no trees that would handle that job. They were all too far apart or the one branch we could have used was too high to reach. This forced us to improvise.
We put the tarp over the tent and stared at it for what seemed like an eternity. Finally an idea came. Naked and Afraid. Yes, the tv show actually gave me an idea. We could use sticks to tie the tarp down. We ran paracord through the gromets on the tarp and tied them to strategically placed sticks we had shoved into the ground around the tent. It created a perfect pitch to allow rain water to run down! We high-fived each other and sat on the bench staring at our little accomplishment. Sitting in silence we listened to the crank radio play the weather report softly in the background. Suddenly my excitement over our successful tarp placement went away. The weather report was not good. Bigger thunderstorms were on their way than we originally expected.
He built a fire and we made dinner. A meal right out of a science fiction book. Freeze dried beef roast was on the menu. I have to say it was pretty darn good! We were able to sneak a bottle of wine into one of the backpacks and it paired nicely with our astronaut food. We enjoyed our little dinner for two. As we were finishing our meal, a flash of lightning occurred in the distance. It was far enough away there was no clap of thunder to accompany the flickers of light we had seen. We quickly cleaned everything up, put out the fire, and crawled into our tent where we waited for the storm to roll in.
About an hour or so later, we would hear the rain start to pour. In the meantime, I laid there, a bundle of nerves, anticipating getting soaked. I was tense and could not relax. I kept pulling my sleeping bag away from the sides of the tent. I pulled my backpack inside and placed it at my feet so it wouldn’t get wet. I did everything I could think of to make sure we were not going to end up swimming inside the tent. The rain came and I held my breath. Not one single drop of rain made it into the tent. Not one.
I quickly realized we were dry and our tarp was working. We were succesful! I could not believe it. You would think this would make me relax and be able to sleep…not so much. Once I realized we were going to stay dry, I started having thoughts about the lightning. This created even more tense nerves for me. I thought, I am laying on the ground..in a tent.. in a thunderstorm..by a pond. Not the smartest idea we have had our tent stakes are metal,the tent poles are metal, I had my phone with me. All of these things, made a recipe for disaster in my mind. The lightening would flash and I would cringe. There was one point I stuck my head inside my sleeping bag. I figured if I couldn’t see the lightening, I wouldn’t know when it would strike us and kill us. I spent the whole night praying to God to keep us safe. He did not disappoint.
The next morning we woke up to hear the birds chirping, and the sun shining. Quite a contrast to the previous evenings weather. We took our equipment down and enjoyed a cup of coffee. We walked back up to our barn and we both could not believe how successful we were.
Today is Wednesday and we are still talking about how blessed we were over the weekend. Laying in the tent on Sunday morning, we listened to the nature around us and talked about all of the things we are thankful for. We are so blessed and so happy to be able to start these new adventures, and we are very excited about the things we will see and do. We have a lot to be thankful for and we keep adding things to the already long list. This weekend was special and we will put it down as a memory to be pulled out at a later date.
I hope everyone is feeling happy today as you make your way into work. Think about all of the things that make you happy, and be thankful that you have them and can cling to them. This week my heart is full of happiness and that os just one more thing I am thankful for!