Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"take a look at yourself and then make a change"

Do you ever get an idea in your head and you just have to carry it out, even when the world is giving you every possible sign not to?

I often find myself in this situation when I am standing on a rolling office chair trying to reach something on a top shelf or change a light bulb.

I also found myself in this situation on Saturday. We had plans to go camping Friday and Saturday - plans that included a new tent and bags of groceries with the makings of tin foil dinners, cobbler, smores and breakfast burritos. Of course, Genghis was unmistakably sick by Friday afternoon. Instead of setting up camp in the sweet flavors of a summer evening forest and embers of a cooking fire, I was waiting in the doctors office for an hour and half to hear the diagnosis of a sore throat/cold with nothing to do but wait it out (wouldn't you know that every other time, I've waited and waited through nights of crying before going to the doctor and it turns out to be a bacterial infection, easily treated).

Saturday, Genghis seemed on the mend. My throat was starting to feel a bit scratchy, but life keeps moving. We had plans to attend a birthday party but didn't want to expose others to our possibly contagious selves. Instead, we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous day and Genghis's unreasonably short afternoon nap and go to the park by our house and grill our tin foil dinners in solitude. It would be something, at least.

I put the dinners together while Abe and Genghis went to the store to pick up charcoals. We met at the park across the street. Where there happened to be a county-wide celebration of Gay Pride Month, complete with choir belting out "Man in the Mirror".

We considered stopping by to join in and mooch some hamburgers, but our infectious state and the buttery zucchini in the tin foil dinners urged us to strike out for a different park. We found a quiet new spot, but it had no grill. That's okay. We'll just drive to the next park. Our city has something like 10,000 - surely it won't be hard to find another one equipped with grill. 6 parks and 45 minutes later, we ended up at the university family housing complex where we used to live. We knew they had a lonely little charcoal grill at the top of the hill in the middle of the complex.

Abe immediately set to work on the charcoals. I took Genghis to the swings. Five minutes later, Abe came back to inform me that the charcoals he bought were not the self-lighting kind. Back to the store for lighter fluid. Fifteen minutes later, we had fire. Another 15 minutes and we had coals. And 30 minutes after that, we had cooked chicken.

I suppose this was more authentic to the real experience of camping, when it always seems to take 3 times as long to make dinner. Really, it needs to be this way because that's why tin foil dinners taste so great. Also, the ketchup.

The best part was that Genghis slumped over into this comatose state on the swing for basically the entire time. I think his arms may have become numb because Abe tried to hand him a pine cone and he had a hard time holding on to it. The silence was kind of a nice change to his usual grunting and shrieking soundtrack. But sad, because he was probably just not feeling very hot.

The dinners were delicious. We also had smores.

The next day I was totally and completely sick and stayed in bed all day. Still recovering.

Oh, and I would have photos but the camera battery died.


Megan said...

I came to the conclusion a couple of years ago that foil dinners are too much of a hassle. When we make the decision to camp again, I wonder what we will eat. That is too funny that you guys ended up at Northwood!

Brady said...

There is poetry in this post. I've been reading Billy Collins "Horoscopes for the Dead" for the last hour, so everything with cadence is coming out poetry.

Dawn said...

It's all an adventure. Too bad Genghis wasn't older so he could remember this. It would be a story he'd tell his friends when he was a teenager...the time his parents took him all over just to grill dinner...