Come play in my world for awhile!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Recipe for adventure

I love a good recipe. I especially like unusual recipes that I haven't yet tried. Sometimes I experiment and create original recipes; that is what happened this weekend. I had the fortune of creating a brand-new recipe for adventure. Previously, I viewed an adventure as an exploration, or an opportunity to see something new. However, Webster's Dictionary offers several interpretations including:

1. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
2. to risk or hazard.

Apparently, an adventure is less about seeing something new, and more about putting yourself in harm's way; definition duly noted for future reference. I guess it's similar to the difference between a spring-form baking pan and an 8-inch round pan; same shapes but completely different functions.

1 cup last minute invitation to go camping
2 cups inadequate camping gear
1/2 cup campers experienced in fair-weather conditions
3 cups remnants of unsettled weather from hurricane Fay
2 Tbs. kids (x 4 -- does that make 8 Tbs.?)
1/4 cup canoe

Step 1: Receive last minute invitation to join friends for long weekend camping at Falls Lake. Remember, you live on Falls Lake. If something goes wrong you are 15 minutes from home so what could go wrong?! Inventory gear and note only have supplies for four as have never camped as family. Note questionable weather forecast. Proceed with packing. Mix ingredients well and set aside.

Step 2: Arrive at campground. Pitch tent in record time. Feel like veteran camper. Congratulate self. Notice husband inflating Aero Beds, and carrying foam mattresses to tent. Chastise husband for not embodying true spirit of camping. Insist you will sleep on ground. Mix ingredients. Add sunshine. Refrigerate 12 hours.

Step3: Watch as group carries canoes down steep embankment. Receive task of carrying giant tube. Discover only way to get down is to carry tube on head. Realize tube severely obstructs line of vision. Nearly wipe out and kill those carrying canoes (2 times). Offer silent prayer of thanksgiving when bottom is reached without bodily harm or personal humiliation. Load kids into canoe. Tie tube to canoe and load 5 more kids into tube for towing (we're over capacity). Paddle to island for swimming. Rest.

Step 4: Swim in lovely, warm, water. Have fun. Chat with grown-ups. Watch kids have time of lives. Chill.

Step 5: Listen as canoe races are discussed. Watch as teams are chosen. Observe absent-mindedly as three teams push off. Look proudly as husband takes lead. Note one canoe appears to have flipped. Give virtual eye roll to whomever thought race should head 150 yards off shore. Realize it is your hubby's canoe that flipped. Wonder which of the 16 kids was on the canoe. Hope they were the strong kids. Wonder at how long it takes to right canoe. Exhale when all are accounted for.

Step 6: Throw Frisbees and footballs. Swim more. Decide to return to camp. Agree to paddle the lounge raft back to shore. Realize you look like a redneck. Decide you don't care. Have a super-fun paddle. There are no known pictures of me actually on the raft, but this is roughly what I was paddling. Let your imagination take you home. Step 7: Trek back up embankment. Tandem-carry (heavy!) cooler of lemonade with friend's husband up steep hill. Walk like a drunken sailor because of exertion thereby dragging friend's husband through sharp bushes. Arrive at camp 10 steps behind kids. Watch in fascination as kids grab bikes and make beeline for showers. Begin to understand herd mentality. Scramble to catch up on foot. Realize you have two towels in hand -- leftovers from trek back from swimming. Be thankful as kids are already in shower. Marvel at other mommies who managed to grab their gear, shower, and return to camp. Note self -- still in swimsuit, definitely not showered. Mourn lack of cleanliness. Sigh.

Step 8: Return to camp. Eat dinner. Yum!!!

Step 9: Notice rain. Head for shelter under friend's camper. Assume if rain stops we'll be fine for night. Celebrate rain's end. Enjoy evening. Tell ghost stories. Observe fantastic show of thunder and lightning. Ignore comments of flash flood warning in effect. Make mental note; campground literally locked down at 9:00 pm. Decide at 8:45 to see it through. Hope for the best.

Step 10: Go to bed. Notice heat. Notice still air. Notice flicker and flash of lightning on tent walls. Fall into uneasy sleep. Curse sleep that is regularly disrupted by cacophonous booms of thunder. Awaken to gentle pitter-patter of rain. Briefly revel in the earthy smell of moisture and the sultry splat of fat, lazy raindrops. Jolt awake as first raindrop lands on foot. Curse as drip becomes regular. Reflect on high school studies of Vietnam War and Chinese water torture treatments. Try to shield children from drops. Notice rain is coming down in torrents. Wonder if we should build ark. Have epiphany. Husband is genius. Inflatable beds are only thing separating us from river flowing under tent and imminent sogginess. Realize inflatable mattresses can be used as floats if we truly wash away. Acknowledge that rain is dripping in everywhere. Hear first child cry. Realize she is soaked. Obtain clarity. Rain is coming harder. Comprehend there is no positive outcome. Abandon ship. Run to mommy's bus. Realize constant rain yields desperate need to urinate in children 8 and under. Drive to potty and run for it. Pee. Return to car through sheet of rain. Notice one twin is bleeding, other twin has fallen flat on face having tripped over cement parking block. Get in car. Try to calm crying and bleeding. Wait for half an hour for park ranger to come and let us out of park. Drive 10 minutes to house.

Step 11: Bake at 75 degrees and serve comfortably warm, but NOT hot. Shield from additional humidity to preserve freshness and mom's sanity.

Enjoy your adventure (even if it isn't super-risky!). It's a time consuming recipe, but it's sure fun to make!