Shaun and I are staring at the ground. It’s green. It smells like grass and old coffee grounds. Someone tossed handfuls of white daisies across the blades. Butter yellow dots stare back at us. Everywhere we look: lush carpet of grass, wildflowers, earth that springs back underfoot.
We have a problem.
Who could possibly pitch their tent on flowers? It would be like yanking satin ribbons from the feet of singing bluebirds before they got to Cinderella.
I scan other empty campsites. The entire campground is carpeted with flowers, and pocked at random intervals with powdered mounds of flour, the color of milk chocolate. My brain immediately pictures a woman in a floaty dress, skipping through the daisy field, stopping to pour a little chocolate cake flour out of the box here and there.
In my world, cake flour is a reasonable soil amendment.
In the real world, dirt-flour poofs up in the air: blooming like a miniature atomic cloud.
Once I wrench my brain from the story it wants to tell me, I understand we will be camping in a gopher paradise.
Due to previous vacations in which we had to deal with my skunk karma, Shaun and I decide it’s okay to pitch the tent on the daisies, as long as we do not pitch on a dirt-flour mound. We know the wrath of small furry creatures.
I put down the tarp, we assemble our housing, and secure it into earth that is ridiculously easy to stake.
It’s adorable to have daisies poking out around your tent
“What are we going to do about the dog?”, asks Shaun, as she crawls around after the leash, unwinding it from the picnic table leg, the tree, the tent stakes, the car tire, and almost catching Christmas before he winds it twice around a post.
We brought a screw in stake with 20 foot cable line, so the dog would have some freedom. This much trouble with an 8 foot leash? Adding more line to tangle is not going to work.
I’ve never camped with my dog.
I have camped with horses.
I make a high line, securing it between two trees, hook the leash to a carabiner, and slap it on the cable: instant no-tears detangler. Shaun is awed by my ingenuity. I don’t correct her. It balances out the cake box lady that was skipping around in my head.
Once set up, we walked the 100 feet or so to this:
With the exception of an RV on jacks, the campground was deserted, and so was the beach.
Really? It’s going to be this easy? It’s kind of blindingly gorgeous. It’s warm. No fog, no stiff wind.
I think: if this was a movie, this is when the ominous music would start.
I smack myself: I need to be saved from my imagination. What? The cake flour lady is going to get eaten by a shark zombie?
I learned this on our camping trip: do not even think a dubious question about ease. Throwing a question out into the universe is like throwing a stick into the water in front of a golden retriever.
It is going to come back.
And determined to share.