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My boys and I loved to camp and did a lot of it with Cub Scouts. We had some friends who moved away and they encouraged me to organize a camping trip so we could all get together. I dutifully attempted to organize a weekend trip with four families. As with any multi family event it was a flurry of conversations back and forth. We could not agree on a date in the fall no matter what we juggled.

Two of the families suggested February. This was the South, but still February can be dicey. I hesitated but in the end I lost out. We finalized a date in mid-February. I knew in my heart this was going to be a fiasco no matter the assurances from the families. I really had no clue how disastrous it was going to become. Or how much fun.

We had an ice storm in early February, which extended the school basketball season. Family #1 dropped out because they now had basketball games all weekend. Family #2 quickly followed suit, because it was just too cold. Seriously? Isn’t that what I had argued five months ago?

Family #3 and I decided come heck or high water we were going on this campout. We also made a pact that no matter what happened during the campout, we were going to sing the praises of the weekend to Families #1 and #2. Yes we were just that mean spirited.

My family woke up Friday morning all ready to load our car. That is, except my husband who was sick with the flu. Family #3 suggested my now smaller family pile into their 3 row Suburban and we all ride together. We thus began our trek to the campground three hours away.

The weather people were predicting almost freezing temperatures at night but no precipitation. No problem, we all declared. We are true campers. We are not afraid.

We arrived, pitched tents, and enjoyed the brisk but sunny day. We hiked and took a million pictures and patted ourselves on the backs and declared ourselves Master Campers. As I’ve said before, pride goes before the fall.

That night was truly the coldest I’ve ever felt. I put my youngest between my oldest and myself and we all became better acquainted with each other. The next morning the token husband was up early building a big fire and making coffee and breakfast. He really was my absolute favorite person to camp with!

The adults had a powwow while the kids ate. We threw many ideas out for discussion, including packing it all up and heading home. We were stubborn people though, and didn’t want to admit defeat. Token Husband checked his phone and said tonight was to be much less cold-balmy even, compared to last night. He suggested we enjoy the day and treat ourselves to dinner in town tonight. We could enjoy the heat of the restaurant and the joy of having someone else cook and clean up. His wife and I agreed that sounded like the best plan.

We had another fabulous day exploring God’s beauty. I think that is my favorite part of camping-just marveling at God’s handiwork. We came back around dusk, cleaned ourselves up as best we could, and piled into the Suburban for town. I have to tell you though-for a small town, it was smaller than we realized.

The only fast food restaurant open on Saturday night at 6PM was Sonic, and it had no dining room-just a drive-thru. Token Husband went right up to the drive-thru and asked for the closest sit down restaurant. The confused cashier finally pointed us to a locally owned restaurant actually located in what was once a home.

We parked and walked through the door, one man, two women, and four children. Everyone in the candlelit cozy restaurant turned and stared. It was about that time we all remembered it was February 14-Valentine’s Day. The hesitant waitress showed us two tables and we put the four kids at one table. We sat down and looked at the menu. There was a Couple’s Special for the romantic holiday, as well as some rather high priced items. As I studied the menu I couldn’t shake the feeling that everyone in the restaurant was still staring at us. Then it hit me and I began to chuckle.

Token Husband and his wife wanted to know what was so funny. “Don’t you see?”, I whispered. “They think Token Husband is with both of us! Why else would you bring us to this restaurant on Valentine’s Day?” They began to look around, and we all noticed the restaurant consisted of couples only-traditional, one man and one woman couples. No children. They were also all dressed up, as couples normally do when they go out to eat at a nice restaurant on Valentine’s Day.

The rest of the night became a series of jokes and attempts to make people whisper about us even more. I teased Token Husband he was too cheap to hire a babysitter so his two wives could enjoy a romantic evening. I also suggested the wives order the Valentine’s Special, just for fun. In the end the people who were actually married to each other ordered the couple’s dinner. The kids of course noticed nothing because they were too busy, well, being kids.

The night was much warmer than the previous one, and we all woke up happy and cheerful. After breakfast we took one last hike up our favorite trail, had a prayer and Bible lesson at the top, then trekked back down. We loaded the Suburban and headed home. I think in many ways this is my absolute favorite campout. It certainly is my most memorable one 😊

I try to find a lesson learned in all my stories. On one hand I suppose I should learn never to organize campouts in the winter, except it was so memorable. So, I think I learned to pack as many warm clothes and blankets and other heating stuff for a winter campout.

Please comment and let me know the adventures you have camping. I would love to hear them!

We stayed at Inks Lake State Park in Texas