There are certain things I really enjoy about camping.
I love the communal feel of a campground where the neighbors are friendly and will let their dogs stop by to say hello when they're out for their evening walk.
I appreciate the opportunity to spend time outdoors relaxing, cooking on the grill, listening to the insects chirp at each other into the evening.
The smell of campfires.
The way all that activity wears out the children.
Steve has been living in campgrounds all summer long. When the kids and I go to visit him it's a vacation for us, but it's just another week of work for Steve. It's just that when we're there, the people he loves most are waiting for him when he gets "home" for the night. And invading his personal space.
I'm sure there are things Steve still enjoys about camping, but there are probably other things he has gotten used to that he doesn't think twice about now.
Like the teeny-tiny shower in the travel trailer (not very conducive for a woman needing to shave her legs).
Or the lack of counter space in the kitchen area.
Or the necessity for one-ply toilet paper. (It's useless, isn't it?)
Or not knowing your way around town, or the layout of the best grocery store - or even which one is the best. Or not knowing where the nearest Starbucks is. (Kidding. He hates Starbucks.)
Or not having a washer and dryer handy.
Six days away from home and I couldn't wait to get back. I wanted to sit in my comfortable chair and wash my clothes without having to dig up a handful of quarters for the machines. I wanted to shower in a full-size shower and know that it is very unlikely I would run out of hot water. I wanted to close my bedroom door and get dressed in private without my elbows bumping the walls or accidentally pushing the door open.
As much as I hated to end our visit with Steve, I'm not sure I ever looked forward to coming home as much as I did after this trip.
We don't have much, but we have a place we call home and I like to be here. It's not elaborate. It's not showy. But it sure has all the basics that make for a relatively comfortable existence. I thought about this a lot on the way home; how easily we overlook so many of the everyday things that make our lives easier. That can mean anything from the hot shower and fluffy clean towels to the friends and relatives who live nearby and often make our days a little brighter.
It's a perspective I need to be reminded of now and then, and it always seems to come at just the right time.