Due to a series of (un) fortunate events (see how I’m trying to be all positive and crap?), my family and I were going to tent camp all weekend long during our family reunion. Stop laughing. I can too tent camp.
The first thing we needed was a tent. I took to Facebook (because Craigslist’ing a tent seemed a little ewww) and within minutes, we had a tent. So far, so good. The week before the reunion, we put the tent up in our front yard just to make sure we could do it so as to not embarrass ourselves in front of family. After a half-hour or so of under-his-breath cussing, Brian got the tent put up while The Daughters and I helped. And by “helped” I mean that we sat in our front yard with our faces melting to our screens and stayed the heck out of his way.
Thursday night, the night before we were to leave, Brian informed me that Daughter 2’s softball team—the team he helps to coach—had a game Friday night. He and Daughter 2 would stay behind and arrive after her evening game. Daughter 1 and I could go that morning and … get the tent put up.
Well played, Mr. Davis. Very well played indeed.
Daughter 1 had exactly two hours and seventeen minutes to tell me how she felt about sharing the responsibility of pitching a tent with me. The essence of her feelings was that she didn’t like it. Not one bit. As we pulled into the resort, her wheels started turning.
“Uncle David could do our tent. He’s been in the army.” True.
“Cousin Larry is tent camping also. He can do our tent.” Right.
“Uncle John can set us up. He has a real RV. He knows how to camp.” Well…
“Cousin Billy! Let him do it. He’s a cop and has a gun.” I wasn’t sure where she was going with that.
Immediately, she rounded up the troops. And by troops, I mean every single one of us.
I unrolled the tent. Then Jessie came over telling us that we were not putting in the stakes correctly because what we had as stakes were, um … not stakes. Then Larry brought his hammer. David put together the poles. Daughter 1 and her cousin friend straightened out the rain cover as my own sister and niece helped us to decide which way was front. Kayla advised us that we were on a slant and Courtney took pictures. My own aunt Kay, hand to gawd, served refreshments as everyone else helped … or took pictures.
After an hour (give or take three), with the help of sixteen—one more than fifteen, but not quite seventeen—family members, we had our tent set up.
You should have seen them all scatter when I asked for help airing up the mattresses.