Behind the Story: "Camping with Charlie"

We're not a camping family. Given the choice, we prefer a clean motel room with a soft bed to roughing it. I know, we're wimps. Husband insists he's had enough from his scouting days to last him a lifetime. We do like to stargaze, and if there's an astronomical occurrence, we're out there, eyes to the heavens, searching the sky. When our son was about five, we bought a little pop-up tent for the backyard and would sit in it and play games and read stories.

My early memories include "camping out" in the backyard at home with a sister or two. We'd drag our blankets and pillows out, once or twice even mattresses (sorry, Mom). We'd gaze up at the giant ash tree and look for shapes in its leaves. Once or twice we'd make it till morning, awakened by the chill in the air. Typically we'd find the ground to be a bit too hard and would end up finishing the night back in the comfort of our bedrooms.

One night, a few years ago, my son and I decided to "rough it" and camp in our little pop-up tent. We brought our snacks, lantern, games, and books. Like the story, we passed a few hours happily, our dog making a general pest out of himself. Alas, the ground was just too hard, so after a while, we gave up and packed it in, trudging our way back to the house.

This summer, I'm going to invest in an air mattress, and maybe, just maybe, we'll make it through till morning.

Read the StoryRhyme Original Story "Camping With Charlie."

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