There are stockings to stuff, presents to wrap, meat to order and people to gather! Hey, it sounds like we are getting ready for Christmas! Christmas in the Trailerpark – Trailerfest 2016!
Everywhere I look I see Trailerfest! Ugly sweaters, Christmas decorations, stacks of lists, cleaning supplies, cooking utensils, boxes of pancake batter, bottles of syrup, Christmas lights, Christmas stockings, etc., etc.
Ten days 'til we head down to the big event. Anticipation is always such great fun. I am looking forward to seeing all my friends and their creative decorations. Christmas in the Trailerpark is one of the best themes my hubby has thought of so far. Angelo and I spent our day shopping for all the non-perishable items needed at Trailerfest. We had an awesome time multiplying by 600 in order to make sure we had enough of everything. My lists are long and my time is short so I am going to go get busy!
My son is gone for two weeks visiting his grandparents. While excited and thrilled that he is able to have this special time, I am missing him. Sometimes the obligations in our day tend to run together and our time as a family is limited even though we are together. This last weekend I determined that we were going to spend time as a family making memories.
Our annual camping trip to Felton, CA is one of our favorites. In the wooded hills outside of Santa Cruz, CA the campground is small and intimate. With 70 fellow vintage campers, we spend the weekend talking, eating, buying, bartering and ogling over trailers and treasures. It is easy for me to get caught up in the happenings and not spend time with my kids.
This year we spent one day at the beach. It was so simple but so fun. Just the four of us and our little dog, Jewel, went for a morning at Davenport Beach. We didn’t do anything special or spend any money but we were together: building sandcastles, digging holes, looking for treasures and running with the waves.
RUNNING WITH THE WAVES
Our favorite memory came at the end of our adventure. We were starving and decided to go find some lunch. Our little Jewel hates the water and had avoided it all morning. Paul decided to see if he could coax her out into the surf. The waves did their job as they slumped farther down the beach and Paul was drawn deeper into no-man’s land. The saying, “never turn your back on the ocean”, was appropriate for this occasion. While Jewel was not fooled into venturing out, Paul was, and soon a large wave was crashing down on him to the delight of the rest of the family. Funny? Absolutely. We all laughed and cataloged another memory. Life is short and memories are precious.
We are prepping to go on another Vintage Camper Trailer camp out. I am once again racking my brain on what to bring for food. Our two kids, Angelo and Grace, are growing teens and always seem to be hungry. When we are at a rally where we are selling magazines, books and tee-shirts, I am busy manning the store and require the kids to make their own lunch. Last year I decided to give them a budget and allow them to buy their own food that they would enjoy eating. My requirements were simple: some protein, at least a few healthy choices as well as food they could prepare on their own. They each had a budget of $25 for a week's worth of lunches.
We always go to the same grocery store and are on a first name bases with many of the employees. So, I let the kids shop and met them at the check-out to review their choices and hand over the money. My daughter chose Lunchables, (although not nutritious, easy to prepare), cheese sticks, fruit, crackers, yogurt, cereal, and Cheetos! Angelo chose salami, grapes, chocolate milk, two kinds of chips, sugar cereal and roast beef lunch meat. I did veto Grace’s 2 pound container of gummy worms but overall decided I could live with their choices. The most incredible part of the whole experiment was Angelo’s receipt. I said they could spend up to $25 and if they went over they would either have to pay the difference or put something back. I asked Angelo for his change and he handed me his receipt. I couldn’t believe it! $25 on the dot! Amazing.
At the rally, the kids had ownership for taking care of themselves and I didn’t hear “I’m hungry! What did YOU bring for lunch?” one time that weekend! It was heavenly, although not 100% nutritious! We were still just camping and, as a kid, the junk food was always my favorite part of camping so I felt good about allowing some junk!
So, here’s to giving kids some freedom to plan their own lunches when going camping. You still have veto power and they might just surprise you with their healthy choices or with their mad math skills! Reminder to self: If I don’t allow them to make small decisions now, they won’t be able to make big decisions when they are ready to move out of the house and that is coming faster then I want it to.
My husband always says that before we got into vintage camper trailers he had two friends; one friend from grammar school and one friend from his time as a misguided young adult.
Paul as a misguided youth! (Isn't he handsome!)
Now, we have hundreds of people we consider friends and dozens of those we consider family. With all the added blessings of friendships comes the cold reality that life is hard and we all face difficult times. So, what do you do when you hear that one of your precious friends is fighting a demanding battle against cancer? First, my heart was broken and I cried out to God, with tears streaming down my cheeks, for His love and healing to surround this treasured lady. Secondly, I looked at her pictures on Facebook and realized that while she is a “Tow Girlz” lady, she does not come in pink and tutus. An idea was sparked and I called my sweet trailer mom, Faye, to help me make a one of a kind gift that will hopefully share how much we all love this special friend.
HOW TO MAKE A HEALING HUG VEST
Last weekend, while on our way to show our 1948 Vagabond at Murphy’s Auto Museum in Oxnard, CA, we discovered that our master set of trailer keys was missing.
Like socks, trailer keys seem to mysteriously disappear. How does it happen? We have a designated location the keys are always supposed to be returned to. The kids know not to touch those keys and they are easy to spot with their giant orange florescent #1 key chain attached to a mass of keys. The keys either sprout legs and walk off or there is a metal eating monster in my truck consuming all unattended keys in the dark of night.
The solution is to have plenty of spare keys, (which we have none,) a friend who carries a hacksaw in his tool chest or to simply give up and revert to the belief we live in the days of Leave it to Beaver” and leave our doors unlocked.
A week of searching has not produced the missing keys. After much discussing and brain scratching we now believe “we” left them on the bumper of the truck and they are somewhere along the byways of Sacramento. Ah well, life is full of little bumps and missing keys but we just keep towing! See you at the next rally.