The Pits….

Mountain man collage

The Pits…..

We made it back from our road trip.  We drove exactly 4901 miles from our driveway back to our driveway.  The trip turned out to be one of our favorite vacations ever because we were able to see so many things and do things we hadn’t done before.  We all enjoyed our camping experiences and my husband has turned into mountain man.   He has this great desire now to continue camping.  I too enjoyed the camping even if we experienced one of the biggest thunderstorms I had ever been in.  This was huge because several years ago I had written off the camping thing and here is one of the stories that almost kept me from ever camping with Stephen again.

Story #1 – The Pits

Before I was married to Stephen, I worked at a camp.  Each summer I would move into a cabin that was basically a tent with a wooden floor.  I would use pit toilets, sleep in a sleeping bag for an entire summer, experience mice, bats and spiders all summer long.  For five summers I gave my life to this amazing camp ministry in Bellingham, WA.  It was at this summer camp that I first met Stephen.  He was hired one summer to be on the leadership team in the same year I was hired as the Waterfront Director.  We ended up spending a lot of time together enjoying each others friendship.  He was 21 and I was 24.

Well, just when I thought I liked Stephen, we were given this responsibility to lead 16 high school kids on an extension camping trip to the San Juan Islands in the Puget Sound of Washington.  Stephen and I were not dating at this time. We were the leadership staff responsible for the logistics of this camping experience.  There were also two college students helping and two high school students who worked at the camp with us who were also helping. When we showed up to the campsite that we had reserved for this special camping trip we learned the reservation had been lost and there was no spot for our group.  We now had 20 people we were responsible for without any campsite.  Without panic, we ended up finding a little field owned by the forest service with a pit toilet close by.  Without tents, we all put our sleeping bags down on the ground to camp for the night.

That night my stomach started hurting and I started fevering. Eventually I had a stomach flu that took control of every end of my body so to say.   On top of that one of the high school boys came down with the same sickness.  In the middle of the night I tried to wake Stephen up to help me and this boy because we were “dog” sick.  I was hoping he could help this 14 year old kid who had destroyed his sleeping bag.  However, Stephen would not wake up and he basically growled at me for trying to get him out of bed.  Therefore,   this 14 year old kid and I spent the night traveling to and from the pit toilet to empty our systems of the monster that had overcome us.    I vividly remember that pit toilet being my best friend that night, and I also remember it was destroyed by morning.  It was the worst camping experience one could ever have.

When morning rolled around, I was cleaned out so to say.  I was still sick, weak and exhausted.  Stephen came over to my sleeping bag shook me and said “get up get up, its time to work”.  I explained my night to him and he was without any sympathy.   His 21 year old demeanor laughed at my night and he impatiently waited for me to help cook breakfast for 20 people.  Let’s just say I stood up for myself and we had a nice argument that might make the show ‘Survivor” looks like a sissy drama.

Once in awhile I remind Steve of that story because it’s amazing we even dated after that experience together.  By the end of the summer he had become my best friend again and you all know the end of the story.

 road trip collage

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Sandra Jones Counseling

Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy

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