Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Being in the woods


Usually Katie-girl tells you about our latest camping adventure. But she says we didn’t do anything exciting so she’s willing to let me talk.

This time.

Spring has been fickle here in Michigan, Cold and rainy and then sunny and hot. When the weather people said we were going to have a couple of days in the 80s (26.6C) with nights in the 60s (15.5C) I thought we should head to the woods for this season’s inaugural camp.

This is a pretty good site mama!

I was lucky to score a site that, though small, had a spot to tuck the tent under some shade trees. It lacked grass, but that’s the price you often pay to have shade. And Katie, though she’s a princess, doesn’t mind hanging out on dirt.

I didn’t make a list of things to take. I just sort of grabbed things as I thought of them and piled them all up next to the front door in the days preceding our scheduled trip.

Katie watched intently.

On Wednesday, as I began to pack the car she stayed under my feet, “helping” me get everything stowed. Even with her help, however, I forgot the bug spray, the sunscreen and the broom, all important things on a camping expedition. I blame her.

Still, even without important essentials it was heaven to be under the trees, enjoying the breeze and reading, then going for a walk, helping ourselves to a bit of a snack. Then a nap and repeat.

Hey mama! These are pretty!

On a Wednesday afternoon I was privileged to be sitting under a blue sky watching the leaves dance in the wind and the light move across the landscape. Not at work, not at the grocery store, not doing laundry, not vacuuming.

Just being.

Katie is very good at just being, but me? Not so much. It’s an acquired skill, I think, the art of just enjoying where you are when you’re there without worrying about what happened yesterday or might happen later in the day.

Let’s go explore mama!

Our first night was perfect, not too cold, not too hot. I slept great, and even Katie lounged around until after 6 a.m. Thursday the sun bore down on us and the winds were strong. I watched the tree limbs above our tent flail about and pictured them crashing down. The temperatures rose, the wind roared.

Katie and I went for a drive in the air conditioned car, she sitting in the front seat with her nose in the air conditioning vent. We headed down to the lake where were we could watch the clouds skip across the blue sky and the waves rush to shore.

Hurry up mama! My fur is getting messed up!

We enjoyed walking on the trails too. The wind wasn’t too bad back in the woods.

Cool stump!

Later that day we went back to the lake to see the sunset, and even though there wasn’t much of a show we enjoyed being out there, though the temperatures were dropping fast.

Waiting for the sun to set.

Our second night in the tent was miserable. For me anyway. Temps dropped to 43 degrees (6.11C). I wore all my clothes, doubled up the blankets, pulled the sweatshirt hood up over my ears. Still it was too cold to sleep. Katie, on the other hand, thought it was perfect and snoozed the night away.


Lucky girl.

By morning I was more than ready to go back to civilization, with pillow topped mattresses, heat, running water, toilets closer than a half mile away. But the drive home was disconcerting. People were driving to work, fast and furious. I could feel stress begin to build just watching them dart around me.

And then I remembered. I was driving home to a hot shower and breakfast. Not to work.

Lucky me.

Hey mama! Let me show you how to entertain yourself!

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

23 thoughts on “Being in the woods

  1. you both are quite the adventurers!!! You are also brave because boy oh boy you are right, our Michigan weather was surely fickle last week, wasn’t it! Your photos are superb!


  2. Your photos make me feel like I was there – without the bugs or temperature fluctuations and a toilet nearby. It takes a long time to allow yourself time to just be – I’m nearly there, although I still get the guilts if I can’t list what constructive things I did during the day. That old WASP work ethic thing.


  3. Years ago we camped over an Easter weekend. The temps plummeted to 19 degrees overnight and the dog’s water froze in the tent. We zipped our sleeping bags together and tucked our spaniel Alix in with us. Like your Katie-girl, Alix thought it was perfect and snoozed right through until dawn!


  4. We recently did a night in the tent up at Wilderness. 38 overnight with wicked winds. We were right on the lake. It was awful. We had planned two nights, but one and done was it for us. I’m glad you got the first night at least! And some good hiking to boot 🙂


    • You were brave. But you probably got a prime site, no competition!!! One would have been enough for me, in fact I would have likely packed it in and driven home in the middle of the night. I need to go up there to camp..but not in May.


  5. That’s a little cold for sleeping outdoors. And I’ve have missed the bug spray and sunscreen. Still, how wonderful to be spending “work” days relaxing in nature, with a beautiful princess by your side!


  6. The most pleasant naps I’ve ever had were in a tent. I dunno why that is, because sleeping at night while camping was always a very iffy proposition. But napping…ah, bliss.


  7. wow such an adventure- though not too far from home. The wind really was blowing as seen by Katie’s fur! I am sure you really welcomed that shower and heat of home though!


  8. what a nice time out, and close enough to get home for a hot shower!


    • I know! The advantages of camping a couple miles up the road. Though this campground had showers…but I couldn’t imagine, after that second night, when it was so cold, taking a shower there in the unheated bath house.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love camping but as you said when it gets cold it is not so fun. I’m still tent camping but hope to buy a trailer this year or next so we can travel in style after I retire.

    Liked by 1 person

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