We love to camp.
We do it every year, rain or shine.
We have used the same little tent trailer forever.
It was built in 1974.
We bought it in 1981.
It has kept the rain off of us.
Our six children.
Numerous foster children.
And now a new generation of grandchildren.
It has been almost completely re-built in that time.
We had a mouse infestation due to a forgotten bag of oatmeal, left through the winter.
We once lost the entire undercarriage out on Vancouver Island.
Had a bear come in through the back door in Slave Lake, Alberta.
Without knocking, I might add.
Replaced numerous tires. (Due, mainly to the fact that the tires they kept selling us were made out of that forgotten bag of oatmeal…)
And we lent it to our eldest son. (Who did more damage than everything else, combined.)
Still it keeps on going.
Okay, sure, it really doesn’t look like much anymore.
The canvas has faded somewhat from its glory days.
It leans a little in whichever direction the wind is blowing.
And the cushions are fast getting to the point of no return.
But it has never leaked.
And that’s something to be said in the places where we camp.
We love our old trailer.
Like us, it has aged.
More or less gracefully.
And it is comfortable.
But the other evening, a sleek new fifth-wheel trailer, pulled by an equally new and pristine pickup truck, pulled into the site next to ours.
Parents and teenagers piled out and started to set up camp.
It took seconds.
Then they gathered at the front of their site and glanced over the neighbourhood.
Until one of the teenagers was overheard saying, “Oh great. We’re right next to the hillbillies.”
I looked at our venerable old trailer. At our open-air camp kitchen. Our perfectly-strung (though rather ratty) tarp and our ‘can-we-get-one-more-camp-out-of-them’ camping chairs. Our bird’s nest lamp that kept shedding its duct-tape shade until I finally gave up and tossed said shade into the garbage at the end of last year’s camp.
And then I realized that we are hillbillies.
But, despite what they see, comfortable.