I never wanted this day to come. I loved living in the camper and innocently I thought we could hold on to it for many years to come. But we never wanted it to be the rotted out camper that goes out to pasture, and as we noticed small issues here and there, we knew it was time to let it go.
These days our kids have no interest in the camper. That alone makes me sad. They are so busy these days working, school activities, time with friends, the last thing they want is to be crammed up in a tiny box with their parents. To head out into the middle of nowhere, with nothing to do is their idea of hell and a dream for Andrew and I.
Even if they were interested we don’t all fit anymore, at fourteen and seventeen they have out grown their sleeping quarters. The top bunk was perfect for an eight year old under five feet, it is not as comfortable for a teen pushing five feet six inches. While the bottom bunk still fits Siena, its not comfortable for her and the idea of having the girls share or sleep together was never an option, even when they were little.
What makes me sad is not necessarily the idea that our camper trips are over, but more, the reality that our girls are getting older, creating their own lives and eventually they will leave our nest. That is the hardest to let go of.
I will miss the impromptu grilled cheese lunches at a trail head or lunch in a National Park parking lot, opening the door to majestic views and vistas.
I will miss sleeping at wineries, spending a few dollars on a bottle of wine and some snacks in exchange for lodging on a beautiful property.
I will miss sleeping in friends driveways, having our own home while we visit someone else’s home.
I will miss our cozy foursome, packed in like sardines, hearing each other’s breaths while we sleep, being close enough to touch from any spot in the camper.
I will miss camper tailgates and overnights in the ski areas.
I will miss campfires in the rain and stumbling into bed smelling of smoke.
I will miss fancy camping at the Gorge and seeing the concert stage from our grassy spot.
I will miss traveling down a dirt road to find an open, mostly flat spot to make our home for the night.
I will not miss packing the camper.
I will not miss loading the camper on to the truck.
I will not miss leveling the camper on uneven dirt ground.
I will not miss putting my toilet paper in a ziplock bag so we don’t clog the black tank.
I will not miss emptying the tanks.
These memories, all of them, the good, the bad, the challenging and the amazing, they are not going anywhere, they do not disappear when the camper does. They live on in our hearts.