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Camping vs. Yellow-Orange Summer Sleep-away Haven

It has been made abundantly clear to me via my 15 year old step-son that setting up a tent in the backyard is not camping.  In fact, he goes so far as to 'air quote' camping each time he refers to my now obsession with sleeping in a tent in the backyard. 

He claims camping occurs at a campsite, in a campground.  

(I am sure anyone who hikes and sets up in the wilderness is now 'air quoting' his use of the word 'camping'.)

It is all a matter of perspective I suppose.  

Nevertheless, I get what he is saying.  

So it seems to me that this now begs the question---what do you call it when you set up a tent in your back yard and sleep in it for a month? (minus the two days that there were extreme hail and thunderstorm warnings)  Bohemian backyarding?  Tenting?  Suburban Sleeping Out?  Lazy Stay-cay?

Whatever it is called, I am forever in love with it.  Which is an amazing thing to me because:

a) I am a light sleeper.  The slightest noise will wake me up in the house and yet somehow the sounds of mass transit, motorcycle roars, dogs and chatty pedestrians less than one meter from one side of my tent can't break through my peaceful slumber.  My dearest and darling youngest, who has slept out there with me each night; whose slightest cough sends me dashing from my room to his to check his asthma; can get up three times in the night, unzip the tent, leave to go to the bathroom and return to climb over me onto the air mattress.  Whhhhaaaattttt??

b) I have sleep with a fan running to provide white noise to help with problem as listed above.  Sadly I have passed this on to my oldest and there was much debate around whose fan was actually going on the cruise we took a few years ago.  

Yes.  I took my fan on a cruise. Worse?  I had a mini panic attack when I realized there was nowhere to plug it in besides the one outlet we had for the Spouse's sleep apnea machine.  It was a serious toss up between my comfort to sleep and the risk of having him stop breathing in the night. 

(We rigged up something by unplugging the tv....but the look on his face at the time...).  Cricket chirps and motorcycle rumbles---that's all I have in the tent.  Somehow it works?  Whaaaaaatttt?

c) I am going through "the change" (ok THAT is an appropriate time for air quotes) and the accompanying sweats often means changing my pjs a couple times a night.  But not so in the tent...weird.

d) I generally don't like bugs or dirt or being dirty or being outside.  At least that is what I thought. 

The universe has conspired so that I am off work again this summer.  Crazy.  I thought I would be back by now but summer is a hard time to get all the proper people in place at the right time to get the meetings started to facilitate my graduated return.  So it doesn't matter if I am sweaty or there are bugs or I am up late or go to bed early or it is cold or hot or rainy or sunny.  I have nowhere to be.  My focus is the house, the kids, the meals, the dogs, my health and I am busy enough.

These past 18 months have allowed me to challenge some assumptions, FEEL more and be BRAVE----go with the FLOW----TRUST myself and RECEIVE whatever comes next.  These were the five themes that emerged early in 2014 through meditation and relaxation.  

So whatever you want to call it.  I LOVE to sleep in my giant tent, in my backyard.  I love the sounds and the air and the fact my child is near and happy.  Together we are making some amazing summer memories and I will enjoy each sleep until the cold drives me inside and I am forced to take down my yellow-orange summer sleep-away haven.


  1. Great post, Kristen! A lesson for us all! Challenge, Feel, be Brave, go with the Flow, Trust, Receive, Meditate, Be Grateful!
    Happy End of Summer!

  2. The tent is gone.... I miss it...but I will carry the camping spirit with me all winter....


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