Every year my family went camping. Dad wanted to go as deep into the wild as possible and led us into multi-hour sing-a-longs in the car. We made words out of the letters on license plates and waved to truckers.
Oh, okay, maybe things got loud when one of my sisters punched me. I’d holler I didn’t touch her, so her punching was unfair. “If I have to stop this car somebody’s going to get hurt!” We believed it too, so we’d behave for a while… until I went back to my favorite pastime looking at Sis #2 in various ways until she exploded and punched me again. After a while she could sense when I was prepping for another round of looking. The real beauty of this game is that when my sister screamed “She’s looking at me!!!” my parents had a complete lack of sympathy. Mom told Sis to ignore me, but Sis was incapable of ignoring me. This might get us as far as Ontario.
Once in Canada, things settled down into a cement blur of boredom. Sis #1 studied something useful, Sis #2 would chatter about people in the other cars, and I’d play car games with my parents. When Bro #1 got old enough, I looked at him too. I guess I was mastering my future boss persona, and eventually learned that if I look too much at people I’m liable to get punched.
So, after many, many, many hours in the car of family togetherness, we’d pile out and erect a tent on the sharpest rocks in the forest. Once, we pitched the tent on a patch of poison ivy. Most of my relatives woke up scratching and complaining, but I was pleased that sensitivity to poison ivy is a weakness of lesser humans. (I’m afraid to test that theory in more recent times.)
One morning I woke up on the Canadian side of Lake Superior before anyone else. I remembered the blueberries we’d found the day before and decided to pick some for a blueberry pancake breakfast. More blueberries were getting shoved in my mouth than going into the colander until I started slowing down enough to notice that I wasn’t the only one shoving down berries. A black bear was just as interested in them as I was, and he was so close that I could actually see his hair bending under the weight of a black fly walking on his fur.
Oooooooo…. Back away slowly… then… RUN!!!!!
I doubt Mom understood that I could’ve died by bear when she complained I didn’t bring back enough blueberries, but Dad seemed to think maybe we shouldn’t continue camping at this most beautiful place if there were bears around. I hated to pack up the tent. The water of Lake Superior was a gorgeous deep blue, we jumped off sandstone cliffs into the pure water, and Sis #2 almost sent herself to America on the raft we built. Good memories J Well, maybe Sis didn’t think so because she really did almost get lost on that raft. Dad had to swim far and fast to get her back while I waved bye from the shore.
I guess it’s a good thing Dad caught her. It would’ve been very boring to stare at my oldest sister into violence on the drive back. Besides, Sis #1 punched harder.
This has been a crazy weekend in a crazy week, so sorry, no masterpieces this time. Besides, it seems to me that I’ve covered “wild” many times in the past. I asked my brother to be guest artist because I was too tired to draw and this is what he came up with. I think I should’ve given him a fresh piece of paper instead of having him draw on the backside of a work report.