Too Old to Camp
Right now, due to the kitchen renovation, making a cup of coffee means walking up and down two flights of stairs. The cups and the sweetener are on the main floor because there is no place for them upstairs. So we need to go down to grab those supplies and bring them up to where we set up the coffee pot in our room. After we pour the coffee and add the sweetener, we need to bring the cup down two flights of stairs to the basement where we’re storing the cream. Then there is the issue of stirring it and cleaning said spoon.
If I didn’t need the coffee so badly to get through the day, I would just curl up in a ball and give up.
A long time ago, I used to love camping. I loved packing for camping. I loved pitching a tent and the coziness of being in the sleeping bag with all the things I needed in a backpack beside me. I loved cooking dinner over the fire and even cleaning up from buckets. The whole thing felt like you had boiled down life to the essentials.
And now I despise camping. Moving beyond my strong dislike for the outdoors (with the exception of beaches), I have an equally strong dislike for making easy tasks more difficult. Take, for instance, the coffee. In my house, I normally walk into the kitchen, brew a pot of coffee, pour myself a cup, add the cream and sugar, drink it, and clean up. Easy.
Whereas camping is a bit like making coffee in my bathroom. I need to obtain the water somewhere or carry it with me. I need to make it in a contraption that is not as easy as my coffee pot or use instant coffee. Forget real cream. Cleaning up is a headache.
I get that if I actually liked nature that I would be trading the convenience of home life for something of equal value. But I don’t like nature. And this experience just reminds me why I dislike camping as much as I do.
I am too old to camp. I am too old to see camping as an adventure. I am too tired to get excited over the idea of problem-solving making coffee in the woods. I am too set in my ways to get excited over the idea of using creativity to make dinner happen.
And I don’t know when the switch occurred.
A case in point, we keep kosher, which means that we have two sets of everything — two sets of dishes, two sets of cooking equipment, two sponges — everything. When we first got married, I had very few “meat” items because I rarely cooked meat as a vegetarian. If I made it at all, it was for other people at a dinner party. So I had maybe a pot and a pan and a few plates and a knife.
And then I married a meat-eater, and suddenly I had to make these meat meals without the “meat” equipment. Instead of buying more stuff, I treated it like a game. How could I creatively cook this whole chicken without the necessary tools to cook said chicken? And then I’d pat myself on the back and say, “Mel, you were so creative to make that coil out of foil instead of using a metal rack. Good on you.”
But over the years, I have amassed an enormous amount of “meat” equipment; enough that I can cook meat meals as easily as dairy meals. It doesn’t phase me to cook multiple meat dishes at the same time, and I have enough serving dishes to get dinner for 12 on the table with little fuss.
When did it change? When did I go from thinking I was so clever and cool to make do with so little to feeling as if the task is undo-able if I don’t have the correct tools?
This whole week is slipping by me. I apologize if it takes me a long time to respond to an email. I’m sorry that I’m off my commenting game.
Anyway, I probably need more coffee to actually get my day started, and I have multiple flights of stairs to walk so I should probably get on that.