When Things Don't Go as Planned

At 11:30am yesterday, temperatures at our campsite were almost 100 degrees Farenheight. While we ate our sandwiches, my wife rubbed her shirt."What's the matter?"

"Sweat just rolled between my breasts!  Gross!" She wrinkled her nose.  "It's really hot.  Are you ready to head into town?"

Now that she mentioned it, I was hot.  "Sure, let's go."

We drove into town and stopped at Starbucks.  Christi sipped on a lemonade and I had a Carmel Frappacino.  After a great conversation with a guy who had full-sleeve tattoos, we decided to move along.  Before long we passed a bank.  The current temperature, 103, flashed across its marquee.

"Do you want to see if we can get a hotel?  If we find one for about $45 a night we could stay there.  In the morning we could head to the lake and come back when we got too hot."  I didn't want her to get the impression that I was chickening out.  "I'm ok with camping, but I don't want us to get too hot to enjoy ourselves.  What do you think?"

She didn't even pause, "That sounds like a really good idea."

We found a hotel in town for the right price.  The rooms were clean and, more importantly, air-conditioned.  We didn't waste anytime moving in.

This morning we went back to the lake. We swam around and talked. We ate hotdogs, baked beans, and peaches for lunch.  When it got too hot, we came back to our room.

I learned some things:

Every adventure has its bumps. Every character in every story faces unexpected challenges.  In fact,challenges are the stuff of adventures.  Why would real-life adventures be any different? How we handle challenges determines the outcome of the adventure.  Christi and I weren't going to let a little heat get in the way of our time together.

We had contengency plans. Before we got to the campsite on day one, we identified two main obsticles to camping the whole time: rain and heat.  We talked through the possibility of each and what we wanted to do.  We made a decision before the need to make a decision happened.  A little forethought removed a lot of pressure.

We had emergency funds. Cash-only is a huge value for our family.  Part of being on a cash-only system means that we have a contengency, or emergency, fund.  If a washer goes out, we can cover it out of the emergency fund.  In this case, because my wife is so totally awesome, our vacation had an emergency fund.  We got a couple of nights at a cheap motel without violating our cash-only principle.

We remembered our reason. This trip was never about camping.  It was about being together and talking.  It was about having an adventure.  We still have all that, just in a more comfortable venue.  If you let the activity become the experience, rather than medium for an experience, you will be disappointed.

The local theater is showing 'Hancock.' We haven't seen it yet, so we are really looking forward to it.  I'll let you know what we think.

JournalPaul Watson