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Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: How to Enjoy Your Kids over Christmas Break.
‘Fes up. You’re not “Mother or Father of the Year,” and as cute as your kids were before Christmas, that eternity between Christmas and back-to-school in January is another whole story. New toys are no longer new. There’s now a certain shrillness to the children’s once sweet pre-Christmas voices. The tree, if it’s still up, has that “been rode hard, put away wet” look, and even Santa may be burned out and thrilled to be home at the Pole. And if you don’t have kids, you might find yourself noticing the hairs sticking out of your beloved’s ears or wondering why his pants seem to be getting shorter. There are still four long days and nights before school starts and everyone goes back to work. The bad news is that everyone seems to have a case of cabin fever.
The good news is that there’s a cure for it: Go camping! Get those over amped kids outdoors where kids belong and let them expend all that lovely energy. Of course, those of you in Ohio, New Jersey, or wherever are thinking “Yea right…3 feet of snow and she thinks we can go RVin’.” Well, for you folks mired in slush, ice, and snow for three more months, I’ll address you in Option B. For those of you who are able to camp this time of year, let’s look at Option A.
Option A: If you have an RV and live in a warm place, watch what happens if you stand up and yell, “Hey everybody! Let’s go camping!” The entire energy of your home will change for the better (well… the 13 year old will get over her irritation eventually). If you have a tent or RV, head for open country. There’s still time this week.
I’m writing to you right now from Usery Mountain State Park just outside Mesa, AZ, and boy is it AWESOME here. The flora and fauna are thick, lush, and amazing. I see why folks say, “There’s desert; then there’s desert.” Usery Park, folks, is desert and it’s gorgeous. And coming from Whitefish, Montana, I know gorgeous.
I’m almost embarrassed to think how many times I’ve said “Wow! This is incredible! I could live here! I can’t believe this!” since we’ve been here. The camp sites are level, huge, and the restrooms so immaculate you could do surgical procedures in them. And there’s a Basha’s grocery store just three miles away. Drag your spouse and kids out to God’s country this week, wherever that is for you, go camping and watch your family dynamics improve instantly.
Now, for those of you living in heavy-duty winter climates here is Option B: move to an Option A climate. You’ve dealt with ice, snow, and eternal winters for decades, but is it secretly wearing on you? Life is short. We live in a nation where all things are possible, and isn’t the freedom of that truth such a joy? Think about it. Option A.
This week, I hope you find yourself laughing with your spouse and kids and friends as the smoke stalks one of you around the campfire. I know I will. Think about checking out Usery Mountain Regional Park, Mesa, Arizona, next to Tonto National Forest. You’ll be glad you did.
And if you can’t camp, I hope you find yourself playing outdoors in the snow with your loved ones this Christmas week. So enjoy those kids or your spouse over break. You’re making memories.
Happy New Year and Happy Tales to you and yours,