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  • Wendalynn Wordsmith

How Many Redos?

Good day, cousins.

(Note: I wrote this during the first openings of real-life during the pandemic. Now, we are still doing through it when I write this in May 2022.)

I had been enjoying a week off work in July 2021 when Richard and I spent three days camping at a local regional park. We learned a few things whilst being away from home:

1) You need a boat,

2) You need a golf cart,

3) You need at least two children,

4) You need an RV, and

5) You need to like doing the same thing every day.

We knew Number 1 was an automatic thing when we stayed at a place ending in "Lake". Good golly, any water-based name would have been any indication. Most of the campsites had at least one boat (yes, there were more than one in some cases) or floatation device of some sort. Funny enough, we rarely saw the boats leave the sites when we were there, which would give the impression they were part of the site décor.

Number 2: Golf carts were everywhere, much like Waldheim. Also like home, some were driven by rowdy teenagers and under-12s with a collection of friends and family hanging off the sides. There is a golf course at the park where we stayed, where Richard played the back nine, so that seems to be a good reason to have a cart. With the course aside, the main reason for the cart was to get from the site to the washrooms.

(Don't get me started on the washrooms!)

Number 3; Children were also everywhere and it was great to see. Part of camping is being away from home, meeting friends-for-life (do kids still exchange addresses?), getting sand in awkward places and eating hot dogs and marshmallows until the tummy can't take it anymore. That was what I loved about camping as a kid, at least. Even though some of the residences had satellites and the kids had cellphones, there were still a few that knew what a beach was for (even with the smoke-filled sky and windiness).

Relating to the satellite comment, the park was filled with RVs. Some of the seasonal sites had full neighbourhoods set up, complete with flower decorations, lawn gnomes and picnic table awnings. I would not doubt some of these RVs cost more than the home the families lived in on a regular basis. Richard and I found them rather grotesque. I do no think every family should tent it up as we did, but to drive a house to a campsite so you can relax and watch Netflix on your TV is saying:"I would rather be home, actually."

I add Number 5 in May 2022. I had been doing the same thing for the last little while, though not related to the pandemic, only due to my sheer will to do nothing. I have been going through a number of weeks with severe levels of depression and anxiety, so I decided to go through my draft blog posts and found this one.

I know people need to get away and find a place to relax and create memories. This year was to be a family reunion on Richard's side, yet it has been cancelled due to illnesses and deaths. It was to be in a place where Richard spent years during his youth fishing, boating and watching bears eat garbage. Those are his memories. I have memories of similar camping trips to a different campground on different days (though some may have been at the same time). I wonder now if the repetitive moments Richard and I saw in July last year were nothing but the creation of memories for the RVers and angry children.

Yes, that is exactly what it was, only it happened to be in a different century (literally, as most of the family reunions Richard and I attended were prior to 2001). Not being privy to the conversations and covered in my own resentment, I need to realise what I saw was not a bad thing. Sure, the respective events and golf carts were annoying, yet those were experiences belonging to other people and I cannot devalue those memories.

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