I grew up camping. Er well, I grew up being MADE to camp. I went to school at hippie schools and we had to camp two or three times a year- at the minimum. I had my first sleeping bag when I was 3 or 4. All thru elementary school and high school I would be kind of forced- to put on a backpack with all the shit I needed for the next week (or two in some cases) and off we’d go into the wilderness. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t really like it either. Backpacking is a terrible sport- it’s for masochists to be sure. Your feet blister, your fucking super tired all the time, your constantly hungry, and you constantly keep walking… It’s horrendous. Especially to a 10 year old. Plus, I have bad knees so I was never a huge fan of my biannual scholastic torcher fests as I came to regard the activity.
It was not until last year- at 37 that I decided that I would like to sleep under the stars once more… I asked my dad, brother and husband to pitch in for Xmas and gift me certificates to REI so I could get all new gear. I was excited, however I had one specific guideline- no backpacking. This bitch was driving in… My husband was happy to oblige me.
Last August Tate and I went on our first excursion- a nice little campsite in the sequoias… we laughed and fought while we set up our 6-man tent… I was THRILLED to finally be able to stand up in a tent!! F-you lightweight camping supplies that are all function and no comfort. I inflated our queen size air matress and I set up my semi gourmet luxury kitchen set up…
It was fantastic. I LOVED IT. Everything was so big and fun and luxurious it was exactly the opposite of how I had been raised to camp. My inner rebel was at peace… absolutely.
One night on that first camping trip after digging in the plastic tote I had made for the kitchen supplies- I said to Tate- ‘honey, I’ve got an idea for a camping kitchen box.’ And there, in my notebook, next to fire I sketched it out… I would be a box; with a piano hinge on the bottom that would open up to shelves and drawers- you would put it on the edge of the picnic table and work out of it… we would make it out of wood, with sturdy handles on the side. Here’s my sketch.
Tate promised he would build it.
Several months passed and I was looking thru Outside magazine (a magazine I rarely read), and I saw an advertisement for “My Camp Kitchen”. I mean, firkin-a… it was, ALMOST EXACTLY what I drew. I called Tate and said- you won’t fucking believe what I just found- turns out you don’t have to build it after all! It already exists!!! Here it is:
Now I’m a pretty lucky person, and things usually happen for me without too much pain or difficulty. I’m a hard worker and a good person, but good things naturally come my way… I am undeniably lucky: Lucky to be born in America, lucky to be born middle class, lucky to be born in this time, in this place. Sometimes I think- I need a new, whatever, and pretty often whatever it was I am thinking for will present itself to me in the next few days… But I don’t think I have ever had a situation where I put something out into the universe and had it handed to me Quite. So. Exactly. Down even to the dimensions within an inch!!
Last week we went camping again- and I used my new box. And it’s fucking perfect. I mean- perfect. I couldn’t have designed it better myself.
Thank you universe… I’m grateful you’re listening… I’m listening back!