Around the campfire

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You could count the number of times I have been camping on one hand with a few fingers chopped off. And those times, in the main, could not even be considered real camping. They involved cabins, water on tap, and flushing loos. Only once was I required to sleep in a tent, and the experience wasn’t one I wished to repeat: as much to do with other campers as with facilities.

I am not into roughing it. I like the convenience of warm showers, flushable toilets, and power at the touch of a button. I acknowledge my privilege in being able to take these things for granted and, when I holiday, to choose accommodation at which they are available. I recognise that for much of the world’s population, that privilege is as unattainable as a dream.

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So, for this week, in which the flash fiction prompt by Charli Mills coincides with World Toilet Day, it is fitting to combine the two.

World Toilet Day is a day to raise awareness and inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis – a topic often neglected and shrouded in taboos. Today, 2.4 billion people are struggling to stay well, keep their children alive and work their way to a better future – all for the want of a toilet.

Anne Goodwin who blogs at Annecdotal has also combined Charli’s flash fiction prompt in her post about Fictional Toilets for World Toilet Day. Anne has included snippets of toileting issues from novelists whose characters, unlike most “fictional characters, (who) like royalty, don’t have to suffer the indignity of urinating or opening their bowels”, deal with the inconveniences of life. Her own novel Sugar and Snails is among those quoted. You can read the post here.

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For a while now I have been supporting Who Gives a Crap, a company that takes toileting seriously. In its production of toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels it uses only 100% recycled paper, bamboo, or sugarcane. It also donates 50% of its profits to providing toilets for those in need. I am in favour of both those practices.

I am also in favour of helping children recognise their privilege and to understand that not everyone in the world can take for granted what they can. With Christmas celebrations just around the corner, a picture book that encourages children to think of others, rather than just what they can get, is useful in starting the discussion.

dear-santa-please-dont-come-this-year

Dear Santa: Please Don’t Come This Year written by Michael Twinn and illustrated by Patricia D. Ludlow explains that Santa has tired of children’s requests, of their always wanting more, and of their lack of gratitude. He considers making this Christmas delivery his last; until he receives one final letter that turns his thinking around.

The letter is from a group of children who write:

“Dear Santa,

Please don’t come this year … we have almost everything we want.

So, we don’t want presents for ourselves this year  …

We want to help other children, instead.

And old people and animals in need …”

Santa feels heartened by the children’s selflessness, and he spends the year travelling the world, sharing the gifts suggested by the children:

“The gift of food

The gift of health

The gift of sight

The gift of water

The gift of technology

The gift of hard work

The gift of peace

The gift of learning

The gift of survival”

At the end of the year, Santa realises that “The greatest gift is yourself.”

(Note: I’m not sure if it is still so, but at the time of its publication, sales of the book helped raise funds for UNICEF.)

Now, I seem to have strayed a little, but I’m thinking that’s probably what happens when a group is sitting around the campfire discussing life. I’m sure no subject is taboo, Blazing Saddles proved that, and that the conversation would flow from one topic to another with just a few meagre threads to hold it together.

Song, too, would be a big part of the campfire tradition. I learned a campfire song from Bill Martin Jr. at a reading conference years ago. (I’ve written about that previously here.)

The song “I love the mountains” is perfect for teaching to children and as a structure that children can use to write poems of their own. Sample innovations; for example, “Christmas in Australia” have been included just for that purpose in readilearn resources.

poetry-examples-and-templates

Writing “I love” poems is also a good way for children to express gratitude in their everyday lives, which fits perfectly with Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States, also this week.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers!

This week at the Carrot Ranch Charli Mills has challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is told around a campfire. It can be a bonfire, burning trash can, a fire pit, something flaming outdoors. It can be a prop, and you can tell the story of anything — ghosts, ancients, jokes. Who is gathered and listening?

Even if you don’t intend joining in the challenge, and there is an extra week with this prompt if you are tempted, please pop over to the Carrot Ranch to read Charli’s fascinating report of her explorations of The Zion Valley area and of the historical artefacts and remnants she found there. You’re sure to find a gem or two, as she did.

Here is my response to her challenge.

Around the campfire

“Smile,” they said. “It could be worse.”

Than what: a compulsory “adventure”? navigating scrub lugging a loaded rucksack? avoiding plant and animal nasties? digging a toilet? erecting a recalcitrant tent? enduring inane chatter and laughter roaring as insanely as the campfire flames?

“You’ll learn something,” they’d said.

Fat chance.

Darkness hung low like her spirits.

Along with the dying flames, the mood quietened and, one by one, each told a story of horrors beyond her imaginings: of fleeing famine, war, abuse, hate …

Along with the sky, her heart softened with the light of a new day, and gratitude.

Thank you

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

 

54 thoughts on “Around the campfire

  1. Pingback: You’re not allowed! | Norah Colvin

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  3. julespaige

    Camping isn’t my forte either. But ‘Blazing Saddles’ brought back a fun memory. Hubby and I went to the theater to see it – and of course we knew what Mel Brooks could do – unlike the Mother who had brought her three young ones to see a ‘Western’… they walked out after the first scene. I wonder if she got refunded or was able to see another show at the multiplex?

    Also brought to mind that my hubby in grade school (I think) did a paper on the history of the ‘John’ – though his teacher was not impressed. It was a serious paper really no ‘potty’ humor at all. But when you have a name like ‘Crapper’…(guess the class giggling didn’t help.) Thomas Crapper was a plumber that is often mistakenly called ‘John Crapper’. While Sir John Harrington is credited with the invention, it was Alexander Cummings that received the first patent for a flushing water closet (toilet not John).

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for sharing your experiences, Jules. It sounds like you enjoyed the episode with the mother and children almost as much as the movie. I’m sure Mel Brookes would have appreciated it.
      I think we all have a giggle when we first hear the story of Thomas Crapper. While he may not have invented the flushing loo, what he did invent is just as in/appropriately named!
      Thanks for reminding me of the giggle. 🙂

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  4. Bec Colvin

    That is a very powerful FF Nor – are you describing people in a refugee camp? I can’t imagine how difficult that must be. I really can’t, and like you said we are so fortunate to live with the luxuries we take for granted. This was a fascinating post, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Norah Post author

      I wasn’t necessarily thinking of people in a refugee camp, but possibly a camp that included some who had been refugees. I’m happy it read that way though. I’m pleased you enjoyed the post. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  5. Bruce

    Camping!
    It’s been part of my life for more than sixty years, and my kids (now nearing 40) are just as happy to sleep in a tent as they are to spend a weekend at the Versace (as long as someone else is paying). My beloved spouse is the same. We’ve lived for months in a tent as we travel around the more remote parts of Oz. I could never burden myself to haul a caravan around, nor live in the ‘grey nomad’ culture. Despite her 80th looming she is looking forward very much to another wander along the west coast of Oz and through the Kimberley, where we’ve both worked many times over the years. I have to admit that our tent is special, able to be erected by one person in around three minutes and packed up almost as quickly. We have thick, self-inflating mattresses that are in truth better to sleep on than our normal bed. Over the past 15 years we’ve honed our equipment down to the essentials and have a simple routine that makes life pretty darn good when on the road.

    Although we camp regularly for long periods across Australia, Perhaps my most out-there ‘camping’ experience wasn’t really camping at all, simply sleeping on a self-inflating mat on a nice flat rock wrapped in a polar-quality sleeping bag with the sun shining brightly along the horizon at 2 am and gentoo penguins waddling past all ‘night’. Not a cloud, not a breath of wind and the temperature steady on a gentle -7°C. Beyond my feet lay a bay crammed with amazingly sculpted icebergs, hundreds of them, all trapped in shallow water. Seals and whales cruised past while penguins popped in and out of the water. It felt near-criminal to sleep at all, but somehow I did.

    That was on my first trip to Antarctica. The second, to the Ross Sea and various sub-Antarctic islands, was not ideal camping country (the pack ice may have gently heaved up and down, but it’s prone to cracking without warning) and the temperature hit -20° at times. I did spend a plenty of time walking around on it, day and ‘night’, hanging out with emperors.

    It’s best to choose the climate carefully when camping. Know thy enemy! Years of sodden, mud-soaked experiences taught my family that a Brisbane Easter inevitably comes not only with vast traffic jams and crowded shower blocks, but also heavy rain. Easter, for us, became a synonym for flooded tents, saturated bedclothes and days of washing mud out of everything. We were keen but slow learners: it took five Easters to see the error of our Easter ways. Now we smugly enjoy the peace and quiet of a half-empty city, and camp when crowds and weather are less odious.

    None of our camping disasters compare to that of a fellow traveller who’d taken several years to organise a once-in-a-lifetime hike in one of the world’s least accessible places. I met him on a voyage to South Georgia, a small island lying in the middle of the South Atlantic. It’s spectacular not just for its intense concentration of wildlife, but also because of its sharp-pointed spine of mountains. One of my cabin mates turned out to be a professional mountaineer who, with two others, attempted to follow Shackleton’s historic trek across the island. Their resulting camping experience was less than bucolic. After climbing hundreds of metres up a glacier from a beach to a high ridge they camped for the night in clear, calm weather. Remember that this was in the middle of the South Atlantic: a couple of hours later wind gusts had reached well over 150 kmh. Their tent was literally blown flat by each big gust but, being designed for that environment, was self-resurrecting. However, dawn saw conditions worsening so they called the ship by satphone, then struggled down to the lee side of the island where they built a rock wall out of stones to shelter behind until they were picked up later in the day. My mate slept well that night, shrugging off the defeat and remaining completely unfazed by the experience. “It’s all part of living an interesting life”, he explained. It’s hard to disagree, but I’m not yet ready for camping quite that interesting. For my beloved and me winter camping on red desert dirt or beside a pristine beach in northern Australia is just fine.

    And my kids? My son now takes his young family on camping trips, mostly to beachside locations. They love it. My daughter’s idea of a good time usually involves locations well outside cities, and if camping can be included then it’s a bonus. And, doubtless to nobody’s surprise, they both try to avoid Easter camping.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Wow, Bruce! Thank you very much for sharing your camping stories. What amazing experiences you have had; what adventures. I do love the sound of (parts of) your Antarctic adventures – especially the wildlife: the penguins, seals and whales. How wonderful to see such marvels that most of us only see on the TV screen.
      I think the self-resurrecting tent is a wonderful innovation, though I’d probably rather not be reliant on one for protection from the elements.
      I think it is great that you introduced your family to camping when they were young. It’s possible that those wet Easters with sodden tents helped prepare you all for whatever may come. A love of camping is possibly like a love of reading in that it is caught, and mainly from the parents. I didn’t have the opportunity to catch it, and now look what I’ve missed. Lucky there’s you to take the photos and tell the stories so that I can almost feel I’ve been there. Bring on the virtual reality.
      Enjoy your new Kimberley adventure. One day, I’d like to see it myself.

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  7. Charli Mills

    Terrific post, Norah! I give a crap enough to want that toilet paper for my RV. I’m sure the box will raise eyebrows (and hopefully, interest) at the park office. I can’t believe you included Blazing Saddles! That movie is brilliant for breaking many more taboos than breaking wind. It really exposes racism in America and with scathing humor. I also like the thoughtful discussion you’ve caused regarding thoughtful gifting. I like supporting small businesses and artists, and of course, authors! Your flash is a great lesson in empathy.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Charli. I very much appreciate your thoughtful comment. I look forward to seeing photos of your crappy toilet paper and the looks on the faces of your fellow residents. I’m pleased you found much in the post of interest. And here was I thinking I had nothing to offer about camping. Thank you, as always, for helping me rise to a new challenge.

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  8. Eloquently Kate

    I had not heard of the Michael Twinn’s book, “Dear Santa: Please Don’t Come This Year” but your summary pulled on my heartstrings. I loved your ending, “At the end of the year, Santa realises that “The greatest gift is yourself.”” And your flash – amazing! I loved the thoughtful message it conveyed.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Kate. It’s nice to see you here again. I’ve noticed an email notification of your post, so will pop over to read soon.
      I think it’s a great message from Santa – to give yourself.
      I’m pleased you enjoyed the flash. Thanks for your comment.

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  9. Sherri

    I absolutely love your flash Norah, it shows beautifully how easy it is to get caught up in the negative ‘crap’ and take for granted all we are blessed with…and that includes, most definitely, running water and toilets that flush just for starters. Thank you for your links here and what a delightful Christmas book for children. Last year, I adopted various animals from shelters for my grown kids and one year, hubby gave donations to a goat for each of them, as we also received in our name as a wedding present from a friend! It’s so important to raise awareness like this, and with your loving, kind heart and generous spirit, you get the message across so beautifully and gently, yet with great information. The song is really cute too. Thank you my friend for another lovely and thoughtful post 🙂 ❤ xxx

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Sherri. Your comment makes me feel like singing. If only I could! Thank you for your generosity of spirit. You comments always make my day.
      Giving goats or toilets, or gardens seems to be catching on as Christmas gifts. It is a great idea, when so many of us have so much and others so little. It is only fair to share it around a bit. Last night I saw on the news a story about the most expensive penthouse in Queensland – $12.5 million. Then I saw some refugees living in “homes” made of rubbish. Life can be so unfair. I am far from being a communist, but we could have better ways of sharing the wealth. We little people do what we can. We need the big people to say, “Hey. I don’t need multiple millions. Let me share it with you.” In my dreams.

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      1. Sherri

        Yes, I hear the cry of your heart loud and clear my friend, I feel just the same way as you. And that gap between the supremely wealthy and the poor seems to be increasing. Then there are those of us in the middle. The ‘squeezed middle class’ as they refer to it over here. You are one of the kindest, most generous people I know; your spirit and your nature exudes it and you inspire me – and I know others too – to not become apathetic and sit back on our laurels. And of course, your heart for children and giving them the incomparable gift of the love of learning for life, is something that never fails to move me. If only the world was filled with teachers like you, it would be a much better, kinder, happier place, I know it. And it’s good to know that we can do what we can with what we have…small steps but in the right direction! 🙂 ❤

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        1. Norah Post author

          Thank you for your kind words, Sherri. You over-estimate me. But I agree with this “it’s good to know that we can do what we can with what we have…small steps but in the right direction!” Dare I say the world needs more thoughtful, caring, compassionate people like you too, Sherri. xo

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  10. Deborah Lee

    I am one of those insane people who adores camping. I never sleep so well! It makes the roughing it for bathroom purposes well worth it. I had not realized we even have a World Toilet Day! That’s an issue Jane Doe has, although I haven’t addressed it in any of my flashes out of a desire to be delicate. lol

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    1. Norah Post author

      I guess the roughing it may not be so bad if you don’t, and don’t need to, sleep well. Gazing at the stars all night could be quite pleasant. As long as one didn’t need to go to the bathroom! Maybe you could open up a little with Jane Doe for World Toilet Day next year! 🙂

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  11. Hugh's Views and News

    Ok, I too have tried camping, and it most certainly was not for me. I don’t think I slept a wink. However, it was shortly after I’d seen the horror movie ‘Friday The 13th, for the first time, so I think watching the going on’s at Camp Crystal Lake did not help me in any way in liking camping.

    That letter to Santa is so very touching, Norah. This year we, as a family, have decided to donate to charity instead of buying Christmas presents for each other. I never thought I’d ever see myself donating money to buy a goat for Christmas, but I have. 😀 I hope you don’t mind but I have included the link.

    http://www.musthavegifts.org/a-goat.html

    It’s in British pounds but I’m sure is available all other countries.

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    1. Norah Post author

      I wouldn’t even watch Friday the 13th, let alone go camping after it! You were very brave!
      I know a lot of people who gift each other charity donations. I think it’s a wonderful idea, though I was rather surprised the first time I was given a goat in Kenya! Most of us have far more than we ever need or can use, and gifts are often not thought of after the initial opening, so giving something that will make a powerful impact upon the lives of others makes wonderful sense. Thanks for including the link. As you say, there are many organisations that have similar programs. I hope your recipient enjoys the goat!

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  12. Sacha Black

    LOL, oh Norah, I have to say, I am with you. Although I did spend the majority of my teenage years in the Army Cadet Force roughing it under the stars every weekend. I like to think of my hatred for anything other than hotel comfort as a consequence of over doing the field fun!! hahah

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    1. Norah Post author

      Your years in the Army Cadet Force let you totally off the hook! What a wonderful service to offer your fellow travelers on this amazing planet. Thank you for your contribution. And your comment.

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  13. Annecdotist

    Another fabulous mix in this post. I loved the song and all the stories and that you can enjoy your luxuries while doing what you can for the many around the world who don’t share them. I do think this is a difficult concept to get across to children which makes me wonder slightly about the Santa story and whether some kids might be scared they won’t get any presents this year! I suppose children can do small acts of unselfishness at any age, but I want to recognise that they do need to be self-centred and some responsibilities are better suited to adulthood.
    Oh, and nearly forgot, thanks so much for the mention and glad you managed to include a campfire toilet in your Flash.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for your comment, Anne. You are right about children’s need to be self-centred, but I think they also need to realise that not everyone has the benefits they have. It is good for them to start thinking of others. I guess I’m thinking of introducing the idea, gradually, to children from about five years of age. The book actually does it quite well, though I didn’t share that part. Santa sends a message to “Parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles: I want you to deliver the presents. Wear my uniform if you like. I am leaving on a special mission. Kids today are great. Especially yours.” The children’s letter also said that they didn’t want presents this year – or nothing much anyway. I’m sorry I omitted parts that would have made the message clearer. It was just the word count crying at me!
      I would have to say that camping toilets would be a major deterrent to me! So it was good to put one in the flash. 🙂

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  14. jennypellett

    Like you, I have no inclination for camping. Did it once, uncomfortable. No sleep. And the tent is sodden in the morning with condensation. I’d rather stay at home if that was the only holiday on offer.
    Mind you, campfire stories are another thing entirely. I’d stay for those, then slip away back to my duvet and aerated (open windows) bedroom with adjacent shower and hot water.

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  15. TanGental

    Ok so we know we don’t have completely similar tastes so a love of roughing it will stay on my side of the ledger; but your rambling take is perfect for the campfire scenario. Sadly the ‘I don’t give a crap’ haven’t reached the UK yet though, we do give toilets as Christmas presents regularly (sort of sponsored loos with friends names on them delivered to those in need of clean facilities). And yep, not pressurising Santa has to be a good lesson!

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    1. Norah Post author

      I think there are a few other things that will definitely stay on your side of the ledger too – like bungee jumping! You are more physically adventurous than I. That’s a good thing. I guess if the ‘Who gives a crap’ people haven’t found their way to the UK yet, it might be because, as you say, “I don’t give a crap”. Gave me a giggle. I think it’s great that you give toilets as Christmas presents. You gifts may add to more than the combined total from my yearly rolls! Thanks for the richness of your comment.

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  16. A. E. Robson

    Thoughts of camping bring back fond memories, good times and experiencing a good life. Yes, I loved to be out in the bush, looking for pitch nobs to use as fire starter, dragging in dry logs to be chopped for firewood. Cooking meals over the open fire. The stars that were like a arm’s reach away. It was a time we spent together as a family. Our children learned how to be resourceful and are both avid campers in their adult life. It’s certainly not for everyone, but I wouldn’t trade those times for anything.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Ann, I love your picture of good family times spent camping. That is a great recommendation. Perhaps if I’d had those experiences growing up, I’d have enjoyed the opportunities more as an adult. I love the thought of “The stars that were like an arm’s reach away.” That’s an awesome image. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

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  17. writersideup

    Wow, Norah, I have to tell you how ironic the timing is on my end with your post! Just yesterday we had the plumber here to do a few things involving a bathroom and kitchen sink. I tend to watch when people do this kind of work because I’m both fascinated and also want to know/see what they’re doing in order to understand it and be fully aware of what work was done. Anyway, while he was replacing the plastic pipes under the bathroom sink I said to him “We’re so spoiled with all these things so many people don’t even have.” I think of these things often which keeps me very appreciative. I didn’t know about organizations like “Who Gives a Crap.” All great stuff!

    And, like you, I’m not a “roughing it” kinda gal 🙂 The closest I ever got to it was also in a cabin, back when I was 12 years old. I loved it because I love nature and at that time I didn’t have allergies as I do now. The “romantic” part of camping appeals to me—being outdoors with a campfire, cooking by it, roasting marshmallows, talking, the stars at night, all that. I do NOT have ANY desire at all to be in a flimsy shelter as a temporary invader to all kinds of animals and creatures who creep, slither and crawl. Nope, not for me! lol

    Great post, Norah 🙂

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for adding your experiences to the conversation, Donna. It is great to have reminders of how spoiled we are, isn’t it? After some serious flooding here in Brisbane five years ago, we were without power for over six day. We had water, fortunately, but the lack of power required us to change our day-to-day strategies. However, we had a home, could get to the shops for food, and didn’t suffer any loss. We knew we couldn’t complain when there were so many worse off than we were.
      Who Gives a Crap is great, and operates in both the US and Australia.
      I agree with you about the “romantic” thoughts of camping, but the pragmatic always wins! 🙂

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      1. writersideup

        Your flooding sounds similar to when Hurricane Sandy hit up here. It was devastating to all different degrees here, and yes, grateful is the word! My son and daughter-in-law’s wedding was 4 days after the hurricane hit, it was called off, then back on. It was a crazy 10 days from when we first heard about it and through to the actual wedding.

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        1. Norah Post author

          The hurricanes over there are devastating. Such destruction and heartache they cause. I hope your son and daughter-in-law enjoy happy days after such a whirlwind start. I’m pleased they were able to go ahead with the ceremony after all.

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          1. writersideup

            Thanks, Norah 🙂 After an insanely pressured, emotional “roller coaster” week (especially for Suzanne, my d-i-law), the wedding came off beautifully, and as was somewhat “appropriate,” during the ceremony when the priest was saying some lovely stuff, a chainsaw started up in cutting down a tree on the main street, so we heard that going on for a while, too. They’ve had a mixed bag of good and not so good stuff the past 4 years. He had open-heart surgery last year so that was incredibly rough for all of us, but that all went as well as we could hope for. He’s doing great that way. And this year they were able to buy a house. The renovations will hopefully be done and they’ll move in before Christmas. We’re all REALLY excited about it 😀

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  18. Sarah Brentyn

    I am completely teared up reading about that Santa book. ❤ Then you had me laughing out loud picturing the campfire scene in Blazing Saddles. Geez. I have to get over to Anne's this year. She always has a wonderful WTD contribution. And I love that you support Who Gives a Crap.

    Great flash. I needed that last line so thank you for that.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Sarah. I’m pleased you enjoyed the post. The children in the Santa book remind me of the generosity of you and your family. We need more people in the world like you. Who Gives a Crap operates in both Australia and the US. It will be great if it can spread it’s paper further!
      I’m pleased you enjoyed the flash. I lost count of the rewrites!

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      1. Sarah Brentyn

        Already looked at Who Gives a Crap for Christmas gifts. Not kidding. 😉 Some family will find it hilarious, others will really appreciate it for what it is.
        Thank you so much, Norah. What a sweet comment. Just the other day my youngest asked how much his toys cost and said he felt guilty and didn’t want presents this year… Ugh. All those years of helping others and telling my kids how lucky they are went a bit too far. It’s great that he’s not spoiled but he’s VERY sensitive. I never intended to make him feel guilty. Have to put out that fire now. *sigh* Parenting is awesome.

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        1. Norah Post author

          Glad to hear that you are thinking of giving Who gives a crap gifts for Christmas and that you have some recipients who will appreciate them. I have given some away, but I’m not sure about Christmas gifts. Any recipients I can think of might consider it a bit crappy! (But I am thinking 🙂
          What a gorgeous son you have. Let him know that it is okay for him to have presents. He doesn’t need to feel guilt, just appreciative of what he has. Guilt is a negative emotion and doesn’t achieve much. Appreciation can be shared around. He just needs a new word for describing his feelings to put them in a whole new light. Parenting has got to be the most difficult job on earth. The manual, if it did exist, would be different for each child. And then each would change the rules and make up their own! Yours are doing very well I think. Your parenting is awesome. *applause*

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  19. thecontentedcrafter

    Although I have endured many camping experiences Norah, it is never to be found on my list of most loved activities and I do hope it is not in the cards that I will ever have to endure another one …….. My presence was requested every year as parent help when my girls were younger and went on their annual camps and I put my big girl boots on and went and helped out. In my teaching years I would have organised and survived at least fifteen week long camps and a few shorter ones with younger children.. And I even went on a couple of girls only long weekends, although strictly speaking that was cabining rather than camping……. And even though we had fun and memorable moments and many kids had wonderful life changing experiences as they got over their parents fears of being ‘in the wilderness’ and much bonding took place amongst kids and parents and adult to adult, not to mention hilarious fun with girl friends – still I prefer my own bed and my own kitchen and most importantly, my own quiet time. So yes, in short, I’m with you!! I’m there any time there’s a nice hotel with a good restaurant though 🙂

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    1. Norah Post author

      We can’t go past our home comforts, can we? Unless as you say there’s a nice hotel with a good restaurant on offer!
      I was always pleased to avoid the school camping experience by working with young children. Camps weren’t usually introduced before about grade four or five. I never envied the upper school teachers having to take their classes on camp, even if they were going to cabins with good amenities. However, one year, my teaching partner and I had a sleepover at school for our year ones and twos. It was a fabulous experience. The children brought pillows and sleeping bags if they had them, and slept in the classroom. We had a water slide for the kids in the afternoon (no showers) and of course the school toilets were close by. I’m not sure how many trips we may have had during the night, or how much sleep we adults had, but it was a lot of fun. I also did a few stints in cabins as a teacher on writing camps for children who entered writing portfolios to attend. They were fun too, but not really roughing it. I’ve not really had to put on my big girl boots. Good on you for doing so. As I said, I live a privileged life. 🙂

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