Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Chapter 42 1994

Let me go back a couple of years.  I forgot to put in my camping adventures!!  That is a real important part of my sobriety life!!  In 1989 I heard about an AA Memorial Day campout at Mt Baker.  I had a small camper on the back of my small pickup so I headed up to the mountain all alone.  I drove through the campground and saw a few people I knew from the AA meetings at the Hall and they didn’t wave, so of course I felt like an intruder.  (That feeling of not belonging anywhere!) I drove around the edge of the campground and saw a group of people I knew from the Bluebox AA group.  I slowed down and no one waved so again I felt unwanted and was ready to head home when a gal (Joanne) came out yelling my name!!  I was thrilled that someone knew me so I stopped.  She showed me where to park and I joined the fun.  I had no idea what to take camping, but I learned real quick!! 
The next year on Memorial day weekend was another campout so I had bought a pup tent and took that.  It was pouring most of the time but we huddled under some tarps that were strung up around the campground.  I took note of what was needed for the next campout!!
The next year I bought a two room cabin tent and set up a nice camp with coffee cans for a toilet.  Again it was pouring rain!! 
The next year I had bought a used pop up tent trailer!!  Perfect!!  I got to the campground all alone.  Only one other camper in the entire area, and he was an old man three spaces away.  I made camp and tried to build a fire with no luck at all, so I got my flashlight and headed to bed to read.  The next morning the old man came by and told me I was sleeping on my head all night.  I didn’t know what he meant, so he went and got three hydraulic jacks and leveled my trailer for me.  He invited me to his camp and he had a great fire going in a nice fire pit!!  He told me to look for an old abandoned washing machine and pull out the inner basket.  They make great fire pits!!  They are ceramic and have tiny holes all around it and a post in the center for air to circulate.  PERFECT!!  My neighbor works at the recycle center at the Disposal place and got me one for free!!
I go camping every year now and everyone looks for my campsite because they know I have enough food to feed an army and anything that is needed for camping!!  I go the Monday before Memorial Day and camp alone for two days and friends start coming in slowly Wed-Fri.  By the weekend the entire campground is packed!!  Camping is a great way to show people there is life after drinking!!  You can have a lot of fun without the bottle!!
Ok, back to 1994.
Kevin called and asked if I wanted to vacation with him again in Early May.  I said I could take a week off and do it.  He came down and we went to Seattle and toured the Market there.  We had dinner at the local café and he ordered a beer.  He drank it then we ate and went on home.  He asked if it bothered me that he drank a beer and I told him no, but don’t try to kiss me because I refuse to touch lips that have alcohol taste on them!!  The next day we took the Ferry from Anacortes up to Sidney on Vancouver Island.  We toured the Butchart Gardens which were absolutely beautiful.  We then went over to Victoria and spent a night in the city and shopped the old town there.  We then drove up towards Campbell River but camped in a spot halfway there.  It was hilarious!!  It advertised camping, and it was dark when we set up camp.  The next morning I woke up to the loudest rooster in the world right outside my tent!!  I about landed on the moon!!  When we got out of the tent we noticed we were camping in someone’s back yard!!!  I guess they let people set up camp there in the summer.  We made it to Campbell River and visited with friends of his.  They took us to their local bar and thought I was weird because I drank a coke.  I explained why I didn’t drink and they were amazed that I could sit there and watch them drink.  They had no clue!
The next day we traveled to Uclulet and set up camp then drove to Tofino and went through the whale museum.  Both towns are on the West Coast of Vancouver Island and have whaling expeditions.  They were out of season when we were there.  I noticed Kevin acted kinda grouchy, and I brushed it off.  The next day we drove through the Cathedral Forest with beautiful old growth Cedar trees!!
We were driving down the highway and the traffic was horrendous!  I was moving into the left lane and Kevin started yelling at me to look out!!  I slammed on my brakes and he started yelling at me asking me what I was doing, and I said I was trying to get into the left lane to take us to the ferry.  He looked sheepishly and said “oh”.  We had a horrid fight!!  He asked what the big deal was, and I told him I was married for 13 years to a grouch and I refuse to spend a vacation with one!!  I guess the Honeymoon was over!!
We got home and the next day he was gone when I woke up. 
He left an apology note to me and a roll of Canadian money that added up to a hundred dollars!  He said it was a souvenir for me.  I called him the next day to cuss him out for leaving without saying anything and about leaving me the money!  He said he would be insulted if I sent it back to him. I still have that money!
I went camping at Mount Baker the next week and enjoyed myself!!

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