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This is my Bedroom Tonight

This is my Bedroom Tonight

I shall not sleep tonight burrowed within cozy flannel sheets in our wood stove-warmed bedroom.  No.  Tonight the Great Outdoors calls like an owl hooting in the sky.  Like coyotes barking in the distance.  Like skunks or porcupines or weasels scurrying atop the snow.  The Great Outdoors summons:

“Come outside.  Carry your warm sleeping bags, if you must, into the womb of your tent protected from the damp earth by two layers of tarp.  But come.  The night sky beckons.  The stars twinkle.  The deep of winter nighttime calls forth…come outside.”

Well who can ignore the poetic calling of the Outdoors? Especially when there’s a nice fifteen foot circle of soil showing beneath the spruce tree in the garden.  It’s not even in a muddy area.  A perfect place to pitch a tent!

This afternoon Barry kindly assisted in the tent construction.  It was a borrowed tent, which meant we wrinkled our faces while reading the directions, attempting to figure out how to put Pole A into Slot B.  We think we succeeded.  We shall see, as the night unfolds.

Sleeping out in the wintertime always calls back a memory from, say, eighteen years ago.  Our kids attended a tiny elementary school here in this area.  Back then the K-6 school had 30-40 children.  The teachers determined a winter adventure.  The students built quinzhees, snow igloos, in the playground for a social studies unit.

Then one winter eve we featured a camp out.  Each quinzhee slept about three or four children, plus one adult.  If the camper decided he or she wanted to bail in the middle of the night, the adult walked the child back into the school. 

I chaperoned three fifth and sixth graders.  Or was it four?  I know I walked at least two children back to the safety of the school that night.  I also know that the temperature reached five degrees.  Or was it negative five degrees?  We survived.  It was one cold night, let me tell you. 

Those of us who made it through the night received medals to commemorate the experience.  Here is my medal.  I believe my son has one somewhere.  My daughter, a kindergartner, only five years old, opted to sleep in the school.

Quinzee Survivor Medal

Quinzhee Survivor Medal

I am thinking tonight’s camping adventure will be easy compared to that night.  It’s suppose to be in the 20’s.  Maybe even touching 30 degrees.  The full moon may be gleaming in the sky with its wise eye surveying the wintry landscape.  It may even be laughing at campers sleeping beneath its silvery orb. 

So how’s that for today’s outdoor adventure?  Will this count for two days?  Today AND tomorrow? 

Stay tuned.  I will report back tomorrow what the moon and the stars and the garden soil and the spruce tree had to say in midnight dreams.


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