This ain’t no Manwich night (or camping, part 3).

All of that cold water made the remaining troops pretty hungry. Well, starving actually. As Hank built the fire and stoked it, letting it burn down enough to cook over, I tucked Ewan into his comfy blanket in the tent. And after successfully dismounting from the tent (and gracefully, might I add, which is a first for me), I searched high and low for Holden, finally finding him here.

And who could blame him for curling up in the hammock when he had a view like that one on the right? We really do live like kings.

We used to bring cans of beans and PowerBars on these camping trips, hoping that those things would both stave off hunger pains and keep the wild animals away. But now? Now we eat like this. (And oh, yes. Forgot to pack a spatula, so Hank carved one up out of some spare wood he found lying around. Such an Eagle Scout, that one.)

But Holden? He wasn’t into the steak thing so much. He needed something quick and more kids-on-a-camping-trip-like.

He ate a hot dog.

And while that might seem perfectly normal to most folks, it is most certainly not. Holden had never eaten a hot dog before. Oh, I had tried. I had baited him and bribed him at various cookouts and many baseball games. I could not believe my eyes. But to be honest, I didn’t actually see him eat it, so he and Hank might still be pulling my leg.

However, this factoid did not matter one can of beans to me, because I was busy making sure we had all the stuff we needed in order to make s’mores. And as I fished through bags and coolers and looked in boxes, I looked up for a moment and nearly lost my breath.


All of the hot-dog-cooking-smoke sure did make a pretty sight. And then it was gone, quick as a few blinks of your eye, and all we were left with were clothes that smelled like camp fire and our jaws dropped to the ground. It was as though God was speaking to us through those rays of sunshine. Awesomely cool.

And what did we do after our bellies were full and the smoke had died down? Tickled our kid until he hollered out the magic words: “Please!” and “I love you!”

The next installment might have something to do with milk chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers. Mmmmm.