As I sit in a nice house, with baseboard heating, I remember the smell of the school when they first started the heating. A kind of musty smell and the lunchroom was warming up the beef stew (NO!! I don’t want to know what was in it!). It made the official start of fall. It lead me to another story. I know my readers really miss ,my stories. Both of you thanks! Anyway back at the smell fest.
Our family liked going camping. At first in a fold down tent trailer. Dad would drive for hours to get to the camping site. Then as kids and Mom set in the car, Dad would set it up. Which meant that he would fold out the “tent” part of the trailer. Mom always complained that we needed to get something bigger. Dad would agree but it just never seemed the right time. UNTIL!!! Yep the is where the story kicks in.
Dad hadn’t felt well all day but he kept going. Carrying boxes to the car and the part of the tent trailer he could reach. As children our most important job was to carry boxes to their destination. On this trip it just seemed that nothing was going right. The amount of boxes packed and the amount of boxes in the car and the trailer, well, they just didn’t seem to match.
No body noticed until Dad pulled in the camping spot. Mom felt Dad’s head and said he really did feel warm. This time Mom AND Dad tried to get the tent part up. When they finally did manage to at least get it up enough to get us from the car and in to the partially set up tent trailer. I remember thinking that I would never forget that smell. The damp canvas, the hiss and lighting of the kerosene lantern. Dad would have to push a gauge on the side to get the gas up to the little sock looking things. We had left one of the boxes (NO, it couldn’t have been me!!) that contained the long matchsticks for lighting the lantern and any camp fire we hoped to have. Remember those ZIPPO lighters? Yep, you had to hold down the liter wheel. Dad finally gave up and went to find a small stick or piece of kindling that he could lit the lantern. Did I happen to mention that it was raining cats and dogs out? Well from where I was sitting it looked more like raining bears (OOOPS another camping story) and Bobcats out! Trying to see if it looked like it would let up any time soon. It was dark and we only had half of the tent up the lantern was lit but the stove that was suppose to heat the area was minus a small kerosene tank, AGAIN!! NOT my fault!! It was suppose to light the burners and the rest of the camper was of no use with out the tank. Dad was coughing and being ill to the point he couldn’t even sit up to drive us anywhere.
At this point Mom started cussing a blue streak!! Mom never swore specially in front of us kids!! Dad thought if he could just get a little sleep he would feel much better he could drive us home.
OK, now is the time to put in here once again it was RAINING! Dad hadn’t been able to get the tent trailer unhooked from the station-wagon. Take the good anytime you can and at this point the good was that the trailer was hooked up and Mom decided that she could drive us somewhere safer. She told Dad to get in the seat and hold on. She just flipped the tent part over the top and drove. The tent trailer was suppose to be locked down in several places. Mom was so scared she did’t care. We watched out the rear window of the station wagon to see if it fell off. It didn’t.
Funny how smells can bring back memories. I remember Mom driving us home, what safer place was there? Dad actually went to see a doctor! He never went to the doctor!! He had a temp of 103 degrees.
AND YES the discussion was made. The next year we had a Road Runner trailer. No tent, no shifting of boxes and no forgetting anything! With the new trailer we had a enough space to …. never mind that is for yet another story.