I pulled my Jets hoodie out of the closet the other day with absolute vigor, way to excited to wear it. As Nick bemoaned the chill in the air and begrudgingly put on jeans, I was reorganizing my closet so that sweaters and boots were more accessible. I am a sucker for fall weather. It has always been my favorite season. Not too much sun, not too much cold- the days are shortening, forcing you to value the sunlight just that much more. And then there is Harvest. Anything remotely harvest themed is okay by me. I love the smell in the air, I love how much better it is to sit around a fire with a slight nip in the air. I love foods that are associated with fall – just an fyi, I make the BEST Apple pie you will ever eat. I love “U Pick” farms and hot apple cider. One of the best things about fall for my group of friends is that we go camping in October.
Now if you think camping sucks – you’re wrong- or you must not be doing it right. I bring up camping because last night was our “Camping Meeting” at Ralphie and Alice’s house. Alice usually organizes and delegates with these types of events because she is insane and makes Hitler look scatterbrained – – and you know how Prussian organization is. This year there are a few new faces on the Camping list, some people Alice met through the kids’ school. They seem cool enough and so long as they like to drink, sing, burn stuff and eat (all outdoors) then they are alright by me. We lost a few people from our camping roster this year anyway, so we can afford to add a family of 6 with far less drama and nonsense than the 4 we lost. Alice sent out a text about a week ago inquiring as to everybody’s availability in order to have this meeting. Somehow it came down to convenience for me since I woke hellish hours. Since their house is across the street from the train station I should have made it there on time, but got caught talking to some chatty Cathy’s during my 37 second walk and I ended up being five minutes late.
That five minutes seemed to make a huge difference, since when I walked in the house was already in full uproar, with 8 adults talking at once and 6 kids running around screaming. I was pretty sure I had taken a wrong turn and ended up in the Twilight Zone, but I wasn’t that lucky. Alice had already planned out pretty much every single detail of the trip and was trying to get everyone to amicably discuss food options for the weekend. For some reason that is where we always end up bickering – who will provide what, how much will it cost, does everybody eat that, how should we reheat it… On and on and on. Of course it didn’t help that Alice had a list 6 pages long of different ideas and necessities. I should specify here that our version of camping in at a site, with bathrooms and electricity (though minimal it is still there). We don’t actually rough it, Ever. We usually pre-plan our meals and then reheat them on camping stoves and electric griddles. Breakfast is your basic – eggs, bacon, pancakes, and lunch is generally sandwiches of some sort. Personally I’m partial to grilled cheese while I’m camping, especially if I get to cook it over the fire after drinking too much. Dinner is always where they uncertainty is. D always brings the stew that his mom makes – its a camping tradition. That is literally the only thing we can ever agree on. This is what last night sounded like:
Alice: Well I was thinking we could make a tray of mac and cheese, since there are more kids than usual.
Muffin: Adults like mac and cheese, too.
Me: I’ll make whatever you want.
D: Jill makes bangin’ mac and cheese. And chili – yo, you should make chili.
Me: Easy enough. Stew on Friday, chili and mac and cheese on Saturday.
Alice: I don’t like chili. Neither does Ralphie.
Me: So what do you want?
Alice: I’m not sure.
Me: How about Ribs, They’re super easy when we’re camping.
Alice: Nah I don’t think so.
Muffin: Did you guys put ham on the cold cut list – I love Ham. Fry it up with some eggs.
D: Of course – everyone likes ham. I’ll get a shitload of ham.
J. F. – I like ham on my grilled cheese
Me: I hate ham, please get Turkey as well.
Alice: What if we made like a tray of chicken parm and then reheat it.
Muffin: No way, sounds like diarrhea waiting to happen.
Alice: Fine, I don’t know. Make whatever you want, we’ll figure it out I guess.
*another hour of conversation continued like this touching upon every other detail of camping when finally
Alice: What about ribs – can you make sweet and sour ribs????
Seriously, though – I love my friends. And I love Fall camping. Cannot wait. I made Nick set up the tent last night for no reason. Can’t wait!!!