20 September 2015

Musing on Domesticity

It really does not matter very much what should be the highest priority, when any group of campers gets to a campsite, you can be fairly sure that the first thing they will turn to is setting up the tents and sleeping gear. The exception is a military unit in a hostile countryside mode. For the soldiers, establishing the perimeter, and setting guards comes first. When horses moved fighters, second was the rub down and feeding of those partners in war.

But today, when campers are likely to be Scout units or tourists, tents and sleeping gear are just naturally the first things. We humans may not be birds, but we like our nests. Kitchen gear, fires, grills, and the like are often second.

This is true, even when the logical choices might be different. Arrive at a campsite near dusk, and a search for fuel, or bear-resistant food storage locations might make more sense, (Nothing is bear-proof.) Canoe or raft to a site, and securing the boats might be more important. But up come the tents.

This afternoon there were probably six things more urgent than hanging lace curtains over the door to our parking area. Except, I finally had assembled the needed tools (trivial unless you had to get them from boxes packed in indecent haste as the foreclosure date drew near) and I knew where the drapes and rods were. So, finally, months after the move, we have some privacy. Our new neighbors are not snoops, we have been behind in some of our domestic chores.

I feel a perhaps undeserved sense of achievement. I know my sons think we should be farther along in our nesting activities. We still have dozens of boxes, some to be unloaded into furniture standing empty awaiting our glass and china, others probably headed to either Goodwill Industries or a dumpster. No one would accuse of us of being settled.

But the basics are largely done. I can more or less cook, even if we cannot afford much in the way of groceries. I recently located my hiking boots, important when the snow comes. We negotiated an improved parking space, no small thing with my spinal issues and Sue's ankles facing a Chicago Winter. I think I actually know where a good deal of that glass and china is going.

So, for someone pushing 70 with a bad back, a damaged heart, and a family of critics, I am think Sue and I can feel something like well done this evening. Now all I have to do is figure out dinner!

Update: Dinner was late, but actually rather good too.

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