Glamping: glamourous camping; combining the splendor of the great outdoors with the comfort of a top-tier hotel.
I suffer from a disease called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I’ve had this for as long as I’ve known. The symptoms are depression brought on by a lack of exposure to natural sunlight. This is blamed on the circadian rhythm or so-called biological internal clocks. Other symptoms may include a craving for sugary foods such as sweets, candies, and refined carbohydrates. The answer to this is remarkably simple. In order to reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the only treatment necessary is of course to get more natural sunlight on your skin. Herein, lies my problem. It’s been constant rain here for three days without a hint of sunlight. I find myself looking forward to going back to work instead of pining for off days. Of course, a lot of that has to do with the fact that I love my job. But then at five this afternoon, the deluged stopped. And in moments there was a glint of sun starting to peer through the lengthy maples. I must get out. I’ve even had enough of the History Channel’s American Pickers. I needed the daily 90 minute trek to get the blood flowing, the synapses firing, and to fight this nemesis SAD. This would enable thoughts to run rampant, entertaining me along the way. It always does. Motion creates emotion. And as I walked I wondered how and why I got to this point….that of fulltiming. It all began in 1962. I was ten with a brother two years my junior. My mother was pregnant with my sister. Dad was away for eight weeks taking summer courses in pursuit of an administrative degree. His goal was to become a more lucrative provider for his young family. Every Saturday we went shopping to the city of Uniontown. I cherished these trips as I knew a stop at Franks Auto was in store. At that time, they possessed the best fishing equipment a young lad could dream about. I had a penchant for stuff which still remains intact today. But one such weekend in July we went to the Sears and Roebuck store. This had to be the largest retailer I’ve seen in my young life. I still remember the oiled wooden floors and going to the basement for the really big appliances. I was euphoric as thoughts of a colored television ran through my head. But the parents had other ideas. Mom wanted to can and freeze food in order to save some money. What an odd thought. Not to save money but to go through all that work just to freeze garden vegetables. Nevertheless, they purchased the largest chest freezer available and without any damage, I was bequeathed the giant cardboard box it came in. It would prove to be my first foray into sleeping outside the home. We even cut skylights in it’s roof to watch the passing stars. I was hooked by the pallete of stars in the night sky.-By the time my teens rolled around this would give way to the cumbersome canvas Baker tent introduced to me by the Boy Scouts of America. The love of ‘camping’ continued and was forced on my wife-to-be. Robin’s love for me proved far greater than her desire to sleep on the gound. She eventually agreed to external-framed backpacks, nylon two-man tents, and weekends of miles put on hiking boots until finally common sense gave way to blisters. The camping would continue until the children came along and we purchased our first used pop-up trailer. The years in the pop-up would provide memories that are discussed even today. As the years passed and our financial futures became brighter we graduated to new pop-ups, travel trailers, Class C’s, and five Class A’s, three of which were deisel pushers. And with each new RV, more and more amenities came along. But regardless of the frills there were always campfires, S’mores, gallons of Kool Aid and a bevvy of children running around. Time has a way of changing everything. The children are now adults and have their own lives. Convection ovens and hydraulic jacks have taken over Coleman propane stoves and wooden planks. The Kool Aid and S’mores exchanged for wine and yogurt and fruit. But the campfires remain constant and nothing deters that but Mother Nature. And the myriad of children running to and fro has been altered by Baby Boomers sitting adjacent the flames sharing stories of how they too have gone from roughing it to glamping. We’re still camping, but on leather couches, satellite TV, a queen size bed, and electricity at the tough of a button. Perhaps this fulltiming is a reach back to a more innocent time, maybe its nostalgia. But for me, its the independence, the ability to move at a moment’s notice, and a constant need to be entertained with eye candy. However, we do it now while pampering our asses. Thank goodness for the sun.