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Perfect Moment Monday: Dross into gold

I should have been suspicious when the tent showed up on our front porch in May, shipped from Costco. Weeks later, the UPS guy dropped off several sleeping mats, also from Costco. What was this? Could it be that my husband was conniving to take our family on a camping trip?

Why would he do this to me, take me out of my natural habitat (indoors) and plop me into the wilds? Why would he do this to our kids, tear them away from their screens and electrical power? Why would he do this to himself — deal with all the whining and gnashing of teeth that was sure to ensue?

Not to mention the children’s.

Mid-month we rectified our family’s Nature Deficit Disorder and I got outside my comfort zone. We spent the weekend at a campground near Estes Park, CO. Was the weekend amazing, reminiscent of a Brady Bunch episode, a string of pearly perfect moments?


The weekend was fraught with tension, arguments, frustration, and even a little blood. We had delay after delay getting started on Friday afternoon and therefore got to the campground long after dusk, hungry and cranky. Finding our designated spot and setting up by moonlight was a challenge. Putting together a tent for the first time by flashlight was a challenge. And finding kindling in the dark was a challenge.  To cap things off, our mats didn’t fully inflate on first use, meaning we essentially slept on the cold hard ground on a night the temperature got down to 48 degrees.

The next day there were fatigue-induced spats about, well everything. But there was also swimming, eating ice cream in town, and each kid choosing a trip memento.

Said memento brought Reed much joy but was eventually the cause of the bloodletting. He’d chosen a small pocket knife and Roger showed him how to whittle, which he did happily much of the afternoon. Until his attention wandered for a moment and he sliced his thumb (turned out to be only a few layers deep). Big commotion.

It was exhausting. I wasn’t feeling very perfect moment-y for much of the weekend.

Yet there were some idyllic components.

Our site was delightful. (And not just because my husband got up early to build a fire, cook breakfast, and have coffee waiting.)

camping in Colorado

We had friendly neighbors.

deer at campground

Bambi and her kin frolicked all day right in front of us, replacing the Saturday cartoons and sports shows as our entertainment.

Tessa demonstrated her flair for fashion, even while roughing it. Not much chance of blending in had it become necessary to camouflage ourselves.

fahncy pahnts for cahmping

At 8000 feet, our view of the day sky was a clarified hue of blue.

mountain sky

Later that evening after we’d cooked and cleaned up and assembled s’mores, I realized we had been building our family narrative story by story. We sat in our camp chairs with faces aglow, bonded by shared anecdotes that we’ll tell through the ages, maybe to people who don’t even exist yet.

colorado camp fire

That expansive thought, which entered my mind as I saw the light flickering on my loved ones’ faces, ignited my perfect moment, turning all that other dross into gold.


A happy moment, Lori, will seed ten thousand more.Notes from the Universe.

This was a message in my emailbox awhile back. And it explains why it’s in my interest (and yours) to notice perfect moments.


Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

On the last Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  • Follow
  • Write up your own Perfect Moment and post it on your blog (or other site).
  • Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or blog name), the URL of your Perfect Moment post, and a thumbnail image if desired.
  • Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with a comment.

With your Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog (in the post, on the sidebar, or both).What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of?

24 Responses

  1. Omg. You have inspired me to dispose of some disposable income by way of Bass Pro Shops. I love camping, and it sounds like y’all had a great time overall!

  2. Mmmm, I love this: that ability to find those tiny happy sparks even amid all the chaos. I am not one for camping anymore (though until my mid-twenties, I loved camping), so I live vicariously through your adventures 🙂

  3. Good for you guys! My husband HATES camping for many of the reasons you have described…which is why I am the one dragging them into nature for a “dreaded” camping trip. Glad you found your inner campers!

  4. I always enjoy reading about your Perfect Moments. They happen all of the time, but it’s even better when I stop and notice them. Thank you for sharing yours!

  5. Loved this post! I was laughing out lout at the beginning with the way you told the story of how you found out you would be going camping this summer and what that evoked in you! 🙂 I also was struck by some of the similarities in our Perfect Moment Monday posts this month, as mine also dealt with finding special moments in the midst of chaos, though mine was on this first day of school here in Chicago versus camping.

    I LOVE camping and haven’t been in way too long. My husband and son got to go on a week long cub scout tent camping trip this summer and I was jealous. It was the first time Bob had been camping and he shared a lot of the feeling you expressed early on here, as we shopped for all the supplies they would need. I look forward to all four of us going camping together sometime soon, now that we have most of the stuff to do so. Thank you for sharing your experience, including the not-so-perfect moments that remind us all we are human and as you say, they do make for great stories to share with each other and future generations later on!

  6. I love that the firelight on your family’s faces replaced a cut thumb, arguments, cold-ground sleeping and overall annoyance with wonder and gold. Love. Also, Estes Park is magical. We rented a house there for Tucker’s first birthday and brought all of our family up. It was one of the best trips, ever.

  7. We’ve gone camping twice this year (after NOT camping for 5 years when there wasn’t any children’s gear to schlep). Yes, yes, and yes! It’s frustrating, something always goes wrong, and crankiness ensues. But, the S’Mores are worth it.

  8. I love this. all of it. except reed’s boo-boo. but especially tessa’s loungewear.

    M and I used to camp a lot back in our 20s and early 30s. but we haven’t been in 8 years. until that weekend. we were so looking fwd to bringing our girls and instilling that love of nature in them, but worried it wouldn’t go so smoothly. and it didn’t. the baby wouldn’t go to sleep for 2 hrs the first night and the 4yo wanted to hang out with her new 7yo neighbor friend and cried when she wasn’t around. and it’s SO much work getting it all together. and yet. it is SO worth it for that time around the fire, listening to the crickets as you fall asleep, waking up and seeing the tree tops, inhaling that fresh air. and of course when someone cooks for you!

    I’m so glad you found your perfect moments underneath all the dirt and cold. camping twins! xoxox

  9. I love to hike but not to camp so we stay in hotels at the end of the day 🙂 That really sounds lovely though, once you got settled in. By the way, I *think* we’re moving to Denver early next year. The idea that we could drive to nature like THAT makes me so excited!!

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