The Lee Side: Spousal voyage takes the cake

One of my greatest pleasures in life has been camping. My dad taught me how to camp at a very early age and during my Boy Scout years, Dad refined my camping abilities with skills I still use today.

Posted on 8/24/13

By Lee Coleman

I go camping to reconnect with nature and with myself. There is something very special about sitting on the bank of a lake fishing in the middle of the night as my internal batteries recharge.

No phones. no deadlines, no emails, no nothing. Only the lull of the ether produced by the bullfrogs talking the night away.

Up until a few years ago, I would go camping by myself or with a buddy because my dear wife LeAnn had absolutely no desire to go so she would humor me and ‘let me go’.

[Note to self-Yeah right.]

After years of trying to convince her of the merits of sleeping on the ground and eating food cooked on a roaring fire, she finally caved in and agreed to take the plunge with me.

I had no idea what I was in store for.

I had a special place deep in the woods on a beautiful lake because a bait and country store was within hollering distance.

As we drove to the lake and got deeper into the natural surroundings, LeAnn had a look on her face as if Ned Beatty was going to escape ‘Deliverance’ and come dashing out of the forest at any second.

We got to our campsite and got unloaded and I noticed LeAnn was looking around with an inquisitive peer on her face.

Being a good husband, I asked her if she was alright. She wanted to know where the restroom facilities were.

Unable to control my laughter, I handed her a 10-gallon bucket and a trash bag and pointed her to a row of bushes and trees where I had dug the latrine.

Her expression was priceless and the ensuing rant was a classic. I laughed some more.

As the evening drew near, we feasted on my famous barbecued ribeyes and baked potatoes cooked in the coals of our campfire.

She thoroughly enjoyed her first meal in the wild and as her good mood continued and it got darker, I jumped at the chance to tell her about the great experience she was about to have fishing with me.

Didn’t work. She just knew a 50-foot alligator was going to crawl out of the water at any time and eat her whole. I laughed some more.

She called it a night and went to the tent to read a magazine or some such thing. I decided it was absolutely against camping law to let her miss out on all the fun.

So, about 2 a.m., I caught a huge catfish that had half my bait hanging out of his wide mouth.

Meandering to the tent, I held the catfish close to LeAnn’s face and woke her up to show off my catch.

As the screaming got louder, I laughed harder. Wrong thing to do.

I made a dash for the tent door and I felt a tennis shoe go buzzing by my head. Unforgettable.

She demanded the bucket and a trash bag but forgot the flashlight. Amazing.

Spending time with my wife doing what I love to do, priceless.

Pass the barbecue sauce please.

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