Sunday, March 6, 2011

Saga Ten

Jake and Sally are experienced campers and they have sold us their 1987 Jayco popup camper for only $50 with the hopes that both couples can camp together. I have arranged, in the last month, for the popup to get new tires and have attempted to repair the canvas. On order from Jayco are clamps to keep the roof down while traveling.

The two couples plan a camping trip to a nearby campground for Friday through Sunday, March 4th-6th, to test out the used popup. All week long Sally and I wonder how the camping trip will go.  I wonder if this will be the time that DH will wander away and someone will notice his ID bracelet and contact me.

Sewing Didn't Work and So a Duck Tape Try
Tuesday before camping.  It rains while the raised popup is up in our backyard. There are still leaks that I took note of. Then while using a hair dryer to soak up some rain in the popup, the electricity goes out. Jake fixed this before and so I would ask him again to do this on the camp out. I buy extra fuses. I do what I can to patch. Still I don't know if this trip will happen.

Thursday. Tension.  DH wakes up and wants to know if Jayco has installed the clamps. "We aren't going if you don't have those clamps. You are trying to pull something over on me," he says.  Meanwhile the same day Jake does not pass his Alzheimer's DriveABLE test although he is scheduled to pull their camping trailer that next morning. (This is the yearly test that my husband passed in October and will need to take again in the fall.)  Will this trip actually happen? The park has no reservations and so we have to get there at 8 am the next morning to be sure we get sites. Thursday night we assume that DH will drive for Sally and Jake and I will pull our popup. Jake doesn't trust Sally's driving. He sputters about not being able to drive.

Friday--first camping day.  DH does not want to drive our popup to Sally and Jake's home and leave it in the street because he can't move it into their yard. We decide that we will go to Sally and Jake's home without our popup.  Sally comes with me back to our home in our car.  DH and Jake follow with DH driving. Jake is livid about not driving, but helps DH hook up our popup to our car. Reluctantly Jake agrees to let Sally drive their car and pull the trailer, saying that some official is crazy for not letting him drive. Both men are in the passenger seat now and on the way to the campground  Jake tells Sally it looks like the women drive now. My husband meanwhile sympathizes with Jake and the men are able to discuss those driving tests later. (DH could have pulled our popup legally, but we wanted to support Sally driving by my driving.) 

What else will upset our husbands? We have our husbands back up the campers to the site and it looks like we might actually have an enjoyable three days. It becomes just that and also a time for the men to tell each other the same stories over and over because neither one remembers the stories of the other. Sally and I are able to observe a lot about our husbands and also share a lot with each other on our private walks. Jake is able to forget his not driving and enjoy himself, althought DH is able to share his feeling about driving with us all. He says he enjoys being driven around now. I am not sure yet if Jake has adjusted to his own not driving.

Saturday we go into town to a craft fair at a church that Jake built when he was a contractor and I take a picture of  him by the sign of that church. Jake cooks hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill and makes a fire for us all in the evenings. On this short trip I drive our Expedition--no husbands demanding to drive.

Sally and I basically share the cooking. For the first meal, a lunch, I make toasted cheese sandwiches with coconut oil on the outside of the bread. I also have a simple "Mediterrannean" salad of lettuce, Craisins, walnuts and feta cheese served with light ranch dressing. I loaned Sally The Coconut Oil Miracle and was pleased that Jake liked the toasted coconut oil cheese sandwiches.

While camping we plan two other camping trips with them. They have reintroduced us to camping and I am so happy that my husband loves being retired and doing this now.

We make it through the first night, despite the fact that Jake couldn't repair the electicity in the popup. We do have air conditioning when we want it because that circuit is separate.

DH on the Inside and Me Pushing
on the Outside
Finally we work togeher!
Saturday DH and I repair that leak that he has noticed. We use adhesive fabric spray and canvas. He is not upset this time about the shape of the canvas. We have survived one night, despite no electricity.

Our dog has come along for his first camping trip and he proves to adapt well to this experience until it starts to rain the second night about 1:00 AM.  Buckets of water come down. I wait for drips in the popup, but it appears that we will be dry, although I won't get out of the popup to use the campground bathroom during this rain. (Ask me privately about my funny adventures with using the port-a-potty in the middle of the night and emptying that port-a-potty in the morning.)

Jake tells us that he bets we will upgrade to a better camper shortly, but Sally and I do not know now long we can enjoy camping vacations with our Alzheimer's husbands. I am just glad if this vintage popup will last until the fall, to tell you the truth, and provide "Living in the Moment" happy events. May the LORD be with us.

So they camped or traveled at the LORD's
command, and they did whatever
the LORD told them through Moses.
Numbers 9:23 The Living Translation

Postscript. Sally did drive home. Jake did not object as much as she feared. I guess that the experiences that DH had may have helped Jake, that is, if Jake can remember what DH said.


  1. So glad you had a good time! There's something about camping that tends to relax people. Glad the rain didn't get into the camper! Enjoy you future trips, as well!

  2. I thought of you all this weekend, hoping and praying the trip was all you wanted it to be.

    It sounds like it got off to a tense beginning, but I'm so glad to hear that it was fun and the rain didn't soak you.

    I must say that you and Sally are very brave and adventurous.

    Your meal looks very delicious and healthy.

    I wish you all more trips in your future.

  3. Sounds like fun. Hope you have many more camping trips in the future.

  4. Sounds like a good time. I always enjoyed camping myself, but hubby.... not so much =-). Continue to enjoy living in the moment.