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Tuesday, September 13, 2011


My parents were into outdoor stuff. They loved to fish, camp and spend time in nature.  I really wasn't a fan of such things and when I got into my teen years, I started skipping out on the weekend trips by offering to stay at home and clean.  Yes, I would rather clean house than camp and fish...I know, some people would say I'm crazy but that is how it was.

One time before I figured out the scenario for 'opting out' we had our travel trailer parked in a heavily-wooded canyon somewhere in Utah with all of us fishing for Rainbow Trout.  Mom, my brothers, and I headed back to the trailer to make and eat some lunch while Dad was still engrossed in catching fish.  As we approached, we noticed the door of the trailer had been damaged; the screen was slashed and gaping open.  All our chatter was instantly silenced as we solemnly stepped closer to inspect the door.

The rip in the screen was about 10 inches long and was in the middle just left of the door handle.  Both brothers and I stepped behind Mom as she slowly pulled the door open.  As we peered around her into the trailer, sudden chaos assaulted our senses.  The air was rent with a hissing and screeching and then a fuzzy ball of fury scampered up the curtains and sailed over our heads and out the open door.  We were horrified as we surveyed our home-away-from-home which had been desecrated by a squirrel.  That rodent had managed to open the cupboards, rip open bags, chew through boxes and throw stuff everywhere.  The most memorable sight to me (the sweet tooth of the family) was the bag of marshmallows strewn over every surface in the entire trailer.  Each individual marshmallow had a large gooey bite taken out of it; not one was left unchewed. There would be 'No Smores' for us that night!

Perhaps that was the turning point for me when I decided it would be better to stay home and clean the messes I knew than to venture into the woods and clean up critter messes I couldn't yet imagine.

Its funny how a memory can return to you after lying dormant for years and years, then suddenly there it is, bright and full of color and sound like the event had just happened.


Tina said...

ha, ha, ha! What a great story.

I live with those "rats with furry tails" and sometimes they drive me nuts. They actually chew holes in industrial strength garbage cans and have a hey day going through and ripping up the garbage. It wouldn't be uncommon to see a squirrel running up a tree with a banana peel or some other goodie in his mouth from the garbage. They also pick the blooms off of my flowers and ewwwwww that doesn't make me happy!!!

I'm sorry that experience may have stopped your camping trips . . . . darn!

Dani Marie said...

I've been enjoying reading all the stories that you used to tell me when I was little. But I haven't heard this one before! It was funny, I especially liked the part when the squirrel decided to sample a bit of each marshmallow. I would have cried had it been me.