The Horsemen of the Camping Apocalypse

Everyone has been asking how cabin life is. They are romantically assuming that we are living la vida little house on the prairie, rolling down hills in flower dresses, and giggling like school girls, tripping over daisies. It’s all true.  

For those of you just joining this broadcast, we are temporarily lodging at a cabin, in between moves. Mason is moving from Ft Riley to Ft Bragg. I came out to “help”, but instead of a hotel (like “normal people”) we are in a cabin.

Why are we in a cabin? Mason sold his house, we have to live somewhere until we can leave here at the end of May. Why the end of May? So we can stay in a cabin of course! The Army wants us to enjoy this time as a family, together, all cozy in a small, warm place, it has nothing to do with schedules, affordability, or availability. Back to my story: There are NO available hotel rooms for a thirty-mile radius. It’s graduation season. As one hotel manager so nicely put it, “We are a college friendly town, NOT an Army friendly town. We’d be happy to RAISE the price $100 a night.”  OH well, crap, I should have lied and told her were Air Force. 

Mason finally suggested that we might want to consider camping. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! It’s windy here! NO. We called the lodge to see if we could a) get a cabin and b) not get charged an arm and a leg. They were kind enough to move around some other guests AND give us a break on the price since we’d need the place for three weeks while we waited for Mason to sign out of his unit. I love these people, and now want to give them cookies, every day, for the rest of their lives.

Let’s get back to the romantic and rustic cabin in the woods our happy little family is cohabiting. It is surrounded by woodland creatures daily, most of them singing to wake us. It smells like a scent straight out of Bath and Body Works Twilight Woods series, and it’s just so cozy. The kids sing Kumbaya every night as we toast marshmallows, holding hands, and stargazing too. 

The End! 

What a beautiful story!

We are living in a horror movie people.

It already smells like four adult truck drivers live here. It’s covered in the stuff we have accumulated and/or the stuff we need to exist in a cabin for three weeks; (like Gwen’s 45 Monster High dolls, why wouldn’t we have those for a temporary move), a bag of dirty mismatched socks (that’s a necessity), $60 bougie tanning cream left over from that fiasco at the tanning place last month, a Longaberger basket (don’t ask if you don’t know, and if you DO know stop laughing), all of Mason’s military gear, and other stuff, lots, and lots of other stuff. Lots of it. One thing we ARE missing? The key to this cabin. That’s gone forever since the day they gave it us. 

The other night, Mason wanted to sleep with the window open so he wouldn’t melt into the sheets.  I woke up at three am to a squeaking noise that is best described as someone rocking back and forth in a rocking chair on our porch. We don’t have a rocking chair. Terrified, I woke Mason to make him close the window and the blinds so I didn’t have to see what was on the porch beckoning us “to the other side”. He laughed, closed the window, and decided to use the bathroom. Oh yeah? Well I’ve seen this horror movie before so I was going with him! I wasn’t going to get killed while he was peeing! So we went into the bathroom to see a half dead coach roach on the floor, beckoning us “to the other side”. Looks like the porch ghost go to it first. Mason flushed it and was about to leave. I was lamenting flushing that damn thing because guess what? I also saw THAT horror movie and would now rather pee in the tub. Mason went on to explain the mechanics of a toilet complete with burials at sea but all I heard was, “Bla bla bla, it’s going to bite your butt!” We all survived the night, thanks to my horror movie smarts, but it was close. I could feel it.

In all honesty, the scariest thing is that Gwenghis Khan has invaded and taken over the main floor. Eli played it smart by claiming the loft. It sleeps two, in twin beds, and is half the size of the cabin. A teenage boy needs his space. He skillfully told Gwen he hoped he wasn’t a sleepwalker and fell to his death in the middle of the night. She’s been sleeping on the couch with the dog since day one, wondering if SHE is a sleepwalker. We haven’t seen much of Eli since he’s been enjoying the penthouse suite. Gwen has been dancing and singing, loudly, to everything Disney Channel, while she has managed to take over the entire floor like Sanford and Sons. I wake up whistling, “Ber Ner Ner Ner”, just like in the show. I can’t clean enough, or make her clean enough to make any of it seem to go away. This stuff reappears and multiplies over night like gremlin garbage. Like I said, horror story.

There is no place to hide in here. There is a “master bedroom” with a “door” on it that we can “close” but the kids figured out how “knock” and “open it” and “ask questions” or make “declarations of boredom”. They always want food, or clean clothes, or entertainment. They are SO needy!


The bathroom? Terrifying. When you get out of the shower, the towels! They only PUSH water around on you. They don’t dry you off at all! I’m constantly checking for cockroaches now (I have a rotating loop of Reba’s “Fancy” stuck in my head; horrific in and of itself). It’s also a fun game to see who Absolutely. Has. To. Poop. While you brush your teeth. There’s just no telling. 

We have been cooking on charcoal for over a week. Going into this cabin adventure I was so excited to “make foil packets”, and be all “outdoorsy” just like all those pretty Pinterest pictures suggest, despite the fact that I hate charcoal. Yes, I hate cooking with charcoal. It’s a pain in the ass. I am lazy, and I love lighting a GASP gas grill, setting a temp, and walking the fuck away to come back and have it at the SAME TEMPERATURE (ish). Anyone who is going to put in the comments section, “There is no better way to cook!” I am telling you now, I do not care, and I already know who you are too! SHHH! Don’t waste your time, You’ve already lambasted me in my head. As Mason says, “I am not the person who will adjust the temp of a charcoal fire, piece by piece, with joy in their heart.” Nope. Not me. I want to slap a foil packet of garlic and cilantro shrimp down, knowing that in 10-15 minutes that shit will be done! Not an hour later because guess what? The charcoal needs an adjustment but I can’t adjust it because the smoke got in my eyes, and now I’m in tears, swatting at bugs, with a burn on my hand, chasing the dog who got out and is barking down the road at unsuspecting campers, with the shrimp now somehow on the ground, Gwen asking me if I’ve seen the marshmallows, and can she have ANOTHER strawberry shortcake, and no she can’t because if she has ONE more I’m pretty sure she will develop diabetes, and figure out the secret of whip its, the dog is gone forever at this point and there might be dead campers at the end of the road now because they have stopped screaming, there is a bee in my hair, a tree is on fire, is that one of the horsemen of the apocalypse I see through the soot and tears? Shit.





4 thoughts on “The Horsemen of the Camping Apocalypse

  1. stacyepratt

    This is the funniest thing you have written yet, and you can be hilarious! I didn’t know how you could top the blog about leggings, but I’m still laughing about this one on top of laughing because I reminded myself of the leggings blog just now. We stayed in a cabin for two weeks when we first got to Fort Drum because Fort Drum’s temporary housing for people with dogs looks like a horror movie insane asylum, and we couldn’t bear it after three days. Our cabin was nice, though. BUT it had a stove…and was really close to a pizza place. I admire your fortitude with the grill. I don’t grill. I don’t even gas grill. I order pizza. You are a saint, but I hope your ordeal is over soon!

    1. betrent Post author

      I am so honored to have my favorite writer pay me such a compliment! YAY ME! And yes, I hope it’s over soon too because we really need two bathrooms again haha!


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