Saturday, August 8, 2009

She Wants a Trailer???

“Honey, I think we should get a trailer.” When I heard these words escape from my wife’s lips, the first thought that came to mind was “I am not trailer trash”. My dream has always been to own a cabin on the lake. I want to sit on the deck and watch the fish jump, hear the loons call one another, and occasionally get caught skinny-dipping by friends that just happened to leave town a few hours earlier than expected. (“I think it’s great you came early......can you please pass me the towel?.....well, um, actually the water is quite cold, but thanks for asking.”) But a trailer? Is that really me? 
When I think of trailers I picture being stuck in a campsite with a bunch of emotionally detached parents that let their kids run loose with loaded firearms and half empty bottles of tequila. Considering I’m the proud father of several pretty darn pretty girls, the thought of spending my vacation time in a constant state of “To Serve and Protect” doesn’t sound overly appealing. The cabin thing, on the other hand, is something I can sink my teeth into. I have wonderful childhood memories of spending a week every summer at our friends cabin in the Caribou region of BC. It is an incredibly beautiful area of our province, and remains to this day relatively wild and untouched. (Bear sightings were an almost daily occurrence.) When I was a child my father did not make what I would consider a decent income. As a father of four, he would have made more on welfare as he did as a branch manager for a large Canadian financial institution. (His income was such that a reporter for the Vancouver Sun was tipped off and approached my dad wanting to do a story on him. I’m not sure if it was fear of reprisal, pride, or embarrassment that kept my dad from meeting with the reporter, but it never went to print.) So if it were not for the kindness from our friend with the cabin, I doubt I would have these deliciously fond memories. 
Another large part of the dream of the cabin is so that I can “pay it forward” as well, and offer my cabin to those who simply need some grace. So while I believe the cabin is attainable in my lifetime, it likely wouldn’t happen while my kids are still young. I am a firm believer of creating memories with and for your children. After all, once we are old and grey, all we really have is our memories, and hopefully a tooth or two. It was this fact that started me to rethink the trailer thing. If I had a trailer, I could have a cabin on any lake I chose. We could go down to the Grand Canyon, sleep on the beach on the Oregon coast, go see Yogi and Boo-Boo at Jellystone National Park, and of course camp with our friends. The reality is I simply could not see myself in the typical trailer with its’ fake mahogany wood grain and tacky orange seat cushions and, *barf*, vinyl siding. I have always done things just a little differently than everyone else; it is what makes me me. I told my beautiful little wife the only way I would consider getting a trailer is if it’s an Airstream. “Are you serious, the big silver looking thing?” And so begins the negotiation. She wants to camp with friends, I want style, comfort, and quality. (Ok, maybe a bit of flash as well.) I once heard a great definition for marriage...”Marriage is a negotiation, a constant, never-ending, give & take, sacrificing negotiation.” It’s true. Certainly love, respect, laughter, faithfulness, compassion and more make up a marriage, but for it to be successful, both participants have to learn when to bend. I’m not the greatest negotiator, she’s definitely going to need some convincing.....

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