RT and I went camping Friday night. We camped at the building site for our new house – which is less than three miles from where we’re living now.

The air was crisp, the fire was warm, and the mood was relaxing. There is something about relaxing by a campfire and listening to the night sounds around me that makes me chill out. I could feel anxieties and worries literally draining away.

We have a routine for setting up camp. I set up the tent – a quick and easy job – while RT gathered firewood and got the campfire going. Friday night, since we didn’t have a hammer with us, RT came around to give the tent stakes a final boot-shove to make sure they were deep enough. Once the fire burned long enough to have a good bed of coals, we started dinner.

Dinner Friday night was hoppin’ john (black-eyed peas, mild Ro-tel, sliced turkey sausage). Hoppin’ john traditionally includes rice, but I forgot the rice and it was great without it. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten any camp food that wasn’t delicious. There’s just something about food that’s been cooked over a campfire that makes it wonderful.

After dinner we heated water so RT could have some hot chocolate and I could have my camomile tea. Then we just sat by the campfire talking, sipping our drinks and enjoying the peace and quiet. Comfortable. . . relaxing . . . soothing.

We’ve got our camping “sleep system” figured out. We have two twin-sized inflatable mattresses and a cordless pump. It takes me about a minute to inflate both mattresses. I’m careful not to inflate them too much so that they will be cushiony rather than hard. That’s the secret! The tent is small – and both mattresses side-by-side completely fill up the width of the tent. There’s still a foot or so of space at the foot of the mattresses for our other stuff. We put our sleeping bags and pillows on top of the air mattresses, and we’re good to go.

As it got later, the air got colder, but we were warm and snug and slept wonderfully. There is something about sleeping outside on a cold night in a tent. As long as the bed is comfortable, the sleep is deep and restoring.

Breakfast Saturday morning was bacon, eggs and biscuits. The bottom of the biscuits were burned black, but the tops were perfect.

Another fun camping trip in the books.

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