From Jane’s World
Mom’s acting all wacky-taffy again. Like a whirlwind in our tiny home, she hasn’t stopped moving since she woke up. Téte, my nutty hound dog sister, is following her around; Mom’s already tripped over her twice. I keep an eye on both of them from my perch on top of the turquoise chair.
Earlier, I spied Mom pushing plastic bags of nuts, dried fruit, and black bean flakes into her backpack. That means a babysitter will come and Mom will disappear, maybe Papa too. Téte will sulk. I’ll get lots of sleep but I’ll miss our daily hikes.
Now Mom’s bags are next to the door, and I hear Papa’s car turning into the driveway. Jumping down from the chair, I rush outside to greet him. I make whining noises until he stops petting Téte and notices me. With only a quick scratch under my chin, Papa walks into the house and over to the drawer, and—oh boy! He has my lime green backpack in his hands. Looks like I’m going on another adventure!
Hours ago Mom stuck me in the back of the car. I’m surrounded by backpacks, a cooler, and hiking boots and I can’t even see the front seat. It’s like my own comfy fort, but I’d rather be up in front with Papa and Mom. “Hey, yoohoo, does anyone even remember I’m here? A potty and stretch break might be nice!”
Whew, finally I have four paws on the ground. I found a few good trees to leave my scent on. Now I’m standing on my hind legs with my front ones on the seat of the picnic table. Some of that sausage and cheese Mom and Papa are eating would be nice. “Yo, here I am—see my tongue hanging out? Look how cute I am, wiggling my tail!”
Whoa, sausage hunk—yum! And even a piece of cheese. Wait a minute—not the pepper jack. Yikes, throat burning! Where’s my water dish?
That wasn’t much of a break from all that car sitting. Now I’m back in my fort, so I’m going to circle five times and plop down for a nap. Maybe when I wake up we can get out of the car and stay out. Cars make me nervous.
Now Papa’s driving our car up a huge ramp. Man, this place is strange. All hard metal, benches, stairs, and rails. But at least I’m getting fresh air. Hmm—there’s lots of water down there and all around us. Wait, whaaat? This thing we're on moves? I heard Mom say something about a fairy that would take us across a place called Death's Door. I don’t see any little sprite with wings and glitter, and man, it’s windy out here. Can someone please pick me up before I blow away? I’m freezing! Where’s my winter sweater? I want to go home. Enough of the adventures.
Papa picks me up and holds me tight. He’s stumbling all over with me in his arms—has he been drinking? Mom’s crawling from bench to bench. The water’s bouncing up and down like it’s boiling, with white waves turning over on themselves. People are grabbing their kids and hats, and holding hands, trying to get to safety. Papa is holding me hard next to his chest. Thank you, Papa, I love you!
I guess we’ve made it through Death’s Door, because we get back in the car and wait for other cars in front of us to exit the boat. When we finally drive off, onto Washington Island, it feels like our car is being pushed along by the wind. The road is strewn with tree branches and the treetops are waving hard as we make our way to the campground.
Turns out the winds were blowing at 50 mph and some people on the island lost their power. But we don’t need electricity when we sleep in the tent. I can stay warm by worming my way into Mom’s sleeping bag.
Dinner takes forever because the wind keeps messing with the flame on Mom’s miniature stove. Papa gives me a bowl of dry food but he must know I smell their tuna. If I sit here wagging my tail long enough I’m sure to get some.
It’s already so dark out that Mom and Papa are wearing flashlights on their foreheads. I’m just biding my time until the zipper on the tent opens, and then I’m in like Flynn. In the sleeping bag for the night, that is.
I love camping, and I usually love going on adventures. But I don’t like boats or heavy winds—and I definitely don’t like lightning and thunder, and now rain!? Good grief, no more adventures for a while!
Originally Published October 25th, 2018 in the Crawford County Independent & Kickapoo Scout