Ok. I have a confession to make. I have really been trying to deny it… but I have to be true to myself. I am an INdoorsman. I want to be an OUTdoorsman. I really do. And I think I used to be one. But I am not anymore.
I grew up in the 70s and 80s. We didn’t have big, fancy televisions. Us kids WERE the remote control. We didn’t have cable until the year Reagan was shot. That meant I spent all my spare time outside. I played in the mud. I ate bugs. I rode my bike everywhere. I don’t remember the earth being as hot as it is now… but pictures show me with my stringy hair matted to my forehead with sweat, so it must have been. I hiked with my dad at Niagra Falls… when I was FIVE (I think that is where I developed my fear of falling). I have buried and lost many a Star Wars figure in the dirt mounds behind our house. I have been de-ticked and lived to tell about it. I was happy outside.
I don’t know when that changed. But things have definitely changed. Before I would tan… now I burn. Before the heat and bugs did not bother me… now they do. I think the change began sometime in middle school with the introduction of Tiger Beat magazine and Ricky Schroder.
Now, I am married to a hunter. He lives outside. I have to check him for ticks regularly. He stays tan and gorgeous year round. He loves the heat and the cold. But I don’t anymore.
I love air conditioning. I love curling up on the couch with a good book. I enjoy sitting in front of a computer screen and exploring or creating. I love being crafty. I love watching TV. I do not like being sweaty or bugs crawling on me. Sigh. I am just not an outdoor person anymore.
So, why did I think that we would enjoy an explore to the cliffs? I knew Big Girl and I would love to take pictures. I knew Little Man would love seeing the cliffs and hiking the trails. And all of that was true. But, people, there were BUGS. I mean more than usual! It was an infestation!! Bugs that crawl and bite and bugs that fly and sting. We were attacked with a vengeance. It was brutal. No one thought to explain to Big Girl that you should not spray yourself with pretty smelling body spray… so she was a buffet for horseflies and biting ants. We would have run all the way back to the car after the attack… but it was UPHILL!!
So, as much as I wish I loved to be outside… I don’t. I love the beach and gardens and wooded trails… but in limited amounts. The best part of a trip to the great outdoors is climbing into the air-conditioned car and ordering a fountain drink from McDonald’s through the drive thru. It is still fairly early in the summer, and I still have lots of explores planned. Some of them outside. But I will try to make them void of bugs. And there will be fountain drink and air conditioner breaks as frequently as possible!