Summer changes – Part 1, The campsite shuffle.

Over the last few years, we’ve been blessed with a wonderful summertime lifestyle.

We’d take our trailer and leave it at a local lake resort ALL. SEASON. LONG. (April to October) For many years, this simply became our summer home and neighborhood.

As each weekend approached, we’d pack up some clean clothes, stop on the way for fresh groceries and head up to our lake side oasis.

We’d take my mom up some weekends too. When my son was just learning to walk, we’d remove his shoes so he wouldn’t  keep taking off on us. πŸ™‚ When I get set up with my new computer/scanner system, I’ll tell you a few stories from our camping past. This was well before digital photography and blogs. πŸ™‚

And a pretty cool lifestyle it was. My son grew up with the other seasonal camper’s kids there, so he was always happy and occupied, leaving me to read a book or three. So relaxing! With a colourful beach front town, with live music, great coffee house, plenty of beautiful hiking trails and loads of restaurants if you felt lazy, we had all we needed plus.

Here’s one of our seasonal spots. The campground had just placed a nice new patio down for me so I went hunting to pretty things up. I dug deep into the campground bone yard, picking and choosing woodsy things, scrubbed the moss off, then white washed the works in a tone to match the lower half of my travel trailer. The tree in front got tightly wound with white Christmas lights for a wonderful night time ambiance.

It was a simple redo, but the effort made it feel homey and loved. YES. I decorated my campsite too. πŸ™‚

This is one of my most fav camping pictures. πŸ™‚ Note how we’re roughing it and going without here…

One fella is my campground neighbor and the other was the owner of the campsite, and together, were trying to figure out why my crappy laptop wouldn’t hook up to the net. Yup. I brought my computer issues right along with me wherever I went.

While I loved the look of the last site, when a riverside location became available, I revamped things. I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t take a picture of what I finally did to this site but it stopped campers dead in their tracks. Wind was an issue in the evenings so I mounted some plastic lattice along the riverside for a see through removable wind break, and placed the benches in front. Plants and birdhouses prettied up the joint.

Oh yes. I remember why I didn’t take pictures now. I got sick. For a long time. That story is coming…

Last year, we didn’t go to our all season campsite. I had to pull the unit home due to changing financial and health related circumstances. So we went ‘normal’ camping nearby instead. We took in a couple weeks and found a more private setting.

It was very nice but also very different. When you stay for a short duration, you don’t pull out all the stops to make it your home, you just go to plunk and enjoy. We grasped it for what it was, and enjoyed!

Camping has done my son and I a world of good in the past. It’s a perfect way to get away from the phone and work, providing you a means of total family time and different types of conversation.

I’m not entirely sure what this summer is holding for us. We’ll put up our backyard pool for a start and see where things take us. Maybe after the pool is up, the sun will decide to peek out. Maybe. πŸ™‚

This is part one of a MUCH bigger story I’m about to tell you. It’s about morphing along with changing circumstances, making the best out of what you have and realizing that hardship can change your life in amazing ways. 

Ready? It’s about to get deep… again. πŸ™‚

Summer Changes

Part 1 – The Campsite Shuffle – you are HERE

Part 2 – Stubborn Takes Over

Part 3 – The Reason

What are your summer plans? Any other campers out there?

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  1. This is so fabulous! We’re big on camping, too. I wish our favorite place was closer, but a few times a summer is still fabulous. Love that you decorated your site and moved to a better spot. Great post … looking forward to “the rest of the story!” πŸ™‚

  2. We have been fotunate enough to have a seasonal campsite for the past 8 years. It’s an awesome place for people to gather and enjoy each other and the summer. Lovely pics…mine should look so good! lol

  3. Wow you Northerners are so lucky with the seasonal long term camping. In the South..you would pay a mighty high dollar for that kind of camping!!
    We have always been campers. Growing up for my family My parents drug us all over the US. with a 12 ft..then a 16 ft travel trailer.
    When I got married we went from tent camping…to pop up tent..32 5th wheel and now will soon be living and working and traveling in a 40 ft 5th wheel.

    It is a different world..it is a much simpler life..a healing life..with nature all around you..I am looking forward to the new lifestyle.Whenever it rolls around..lol

    Will be waiting for the rest of the story!!

    Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham (My girl blog)
    Full Timing Is Like A Chinese Fire Drill ( My RV blog)

  4. Donna,
    I love ALL your blog postings, even if they’re not about decorating (I also am a follower of your other blog). I’m probably your number one blog stalker!
    I especially like the last paragraph of this posting. We all go through tough times in our lives. It’s how we deal with them and learn the lessons that shape our character. Donna, I know your soul has grown from your experiences, good and bad. I can’t wait to hear more of your story!

  5. Donna those pics are breathtaking… Canada certainly does have a beautiful backdrop doesn’t it.

    We are heading out this weekend with the motorhome and I can’t wait… it is a little different from camping in one spot but you do meet the nicest people camping. We have made some long time friends traveling around.

    Next week we are going to be Nomad’s for 2 weeks and just travel around, no destination in mind. The best part is now most of the campsites have free WiFi so you really have all the comforts of home.

    Looking forward to hearing the rest of your story.

    Hugs, Deb

  6. Such beautiful pictures. Canada looks so gorgeous. Maybe one day I will be lucky enough to visit. We camped a long time ago but haven’t in ages. It’s just so hot here in the summer it can quite torturous! It looks so cool and green there.

  7. Breathtaking scenery. Love that the laptops go camping too. The picture of the picnic table with I guess that’s your son and the dog is amazing.

  8. What a wonderful tradition, Donna! I didn’t know this was something you could do…..rent a space for the whole summer. I’m gonna have to tell my husband about this. Thanks for the idea!
    Hugs ~ Jo πŸ™‚

  9. I Love Camping! We used to go camping all the time when I was little. We lived in Michigan and it was perfect. I do not go camping now. Something about snakes and tarantulas in Texas that I prefer not to camp in Texas. I would love to take my boys camping in Michigan or even in Maine. I love Canada too πŸ˜‰

    Christine

  10. I would love to camp in BC. Your photos are lovely. Yes, we are a camping family too. Last year we bought a new hard top tent trailer, a large one, but decided it was not what we wanted long term. We sold it and just last week bought a new 26 foot travel trailer (prices are much better this year.) It suits us better(full kitchen and bathroom, hooray) and we will be out camping this summer.

  11. Hey Donna,

    Love todays post! I also just jumped back to your post from the other day and read your comment back to me, my site is down right now due to me screwing something up, sorry for you not being able to respond through email. (rscamero92@gmail DOT com) my site will be back up soon….. if I can get motivated anyways lol.

    As for revamping your blog to be something other than what it already is, or taking away from the idea behind this blog…… (I follow your other blog also) maybe just add a new page in your side bar that is used for your more β€œpersonal” post. I can’t remember all of bloggers settings to be able to point you in the right direction on setting up a page that would allow individual daily post that would update through a feed with post having their own comments section and so on…..

    Another idea would be to buy your own domain (I use GoDaddy for my domain $9.99yr and then I use (my cousins) Hosting EleetHosting DOT com $35.00yr) and then use something like WordPress or MovableType to run multiple blogs all from one area, WordPress just released a new version that allows a multi-blog platform, but they are all run from one administration area, so that way you won’t be jumping all over the internet to edit each blog. AND it’s easy to import your blogger blog to wordpress!! πŸ˜‰

    Anyways, just though I’d toss ya some idea’s and if you decided to go with paid hosting…. I’m keeping it cheap for ya πŸ˜‰

    I also like Squarespace for blogging too, but the cost is right around $60 a year, but still a nice and easy platform to work from.

  12. #11 Jo,

    Leaving your trailer put in one area without towing back and forth is the most relaxed form of camping one could ever experience! Even with a travel trailer, there’s alot of work to packing/unpacking and towing each trip. You get better rates if you leave it for longer periods of time too.

    If you want a carefree summer but don’t mind the same location each weekend, seasonal camping is the way to go!

    Donna

  13. #6 – I’m in BC Canada. The first picture is located in Harrison Hot Springs, BC (lake front just down the road) and the 2nd location is Vedder River Campground in Chilliwack, BC (right on the river). Both have been very tranquil experiences although very different.

    Donna

  14. Hi Donna, I’m a seasonal camper too πŸ™‚ We recently moved to a different campground that is only an hour away from home and it’s so much nicer! Our last one took us 2.5 hours to get there. We have a 38 foot fifth wheel, it’s our second one, and we’ve had 3 motorhomes in the past. We started Rving about 13 years ago, hard to believe it’s been that long! I love the seasonal sites for the same reasons you do, it’s a summer home, just toss some clothes and groceries in the car/truck and head out. Love it!

  15. Donna, I love reading your blogs because you do go to places that are personal and touching. I love that. I relate to a lot of things you talk about. I was a single mom to 3 boys for along time, and I understand how a life path can change and how you must be flexible and change with it to survive. IT s hard sometimes when hard things come in groups and you can’t catch your breath or come up for air…but before you know it, something wonderful happens and that is the beauty of life. My life is in a great path lane right now, and it is wonderful. But I don’t forget where I have been and how I got here. We camped a lot in my younger mom days and I have such fond memories. I was never able to plunk down and stay all summer. We tented our trips and having that time with your kids is like no other. Thanks for sharing your story Donna, I’m all ears.
    xxoo

  16. Hi Donna
    We are rv-ers, too, and just love it! 4 years ago we bought a gently used 30′ motor home, and have had a blast! I grew up rv-ing with my parents, too, and that is my kinda camping! Hubby used to be really into tent camping, me, not so much! But I would go for his sake, and after getting rained out too many times (we’re talking torrential downpours and lightening storms!)I decided no more! We even tent camped in Hawaii twice! Now we “condo” camp when we go there! We love taking our motor home all over northern Michigan in the summer, and have been down south, out east, and to Canada as well in our motor home. Our dream one day is to make it to British Columbia to camp. We were there 7 years ago & stayed in B & Bs (on Vancouver Island), and just loved it!
    Take Care!

  17. Wow – that looks like the perfect way to spend an old fashioned summer. Speaking as a longtime reader of your blog I’m sure I will continue to enjoy it no matter what direction you take with it. Maybe one day a week you could “branch out” where you get a little more personal. Or just whenever you feel like it. It is your blog so you should do what feels right. πŸ™‚

  18. #21 Erin, excellent idea! I’ll keep the off topic to a dull roar, at the most once a week. πŸ™‚

    The reason for my off topic rants are for a reason. I think sharing experiences, no matter how good or bad, has the potential to help others. That is my reasoning and my hope anyway.

    And if anyone feels I’m taking things in a kooky direction, I’m kicking the door open for you to say so. Or email me. πŸ™‚

    signmakergirl@hotmail.com

    Donna

  19. That’s it! I’m totally convinced that you could decorate anything and I would love it.

    I would love to camp, only been once, in a tent πŸ™ but I would do it again. If the economy doesn’t get any better, I may sell the house and live in a camper! That’s not seasonal it’s permanent camping…guess there are worse things in life.
    By the way, I live in Texas…hot, hot and more hot! I’m such a baby, so I would rather go up your way to camp…that would be a drive on the weekends. hahaha!

  20. That sounds so amazing! I would absolutely love to do that with my kids one day, just stay for a whole season! I bet your son just loved it. I just love the christmas lights you used, I bet they were great at night.
    Camping is the best. I’m hoping to do some camping this summer with my hubby and baby girl (she’s almost 10 mo). We’re in AZ and the terrain is much more different than the UT terrain I’m used to. But I’m just hoping to get outdoors. We’ll see ’cause even camping costs, ya know? πŸ™‚

  21. Fun pictures! I’m actually going camping this very weekend. Just me, the man, the dog, and the tent. I’m fortunate to live in Utah with some of the most beautiful canyons right in my backyard. Seasonal camping sounds like a great idea though.

  22. I grew up camping in the 70’s in my parents bubble trailer. I loved it. I then “graduated” to backpacking in my 20’s. Now, I’m looking for a good car camping spot with good bathrooms nearby! Looking forward to hearing more of your story.

  23. Donna, I can’t wait to hear the next installment of your story. Getting a little freaked out at some of the things we have in common. The universe has quite a unique way of leading us to what we need to hear & where we need to be.

    Can’t wait to hear the inspiration…I need some!

  24. We are a camping family too…in Australia though and in a tent! I much prefer to camp in the middle of nowhere with no one else around than in tourist parks though! Last year we did a big trip over about 5 weeks into the Australian desert…that was wonderful…and the peace and quiet is something I have never experienced before! Amazing! Keep the “off topic” posts coming, I certainly enjoyed it!

  25. Andrea, YOU are the reason I’m inclined to share the not so glossy areas of my life. I want a purpose. I want to help. Thank YOU for the opportunity.

    Hang in there! Hope is a wonderful thing.

    Donna

  26. I’ve only been camping a few times in my life. Butnow, every walk along one of the beaches near here we wind our way among the campers parked in their special area – I love seeing how everyone has made their little square patch homey and unique. My husband compares rigs and tells me all about them, he grew up RVing and boy-scouting! I think it’s wonderful you had time to spend with your son, and that you made it special for the both of you.
    I hope you are well and happy!
    XO
    Heidi – Heart and Home

  27. We never camp, but it looks like it would be fun in your camper!
    We got our pool out today and it was great. I already have a scorching sunburn (with SPF 15 on) which I am hoping will turn into a beautiful tan – ahhh, summer.

    Danielle

  28. Oh how I’ve missed you!

    Personally, I can’t wait for the “deeper story”!! It’s what I live for! I love deep, really deep!

    My husband is and has been an outdoorsman for many years – back woods, bush wacking type. Canoe trips to areas of the world where only a helicopter can take you in and out. It sounded so romantic I married the guy. Then I went on a XC ski trip with him. Lord have mercy on my soul! I can’t believe I lived to tell about it!!! I’m not a camper/tenter/sit and roast marshmallow kinda gal. However, I love hiking and being outside. I’ve found that I truly appreciate a good shower and a spa like atmosphere. However, since we now have the boys we are considering getting a camper or RV. Are they the same? Hmmm. We’d like to travel cross country and believe this is the best way to do it.

    After reading about your experience I feel closer to the reality of it all. Is there a shower in that thing?

    I would have my laptop up there too (if I had one). Loved that photo!!!

    Did I mention that I’ve missed you?

    ~K

  29. My parents were avid campers, but after I was grown and gone so I never got into the camping scene. Your sights are just beautiful, I can fee the serenity! I’m not surprised you decorated your area – it’s just so you, and I’m sure that brought a lot of smiles to people, just like your home and yard so. I don’t think you have any idea of the magnitude of inspiration you give to others simply by being you. I love what you call your “off topic” posts because they tell the greater story of how everything comes to be. I know we might not always be able to reach our dreams, but you’ve taught us to keep the dream alive instead of giving up and that alone is worth its weight in gold. I’m anxious also to hear the rest of your story.

  30. hey Donna,,
    I;ve really enjoyed reading this post,, I wish I was able to open up and share more,,maybe one day. We love camping and used to have a older model pull behind,, some of the best family times we had. We never were able to take the kids to disney world but they have lots of camping memories and they loved it. We had to sell it a few years back for financial reasons but I so look forward to getting another one day. Maybe you could do a link sharing thing one day and we can all post camping pics/stories. I love all your posts but the way you open up and share when you go off topic is very inspiring, I cant wait to hear the rest of the story.

  31. I love your blog and all your ideas and pictures !!!I am a “non-blogger”, but love to read others. I grew up in a camping family traveling to the mountains and beach every summer. We live in South Ga., so it was easy to find destinations for weeks long stays or just for the weekend. I’m so excited for my nephew, as my Dad passed along the “camping love” to him and his wife and girls will get to experience so many fun times and will cherish those memories like I have for so many years !!! Keep posting !!!

  32. What a beautiful area! I too love that kind of lifestyle. I’d live that everyday if it were realistic to do so.

    Growing up we always kept a camper at a nearby campground. No lake, but it had a large pool in the center of the grounds. It was situated in the middle of loads and loads of gorgeous trees, on the top of a hill. I loved it! We made so many friends from around the US, and most of my best childhood memories are situated around that campground. I spent much time out there by myself long after I became an adult. It was pure heaven. We were able to leave the camper there year round.

    It’s such a great thing for you to still go camping with Cody. He will remember those times for the rest of his life. So many people have no idea how wonderful those kind of times can be. I wish everyone could experience it.

    Oh, this post makes me want to set up another camper at our campground. I think I’ll talk to mom and hubby about it. I truly miss the quiet times and the opportunity for socializing, the 4th of July parties, and the square dances. Ok, that’s it, I’m calling my mom right now. πŸ™‚

  33. Lovely post Donna, And just to share my thoughts, I love off topic. When blogs go more “professional” I stop reading them. They lose their personality and, for me anyway, get harder to stay interested in.

  34. yay lots of fellow campers!!!

    we tent camp every other weekend Memorial – Labor Day weekends. we have a group of 6 families that have boats that we pal around w/. we started out as the only ones on land while they all had cutties that they slept in & now they’ve all come on shore & some still tent it w/us while others have progressed to RVs.

    I love everything about camping, the quiet, the rowdy, the fun, the work, the relaxing, the food, the sleep, the weather, the unpredictability, the cleansing of the stressed soul by being in nature. (can you tell we just returned from a weekend away?) πŸ™‚

  35. I abs LOVE this blog! I am a teacher in rural WV. The Hubster & I are getting ready to write the big check for a permanent site in OH.I am a sponge for any “decorating” adivce! With three kids (ages 11,8, & 4) we’ve just scraped the surface of wonderful family camp memories! I wanted to comment that Im using a section of your blog in my middle school English class! Thank you for blogging about something I connect with so well: decorating, camping, and simply being a strong female!

  36. Hi Donna,

    Checking in again as we prepare to move from Michigan to Arizona permanently. We’ll be living in our very similar camper – a 19′ Terry Travel Trailer until we find a home to buy. We figured if we could do it for 5 weeks without killing each other, we could make it.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and the helpful tips. Keep it up!

    Carla Foster
    Grand Rapids, MI
    soon to be from Prescott Valley, AZ