Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Four Days Without A Computer

I returned yesterday from four days camping with my wife, three kids, my parents, nephews, and uncle. It is an experience that I wish for everyone. We swam, fished, rode our bikes, sat around the campfire and just generally spent time together. What we didn’t do was watch TV, blog, or play video games.

I have one very strict rule for camping, no television or computers. It is our time to get away from these things and enjoy each other. I don’t have to go to work. The boys aren’t in another room watching TV, and my wife and I are not at the computer blogging or surfing.

I went swimming a couple of times with my daughter, no one else wanted to come except my son the second time because it was a little chilly. I froze my butt off but would do it again in a minute because my daughter had a blast. It seems kids haven’t developed the cold water sensory organs yet at her age. To be fair to her, I can remember swimming in Lake Superior as a child. If you haven’t swam in Lake Superior, just imagine ice water except not as warm.

We fished a few times and caught almost nothing except quite small panfish. This is ok to me though because I am a firm believer in the old adage that a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work. The addendum to this is that the day of fishing is even better if you do it with your children.

We rode our bikes. I have a new bike, my first in approximately, well let’s just say my last bike had the really big front wheel and small back wheel with the seat that sat up high. So to say that I was out of practice is being way to kind. I am amazed though that the campground was built in such a way that no matter what way you went on one of the roads, it was uphill.

Then there was the campfire. If you have not sat around a campfire, do it. This is one of the single most enjoyable parts of camping. You can set there and talk about religion, astronomy, politics, and motorhome repair, all in less than a five minute time span.

The most important thing you do though is nothing. The days last longer. There are no errands to run. No running late for work. The big decisions usually revolve around what to eat with the chicken you are going to cook on the fire.

The best part of it though is that you spend time with your family. As I said, there is no TV, video games, etc. As much as I enjoy technology and all it brings us. I enjoy not having it for a couple of days just as well. I literally cut myself off from the news. Neither Obama nor McCain was at the campground. I got home and I had to catch up. I knew nothing about what had happened for the last four days.

I am a real political and news junkie, I watch the news while I am reading and writing about it. I genuinely like blogging, and am glad I found it. For four days though, I did not miss it a bit.

So here’s wishing all of you can find your self lost in the woods for a few days and the relaxation it brings you.


Randy said...

I'm planning a camping trip for next week, depending on Fay's route...

Steve Harkonnen said...

Interesting rules on camping - no technology. Kids (and adults) have forgotten the basic principles that used to govern our daily lives. We could think more back then, and our imaginations were running rampant, without television, computers, cell phones.

Nikki said...

woohoo! Sounds like a blast...I camped all the time as a kid and do not enjoy it at ALL as an adult. My husbands family has a big family camp out every year and it is such a great time. They do the corny skits and jokes around the fire and the whole bit and it is great! thanks for sharing your great time! :)N

MK said...

4 days without a PC! Good grief are you alright, are there periods of time you can't remember? Just kidding, sounds like a ball. It definitely is good to just get away, disconnect from the world and just let it carry on.

Throwing Stones said...

good job Daddy.
It nice to hear stories like this one.
Godd work, I'm sure you made your kids very happy

Brooke said...

I'm glad you had a good time!

Sometimes, it is VERY refreshing to get away from all things electronic!

Chuck said...

Randy, enjoy the trip, hope the weather cooperates

Steve, I know it's radical but time without electronics was nice. My boys and nephew are real couch potatos and they spent the weekend riding their bikes. I was happy for them.

Nikki, sounds like your husbands family has a ball, sometimes corny is great.

mk, I felt a little faint at times but got through it. Actually we went to the UP in June for 8 days and I went wihtout any news for this stretch. Didn't miss it then either.

Throwing stones, welcome, thanks for visiting. The kids did enjoy themselves. I'm not sure who made who happier though.

brooke, I will confess, we did have a motorhome, it wasn't exactly roughing it. But no electronic entertainment though. The entire time was spent outdoors and it was great.

cube said...

Glad you all had a great time.

Sounds like how we live when we lose power because of a hurricane or storm. I tend to get a lot of reading accomplished when there's no TV or computer around to distract me.

The absense of technology makes me appreciate it all the more.

Z said...

good for you, Chuck..sounds so good. Great you had that time with the familY!
We're going away for 3 days next week and I just realized it's during the DNC CONVENTION! I told Mr. Z "uhoh..we don't HAVE to go out at night, DO WE?"
but I got THE LOOK!
We'll go out. We need it. You're right.......less is more. Especially when you're burned out on politics!

Chuck said...

cube, it's good to talk to the kids. Usually about nothing but very important. Our two boys are less than 4 years from college and we are becoming ever more mindful of this.

z, a break is nice. Like in your recent blog, we're all very political but you need a break occasionally to recharge your batteries. I love what I do in my real life but I like not being at work just to keep from going crazy.