The moon and stars to rule by night; For his loving kindness endures forever: (Psalms 136:9 WEB)
Like many special events in life the “Camp Out” was a planned time of enjoyment and family togetherness. The idealistic pictures of children at play on the beach and the family frolicking in the water for the day were forefront in our minds as we prepared for the weekend. Extra vacation days were approved and the food menu was carefully planned to insure nutritional balance with the right amount of plain, but good, camp food. All the tents, sleeping bags, quilts, pillows, swimsuits, plates, stoves, flashlights, and toilet paper were inventoried and stacked with care throughout the living room and dining room.
The big day, Friday, arrived. Most of the day was filled with thunderstorms and rain which delayed the start of our adventure. That was OK we can go Saturday and sleep through to Sunday morning. So, Friday the family cooked out at the nearby Pizza Hut followed by a nature walk through “Free Willy 2” at the Naval Station Theater. The afternoon was lots of fun. We arrived home late and everyone went to bed to be prepared for the next day.
Saturday morning came along as the sun poked its rays through the scattered cloud covering. Everyone climbed into their cars. With all the gear we don’t fit into one car anymore. Forty-five minutes later we arrived at the gate to Anderson Air Force Base. It seemed to me all the best beaches on Guam were on the military bases. Passes were issued and we drove to the beach. The view to the beach was spectacular as we drove down the road through the break in the cliff. The ocean was spread out like a beautiful quilt a couple of hundred feet below us. The waves crashed against the reef and even the island of Rota was visible in the distance looking like a thick fog on the horizon.
As soon as we arrived at the camp site the boys headed for the sand bound and determined to be covered with the gritty particles until we headed home the next day. Their plans were momentarily interrupted when we forced them to help unload the van and the car. An awning was put together over our lawn chairs and the portable grill set up for cooking a scrumptious lunch of hot dogs with chips of course.
The remainder of the afternoon we ate, played in the sand and water and sat in beach chairs relaxing. What a true delight! The time to just sit and chat was wonderful. Jay and I took the time to talk about several areas which were often pushed to the background by the tyranny of the urgent. No telephones, no radios and due to the clouds, no one else on the beach, except the lifeguard. I think “refreshing” would be the appropriate word for the afternoon, refreshing for body, mind, and soul. Late in the afternoon it appeared occasional sprinkles were the worse we would see so we pitched the tents and laid out the bedding for the night.
I need to stop here and state why we enjoyed camping at Terrague beach. This beach, on the north end of the island, was known for the continuous breezes which made camping cool and comfortable in the tropics. As dinner was consumed and the darkness fell we discovered that night would be different. The palm branches ceased frolicking in the wind and hung like limp wash rags. So far so good, there were temporary respites from the doldrums as a breeze would rift its way through the campsite.
Bed time arrived and we all crawled into our tents. The unfortunate thing about tents is they tend to block the breeze with the mosquito netting. After some shuffling around on the mattresses, which felt like sleeping on pregnant balloons, I resigned myself to a warm night’s sleep. A little later in the evening a breeze arose followed by rain. With my head at the window and my feet at the door I began to get wet at both ends. It was time to zip the tent closed. OK, it was a little warmer but still tolerable. Then the rain came harder and, just as I was dosing off, SPLAT! a drop of water hit me in the face. Then splat, splat, splat I began to feel I had entered a B grade Kung Foo movie complete with water torture! It was time to move the mattresses once more.
Beth slept off and on as I awoke and shifted and went back to sleep. It got to the point as another leak was formed that we began to laugh and wonder if we would wake our sleeping neighbors. We learned early the next morning the children in their matching tent experienced similar late night difficulties. At one point Evan complained to Joel he was cold. When he reached over to check he found his blanket was soaked and he was lying in a puddle. It was four children snuggling together in the middle of a leaking tent during a late night tropical rain storm. Now that is a mental picture if there ever was one!
We enjoyed the entire weekend, water and all. We looked at this not as a problem weekend but a “BONDING” weekend for the family. As nations are brought together in times of distress so the Chick family draws closer together in times of hot tropical rain storms.
Breakfast was delightful with Boy Scout sandwiches (a specialty of mine) and more time for the boys to build sand castles. When we arrived home later that morning, everyone fell fast asleep until mid-afternoon. It took a couple days to dry out and put away all the soggy camping equipment. We couldn’t wait for another chance to go camping. Who knows the depth of family bonding this can bring about!
God made the stars and moon for the nighttime. He also made the rain and wind. I slept in a cold, wet, sleeping bag, under God’s stars and moon and remembered, “His love endures forever!”