Category Archives: Dad – as in “You’re Dad was quite a character!”

I Own a Crack Den for Wasps

No Flip Flops

No Flip Flops

I finally gave up one of my Crazie Town mid-life crisis dreams.  The one where I tour the United States with The Ugly Duckling; the 1955 camper I bought two years ago from the flip-flop-wearing not-a-killer, Ed.

No sitting with her on a beach or on a mountaintop.  No Tin Can Tourist Rally or Sisters on the Fly event for us.  But, she has made it possible to fulfill another mid-life crisis dream.

Before the Vintage Camper vision, I’d dreamed of having a little cabin on our 113 acre family farm.  I’d gotten pretty close, meeting with a shed-building company and designing a 10×10 rustic hut.  A week from installation, they called the county for a building permit and were rejected.  It seems that even though across the road there is a plastic skeleton sitting on a broken toilet and next door they have 12 English mastiffs chained up, I’m not allowed to have a structure without running water.

With a lot of tears a little creative thinking, I realized I already owned the perfect little cabin — on wheels.

Ugly Duckling to the Rescue

Ugly Duckling to the Rescue

I drove  hill and dale looking for the perfect place to park her.


And finally settled on a knoll overlooking the pond. Before you go, “ahhh” I should tell you that this has got to be the world’s ugliest pond. What ever Bubba my dad hired 30 years ago to screw it up  fix it, managed to make it worse.  It’s not deep enough to sustain anything but a few frogs and an acre of pond scum.  But, it’s water and I’m dreaming of the day the crops produce enough money when I can screw it up fix it.

Maybe it is the OCD in me, but I’ve enjoyed carving out my own, personally-designed campground.

I cleared out piles of cedar branches.

Wrestling with Nature

Wrestling with Nature

I bought a picnic table and, against my straight brothers’ wishes, painted it shocking pink — to the delight of my gay brothers.

LGBT Friendly Campsite

LGBT Friendly Campsite


Built a fire ring

PERFECT!  Maybe? Nope.

PERFECT! Maybe? Nope.

and, like the giant sofa the movers place in your house that you decide needs to be six inches to the left, I moved the fire ring and rebuilt it again.

Let There be FIRE

Let There be FIRE

I also discovered that the Ugly Duckling is like a crack den for wasps. Not the White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant kind, but the one with wings and a painful sting.  And, shortly after that, I was crushed to discover that in an 8×8 space, you should never use a broom to chase them away.




The Art of Peeing in the Dark

Emergency Room Visit

Emergency Room Visit with the Ugly Duckling tagging along

My theory that putting two Pressgroves together will cause the Universe to spontaneously  explode, has been proved.

A few weeks ago I’d been with little brother, Rick, and ended up in the Great Bend Emergency Room.

This week, I was with older brother, Mike, and we blew the entire electrical grid at The Legends. (You’re probably wondering what this has to do with peeing in the dark – but as Dad would say “Stay in the boat and see where it goes.)

I’d conned my older brother, Mike, into riding with me to the large shopping area to look at camping equipment. Don’t laugh at me. I really am going camping…some day.

One of the things holding me back is the bathroom situation. I have the world’s smallest bladder and I didn’t want to spend my camping evenings stumbling around in the dark trying to find the public outhouse – not to mention the “ewwww” factor of an outhouse.

At the camping store, I planned to purchase my own commode and a privacy tent. I could explain to you what that is, but the internet does a much better job.

“Need an alternative to littering your campsite with poo holes? Check out the Cleanwaste Privacy Tent. This portable outhouse shelters your Cleanwater portable toilet, so you can do your business in private.”

Mike and I put the tent into the shopping cart and headed over to look at flashlights. He cleverly pointed out that a headlamp flashlight would be ideal – hands free.  Thrilled with my purchases, we drove to lunch at a nearby restaurant, where we had a lovely meal.

Because I have the world’s smallest bladder, I headed off to the bathroom.  I’m sitting there, minding my own business when POP! The lights go out.

My first thought was – Dang, I could really use that headlamp right about now.

My second thought was – I wonder if it really is so dark, I can’t see my hand in front of my face. I’m waving my hands in front of my face when I heard whimpering from the stall next door.

A little girl whined “Mom, what’s going on?”

Her equally terrified mother said, in a rising voice of panic. “I don’t know. I don’t know.”

“Hold on,” I said. “You stay where you are and I’ll wander around until I can find the door.” So there I was, arms straight out in front of me, walking around until I hit a wall. I slid my hands along the wall (trying to ignore my “ewww, bathroom wall!” voice) until I located the door.

Pulling it open, light flooded the room. The mother and daughter ran out, leaving me with the dilemma that I needed to wash my hands.  If I let go of the door I’d be plunged into darkness and, even if I could find the sink, I’d have to run my hands along the wall to find the door, sending me into a lifetime spiral of DARK!…dirty hands…LIGHT!…dirty hands, DARK!…

Even though Husband disagrees, I think this is justification for me wearing the headlamp all the time. Don’t you?