Some Things I Learned On My Camping Trip This Weekend

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(The first I've taken since the organized ones I went on in high school):

1) All you need to start a fire are three newspapers, half a packet of paper plates, some index cards, 100 matches, some damp firewood and sticks and a little grit.

2) New Yorker magazines do not burn well at all.

3) You really can't hate on Wal-Mart after they remove a screw from your tire for $10.02.

4) They sell University of Wisconsin brand cheese curds in the Dodgeville Wal-Mart.

5) The only good child is a quiet child.

6) If you take your child camping and dress her in head to toe hot pink and give her not one but two scooters AND a bicycle to play with and she still shrieks, whines and screams all the live long day, maybe it's time to give her up and try for a new, better child.

7) I want a horse. I had forgotten this until I saw the horse trails and riders and yearned to go for a ride, conveniently forgetting that while I like horses, I'm also a little afraid of them.

8) They don't provide soap at campsites.

9) The back of a Vokswagen Jetta Sportwagen is a suprisingly comfortable place to sleep, as long as you are 5'4 and have adequate padding under you.

10) Do not read a book about a horrific forest fire that burned hundreds of people alive on the Wisconsin/Minnesota border before bedtime, especially if only minutes earlier you have put out your campfire, the one you built so poorly yet tended to so lovingly.