Sabbatical Days 2-4: Camping with Mom at Boyd Lake State Park

Where am I?

Boyd Lake State Park, Loveland, Colorado

Image(s) of the day(s):

Fears faced:

  1. Letting Tucker and Molly off leash when I wasn’t supposed to! I’m so paranoid I’ll get caught or they’ll run off! But they had so much fun playing in the lake! The worst thing that happened was Molly rolled around all over a dead fish and stunk up the camper, and Tucker jumped all over me with his muddy paws. Mom life.
  2. Since Trent wasn’t with us for this trip (just me and Mom), I was really afraid that something would go wrong, and I wouldn’t be able to handle it. Well, things did go wrong on the final day, and I fixed them.  Actually, Gary the camper mechanic fixed them (he’s the one under the camper), but I called Gary, so there’s that. IMG_5565.JPGAdmission: I started to freak out a little about the camper malfunction, but my Mom is still my Mom and she calmed me down, told me that everything would be fine and to just chill out. No matter how old we get and how much reverse parenting we have to do, our Moms are still our Moms and there’s something magically peaceful about that in times of stress. At least there was for me today, and I’ll be grateful for those moments and those reminders.

Interesting Encounters:

Tom and his dog Sam.  Tom has 30 years in the army and is now retired. His dog is a four year old white shepherd that he rescued from a woman who he met at the St. Vrain campground a while back. She had just moved to Colorado with 5 kids, three dogs, no job and no place to live, so Tom took one of the dogs off her hands. I hope she wasn’t also giving away her kids.

Tom is a nice man with an Iraqi Freedom Veteran baseball hat and military stickers all over his RV. He says he really misses his men from his military life but not what’s been happening in the military the last twenty years.

I’m curious about Tom and kind of hope I run into him again. Update: I ran into Tom again when he tried to help me fix the camper. Still a nice guy, but we wandered a little too close to political topics that I’m not yet ready to discuss with the seemingly more conservative RV crowd. Perhaps that’s a fear I’ll face on a future day.


I brought a little book of questions to ask Mom about her life. Her memory is beginning to go and her health isn’t great and I really want to make sure that I capture some of her stories about growing up while I still can. 

A rather innocuous question led to an a-ha moment.  When did you learn to drive and who taught you? Apparently, Mom learned to drive a tractor with a clutch when she was six years old and a car when she was eight.  From then on she drove herself around quite a bit, mostly to the convenience store for sodas (i.e. cokes). Small town country life in Texas in the 50s. Suddenly it made sense why she forced me behind the wheel of our family Suburban at age 13 and made me drive even though I was crying and scared to death. She’d been doing it since half my age!

Throughout the course of our little camping trip, I was reminded where I came from and how to tap into the strength and independence that my Mom raised me to have. Camping wasn’t the most comfortable situation for Mom as it turns out, and when I asked her if she wanted to go home early, she staunchly said “No, I’m ok. I’m adapting.” Mom raised me never to quit, but to adapt to what life throws at you. I hope that’s what this entire year of sabbatical will be like.

All in all, this first little sabbatical trip was a great success! I spent some quality time with Mom and my fur babies. We survived some less than ideal circumstances, including a windstorm that blew off our awning, middle of the night dog puking, a stuck roof, and a de-coupling of the camper and car that could have taken off a foot, but that’s a story for another day. We never quit. We adapted. And we had a blast!


6 thoughts on “Sabbatical Days 2-4: Camping with Mom at Boyd Lake State Park

  1. Rana, this is a great post. I was especially struck by your words about your Mom always being your Mom and the calming influence she still has over you. It’s so true, and is the thing I miss the most about my Mom. It’s so great you did this trip, just the two of you. Precious moments.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Strong, independent and stubborn women! That’s our legacy, sis. We will always adapt OR stubbornly stick it out 😉


  3. Wow! I say again…i am SO impressed! Rana, you took the Freedom Machine to the camp site, took your mom, cooked, cleaned up, and took the FM down for the trip home by yourself?!? OK, I know Tom helped a little, but his help was a gift, not part Your plan! You are brave, strong, invincible, and adventurous.

    Hmmm. You ARE your mother’s daughter, aren’t you? 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s