16 August 2019

Published August 14, 2019 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields

Click on the Frog! 

Genre: Hysterical Friction

Word Count: 100


            May 1984. We couldn’t wait to take advantage of our newly-purchased lot in a nearby recreational development. So we packed our children-plus-one and everything we needed for a successful camping trip.

            Sometime in the night the soothing buzz of locusts gave way to thunder and driving rain that demolished our tents.

            Thanks to the help of a sympathetic grounds attendant, our excursion ended in a half-finished bathroom with three bedraggled boys and one engorged mother whose inconsolable baby chose the worst time to wean himself.

            Shivering, I muttered to my grumpy husband. “Someday we’ll look back at this and laugh.”

118 comments on “16 August 2019

  • Good story, Rochelle. That reminds me of why I have never camped. My son is the only camper in our family. I don’t know if even he finds the time anymore. My dad was responsible for the camping genes. They skipped a generation. After I was born, he switched from a tent to a cottage. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Oh, the joys of tent camping. You could not pay me to go back there even if I have oodles of fond memories!
    This one is a doozie of a situation! How can you not laugh today?
    Love when a story evokes memories of my own…

    Shalom and lotsa love,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Trent,

      How could a person not laugh? I’m pretty sure I saw the humor in it then. I think it took my husband longer. 😉 Yes, the purple tent disaster is as recent as this past fourth of July. After we went to bed, there was a microburst that demolished two tents at once that we thought would be okay overnight. Sigh. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • LOL! Well, apparently this was the kind of stuff that sticks in one’s mind … 😉
    A friend of mine used to tell her kids, that whenever things went wrong it was “an opportunity for making memories…”
    I have a whole story to tell about the time that saying had reportedly been ‘born’ — perhaps fodder for another flash-fiction thing! 😉
    In the meanwhile … left my contribution — of a different potential memory-maker … — with the froggy.
    Copied here, just because:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Na’ama Y’karah,

      It’s so true. I’ve often thought, when a trying situation rears its ugly head, that I’m going to get as much mileage from it as I can. 😉 This usually works to my advantage. Honestly, maybe it’s my warped sense of humor, but I remember seeing the humor in it at the time. Glad you laughed. That’s what this story is for. 😀 Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nobbin,

      I find the buzzing of locusts very soothing. Sleeping out under the stars can be a lovely thing if not interrupted by a rain and a tent falling down around your ears. 😉 Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Liz,

      It does get funnier over time. We’ve had many laughs over it. The cranky baby is almost 36. 😉 Alas, in our neck of the woods the weather forecasts aren’t always reliable. Thank you.




    • Dear Ali,

      If you’re laughing my mission is accomplished. Whom can we laugh at if not ourselves. 😉 As I recall the biggest trauma at the time was losing a really nice tent. Did it stop us from ever camping again? Nah. But we did leave the baby with his auntie until he was older. Thank you.




  • Dear Barney(ette) Purple-a-saurus W(T)F,

    I thought thunderstorms were mandatory for all camping trips. The bad news is, it won’t stop a drought because the only place it rains is the campground. On the other hand, it always makes for a good story. No one ever writes about going on a 5 day camp out and having perfect weather. That would make for a boring read.

    I shan’t be posting this week, but just wanted to drop in to assure you that you’re still worthy of harassment. 🙂

    Ranger Bob

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Ranger Bob,

      One thing you can say about the Fields is that we’ve never been boring. 😉 No doubt the cloud was directly over our tent and nowhere else in the Midwest.

      I feel warmed by your brief presence in Purpleville. (Of course it could be heartburn or reflux) Your contribution to the Hollywood Squares will be undoubtedly be missed by one and all. Well, maybe not all…but most…perhaps not most…but…Thank you.


      Barnetta Purple-a-saurus W(T)F.

      Liked by 1 person

  • My mom, her new-at-the-time husband and I all went on a 10-day trip from Chicago to the Grand Canyon via Missouri (relatives), Painted Desert, and Petrified Forest, and back via Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands…Our slogan became, “But we did it together.” I still hate long car trips.

    Sorry your tent gave its life to the storms.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I like the night sounds and they are soothing to me. We went camping with our college friends the month after we got married. Storm came – Tent rocked back and forth – chairs fell down. It was exciting and we were so glad we made it through! Fun experience! Love your story!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hi Rochelle,
    The inverted tent was a great prompt this week and camping is going to be a theme I’m going to follow up. There are just so many twists and turns the story could take and another advantage is that you can be out of mobile range, which also takes a lot of suspense out of a plot. I raised the subject at dinner tonight but didn’t get a very keen response. They were more interested in glamping or a hotel.
    Your experience reveals camping at close to its worst. However, it’s horror stories like these which bind families and friends together.
    I haven’t had much experience of camping myself. However, our son went away to the Australian Scouting Jamboree and it rained heavily most of the time the camp site was in a funnel web spider breeding ground. A few were sited at the camp. However, what really freaked me out was a message after he’d arrived home to check backpacks carefully as funnel webs had been found in two of the packs. Our son hadn’t unpacked at this point and went straight to his room and pulled out his pack and dropped it at my feet. What the? Did I look like an intrepid funnel web fighter? Not on your life.The last time I read my job descriptions, it read taxi service only. Fortunately, no funnel webs were found. BTW here’s a link to funnel web info in case anyone is interested: https://australianmuseum.net.au/learn/animals/spiders/funnel-web-spiders-group/
    Best wishes,


    • Dear Rowena,

      There were many camping and canoeing trips after that little fiasco. Fortunately there were plenty of good experiences but they aren’t as fun to retell. 😉 You’re right, those are the ones that bind families and friends together. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Camping stories are the best.

    Sympathies for the poor wet bedraggled kids, sleeping in a campsite rest room and the ill-timed weaning. That last part especially spells discomfort in my book. Hope you’re laughing about it now!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I can honestly say I never dared take my children on any kind of camping trip, other than in the back yard, with a quick escape route back into home comfort at the first sounds of cracking twigs under the feet/hooves/claws of monsters, assault by stag beetle, or an overhead thunderstorm.

    Your experience sounds a nightmare, though some may see it as sweet (or maybe sweet in retrospect!).

    It made me laugh, but then it didn’t happen to me 😉

    Al best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sascha,

      If we can’t laugh at ourselves than whom? As for the purple tent, that was a fiasco that happened the night of the 4th of July. My husband had put it up to shelter his band. Alas, a storm in the middle of the night took out the tent. And it was the one I use for art fairs. Happily, the tent, in all of its purple glory has been replaced. 😀 In any event Jan took the picture to show his Facebook friends what had happened. I nabbed it for a prompt and that’s what inspired my little memoir. 😉 Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nan,

      Fireworks are legal here in Belton, at least a week prior to the 4th. Along with our neighbors on our block, we generally have a magnificent display. Our fun was nearly rained out this year and our poor tent demolished later that night. Hence the photo prompt. 😉 At any rate, my story wasn’t our final camping trip but certainly one of the most memorable ones. Thank you.




  • What a cute group of little boys! Have you laughed on it since? Amazing what distance can do, isn’t it? When we were a young couple, my husband and I lived in some terrible places (damp, run down, with mice running across the floors and fungus growing from the window frames) with some terrible people (violent bi-polar/schizophrenic, drug users, drunks). Now it all feels like such a long time ago, all of our awful stories have become interesting anecdotes to make my son gape!
    Lovely, warm storytelling, Rochelle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lynn,

      Yes, we have laughed about that ill-fated camping trip many times over. My only regret is that I didn’t take more pictures that night.
      Your first home sounds a lot like our first two unfortunate abodes. But they were what we could afford at the time. Our apartment was a third floor walk-up with one bedroom, black and red cabinets in the kitchen for $85.00 a month. We lasted six months. Then we moved to a house for a whopping $95.00 a month in an area nicknamed Dog Patch. The basement was crawling with rats. It was larger but not much better.
      At any rate, I’m glad you enjoyed my story. Sometimes truth is ever so much more fun than fiction. 😀 Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

      • I love the name Dog Patch! Though not the sound of the rats … All good learning experiences and it’s made me terrifically grateful for what we have now – our own home, with a garden, in a quiet neighbourhood … and no fungus!


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