Monday, September 2, 2013

Twenty Years and Tattered

Finally this afternoon the business of a too-busy summer was said and done, and for the first time this calendar year I had time and energy to set up my tent, because in summer I like spending a few nights a week sleeping in it, enjoying the cool earth and looking up through the netting at the fireflies and stars, and waking in the dawn amid mists and freshness. Having folded my tent carefully last fall, I unrolled it-- a six-sided, two-person dome tent--took the poles and stakes from the carry bag, and as I worked the tent poles through the sleeves for maybe the 200th time, remembering adventures in the Ozarks, in an Iowa county park, on a stony island in Wisconsin, and so on--heard: rip--rip. Shredding gave way to more shredding. The netting that formed the dome was kaput.

My first thought was to buy new netting of just the right kind, cut it hexagonally and machine-sew it myself across the tent top: good as new. But, impossible. The tent is 20 years old.  It cost precisely $20 at Grandpa Pidgeon's, a chain store defunct in 1999. The twin zippers haven't worked for seven or eight years. One of the poles is a replacement, and six inches too short. It is time for a new tent.

Was it really time? I asked myself. And answered: Yes; what perfect, perfect timing! Tomorrow, day after Labor Day, tents will be on sale everywhere and you will find the next love of your camping life.

1 comment:

Pablo said...

Grandpa Pidgeons! I'd forgotten about that.