The Last Camping Trip

Maddie and Curt were silent as they drove towards their favorite camping ground. They had packed their provisions carefully, especially the chocolate ripple ice cream that they both loved so much!. They’d stored it in a freezer bag covered with ice, in an attempt to keep it from going all mushy.

Their adult children couldn’t discern why they felt it necessary to take this trip alone, both of them being frail and feeble in their late seventies. What if something happend to them, who would be there to call for help? Of course, they understood their children’s worries, but they needed this one last retreat in the beloved woodlands of their youth.

Maddie pulled into the park, they got out to stretch their sore backs and knees, and smiled companionably as they looked up into an azure sky on a beautiful and clear day, exactly the type of day that they’d hoped to experience. The stressors of what awaited after they returned home melted away.

As they sat on a log, a fire providing light and warmth, they ate their ice cream treat and, with tears flowing unchecked for both of them, reminisced about their fifty years of marriage, including becoming parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. What a wondrous trip it had been!

Curt put out the fire, climbed into the double sleeping bag, and cuddled with Maddie, his best friend and lover, the woman whose very presence brought him such joy. Neither of them could sleep, determined to enjoy these last moments together in this beautiful park where they first sighted each other on a hiking path and began a love story that would never end.

They had kept putting off coming back, with work and responsibilities piling up over the years. And even after retirement, they didn’t take the time, even though it was at the top of their bucket list. But, the circumstances of what they faced now made it imperative that there be no more excuses, for when they returned home, Curt would enter hospice care. Maddie just couldn’t provide the care that he needed to control the pain of his cancer. This was their last camping trip, and it had been as sweet as their first one.

Fictional story written for Saturday Mix from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The Same, Same, But Different prompts were see, blue, soft, kind, and weak. The challenge requires the writer to create a poem or prose with the synonyms of the words provided. Also, written for the Three Things Challenge #487 from Pensitivity 101: sleep, ripple, and retreat.

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