A Love Letter to Our Tent

Dear QUIK-SET (sic) tent,

How fondly I remember the day you entered our lives. We were in the middle of our first summer on the road, in Iowa where you were delivered to our friends in Elkader. Just look at how fresh and young you were that day.

Allow me two asides, dear Tent. 1) Thank you, Dave, for the awesome campsite, summer after summer, and 2) Who misses green grass? (Hint: No one more than I here in the desert.)

Since then, your glorious, six-sided self has provided us shade in the full sun; you’ve given us privacy where we’re had to park right next to other campers; you’ve given me a place where I can exercise; and, frankly, dear Tent, you’ve become an extension of our home.

I joke that you double our living space, but at 12’ x 12’, maybe you do. Let’s see, the inside of the trailer is about 180-200 square feet (that includes space for appliances and bathroom and shower). You, dear Tent, provide 110 sq feet. So yeah, thank you for nearly doubling our living space!

Since those early days when you were young, we’ve gussied you up, and I don’t think you don’t mind. We’ve bought you rugs, and we’ve gotten in the habit of loading you up with all our outdoor furniture for reading, playing uke, eating lunch, napping. You’ve become what my mom used to call a Great Room: a room for every activity.

Here in the desert at Imperial Dam LTVA, we ordered additional attachable wind panels to cover your screened sides so we can sit outside even during high gusts.

It’s true, the zipper on your door flap has broken for the final time. But I appreciate you accommodating a wind panel there when it’s extra cold or windy. Although I miss the views your screens allow, being all sealed up is comforting. And I promise that Tracy’s working on a solution to the zipper problem once we go north and have to deal with bugs again.*

The cool thing about your new panels is I can detach them fully, or just partway. I know you enjoy it as I I’ll walk around you throughout the day, adjusting your panels to allow sunlight in while keeping the wind out. You have such a clever design.

At night inside your shelter, we get cozy with hanging lights and the propane firepit. You seem to enjoy the light and warmth as much as we do. You shelter us as we play cards and board games, and you keep our music from escaping to other campers when we crank it through the portable speaker.

Dear Tent, the most wonderful gift you give us is a place to safely hang out with fellow campers.

Here we are with Doug and Melanie, and a few days ago we hosted Tyll for afternoon margaritas and boiled peanuts (a spicy combo—all of them!).

Good grief, Tent, does that remind you of margaritas in the Keys? Sea salt in my hair, sun on bare skin. Ahhh. (Here’s a link to Tracy’s recipe, in case anyone missed it the first time. You’re welcome for this reminder of summer weather.)

Without you, dear Tent, we’d be stuck inside so much more often, during high heat, when it’s cold at night, when the wind’s blowing … basically most of the time. Thank you. You’ve saved our sanity. (Except when Tracy’s photobombing the sunset; I’ll leave that one up to your judgement.)

*Don’t tell Tent that if we can’t fix the zipper, that’s three strikes against it, seeing as how a few rips have appeared in the screen along some of the sides. Shhh … Tent Junior may be in the plans.