I married an outdoorsman.
When a little boy is born on the Chesapeake Bay, that’s what he’s bound to become: the rugged type. In GB’s case, he spent his first six years catching Maryland Blue Crab in great steel pots; poking at jellyfish with long, dull sticks; and playing in the sunshine until his hair bleached white.
When his family moved to Kentucky in 1984, he searched the ground for shoreline, and finding none, took to the woods. That’s why our basement is like an Orvis store: Backpacks, fly rods, tackle boxes, tents, army surplus sleeping bags. There’s a kayak in our garage; he launches it on warm Sunday mornings and returns a changed man, with pictures of large-mouth bass on his Blackberry.
He tells our sons about the places he’ll take them when they’re older—out west, up north, through mountains, down streams—and in his head, I think he envisions me at home curled on the couch with a book, or having an evening out with girlfriends, or relaxing in a pedicure chair. He knows I love those things..What he doesn’t know—or at least he has never believed—is that he married an outdoorswoman, too. I’ve never been fly fishing, but I still can cast and reel with the best of them. Just ask all the bread bags and shoes I caught from the Scioto River as a child. And then there was the night of my junior prom, where I slept on the deck under the stars because I couldn’t find the key to the front door. So see? I’m no stranger to nature. Obviously, I’ve hidden my love for fresh air quite on purpose. That way, no one would ever expect me to be a proper gardener. I like a good pillow and a hot shower and a quick swipe of lipstick in the morning. Even so, give me a tent and marshmallows for toasting, and I will not say no.
This past Saturday was the National Wildlife Foundation’s Great American Backyard Campout. I had big plans for the three guys in my house: cook out, pitch the tent, unfurl the sleeping bags, roast marshmallows, catch lightening bugs, and finally prove to GB that his prissy wife can survive a night in a tent, exposed to the elements and away from her iPhone.
Check back tomorrow for the conclusion…..Here it is..
Maura is a full-time managing editor for a global bank. She lives in Columbus, OH, with her husband of 11 years, and has two little boys, 3 and 5 years old. This year, she’s doing 36 things she’s never done, all before her 37th birthday, and she’s blogging about it. Read the latest on 36×37, or stop by the 36×37 facebook page. You can also find Maura on Twitter .