Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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Santa Catalina

My house for four days this past week was a tent. By choice, fortunately. Gloriously. Temporarily.

My daughter, husband and I went to Catalina Island with a group of friends, riding the boat over, then a bus, with our gear conveniently trucked into the wilderness by truck. Storybook to the point of non-reportability. Except our tent failed to be packed onto the truck. Had everyone else in our group been sleeping out, in their pillowy sleeping bags, it would have been fine. But they weren't. They had tents, and we didn't have one, and the desire to conform at a campsite can be as deep as the need for marshmallows. They put up homes, found good places for their necessaries to make themselves "at home." And we left our canvas bags and cooler, our this-and-thats in a circle out in the open, in the area where our shelter would have been. Of course it turned into an issue -- the ranger was involved, the driver of the bus. A snag. We had turned into the difficult people with needs that involved others. Precisely what camping is designed to leave behind. We had only just arrived and we felt singularly displaced in our new surroundings, the burden of fate our own responsibility, or fault.

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