I've spent the weekend with Sheree. I am going back down to Mark's today. As I look out Sheree's front room window, I see the sheep-herder wagon that we stayed in a few years back. How you loved sleeping in it. It reminded me of our second hunting trip together. I was pregnant with Susan at the time and morning sickness was my enemy. We had gone hunting with Carl Schemensky and his wife Linda.
When we got to our camp site, you set up your big wall tent complete with a gypsy bed and a barrel stove and a piece of old carpet for the floor. I sat in the truck while you got it all set up and in a short time you had it all put together. It was a cold October night up on that mountain but when I walked into the tent, the warmth embraced me. You had the bed made and a fire going and it was wonderful.
During the night a storm moved in setting down several inches of snow. The nylon tent Carl and Linda had didn't hold up under it and so they moved into the wall tent. Early the next morning you walked down over the hill and in just a few moments I heard a shot and knew you had your buck. That would have been October of 1964; we had been married just over four months.
You never did forget our first hunting trip. You were hunting antelope down at Wah- Wah Indian Springs in southern Utah. It was in September of 1964 and we had put a mattress in the back of your little Dodge truck for our bed. You had your camping supplies to cook over the open fire. I had been morning sick from day one with Susan and it was relentless. You thought it would help if you fixed me a little bowl of Dinty Moore Beef Stew. You opened the can and sat it over the fire and within seconds the scent of that stew filled the air; and the minute I smelled it, I started heaving again. You would laugh several times over the next 47 years with the fact that I was Never able to eat Dinty Moore Beef Stew.
On our way home, you threw your cigarette butt out the window and the wind caught it and it landed in the bed of the truck. Soon our mattress was on fire. You jumped out and pulled it out as we watched it burn.
During the summer of 1965, you decided we needed something to go camping in. We had a baby girl with another on the way. (I gave birth to two babies when I was 19 years old and they weren't twins.) Since we could not afford to buy any camping unit, you decided you would build us a camper to fit on the back of your little Dodge truck. You built one out of plywood and it was so cute. It had a cupboard for a broom and mop and a little cabinet where we could set our cooler down into. It had a counter top where our Coleman stove sat and to the side there was a counter space for a dish washing area. Above the stove you had put hooks to hang a lantern. The table dropped down and we were able to slide the two seats together to make us a small bed. We had found an old mattress that we re-covered and cut it in two. It served as our bench cushions and when we pulled them together they were our mattress. Under the benches you had made storage room for our supplies . You had scalloped the edges of the trim and I had made curtains. It was just what we needed. We went on a trip out through the Book Cliffs with your mom and dad. Our little Susan sat in her little seat while I worked around inside.
We outgrew our little camper in short time however. I love you for building that for us. For loving us enough to want us to come with you and for wanting us to be as comfortable as you could afford to make us. I know had it been just you, you would have thrown your bedroll under the stars and been content.
I am thankful for the memories Honey, even though with them comes the pain of wanting to build more with you. Keep your campfire burning honey. I will be home shortly.......but still no Dinty Moore Beef Stew....okay?
I love you
Far Beyond the 12th of Never.