Over Labor Day weekend, we decided to camp in our backyard. We were all excited for it. It would be fun, they said. I don’t think we’ll do that ever again.
Not the backyard camping thing – we’ve actually done that a lot. Takes a whole lot of risk out of the whole camping thing altogether. I admit I’ve snuck into the house a couple times.
We really did have fun that evening, there was a lot of badminton played and I LOVE badminton. I’ll have you know that my senior year in high school, for PE class, I was the badminton champion. Undefeated. I kinda think I should have pursued it because I bet I could have made the olympic team. No joke. But instead, I went with volleyball, which was oversaturated and I didn’t have a chance at the Olympics.
I love tennis and volleyball and badminton is a fun mix of both. Easier than both, too.
We had burgers and smores, it was a great time. LIttle drama, which is always good.
Went to bed without incident when the sun went down, maybe around 9pm. I feel fast asleep, as I usually do. I had a little wine too, so that helps. The kids were tired out, so they fell asleep too (thank God.)
But then I woke up. Tossed and turned. Took in all the sounds. There was still quite a bit of traffic noise, far off in the distance. We’re actually not near a major road at all, but a busy thoroughfare is maybe a half mile away and on the Sunday night before Labor Day, you could hear motorcycles and cars driving way too fast. Sirens. I could tell it was still, well, night time.
I thought about a lot of things, basically figured out everything and determined to remember it all in the morning. I never do.
Then it got quieter. Mostly crickets with the occasional train horn blast (which I actually love. I have always heard the trains living here in Atlanta, no matter where I lived, Midtown, Buckhead, wherever. I always hear the trains and I love them.)
I’d hear a branch crack, and get all intensely focused. Is there a serial killer in our midst? Did it fall from that gigantic tree just above us and does that mean it’s about to fall and kill us all?
Then I heard what sounded like high-pitched little girl giggling, in animal form. Coyotes. I had heard that there’ve been many sitings around here lately. They’ve basically clear-cut hundreds of acres of forest area just outside our subdivision to put up yet another grocery store. We have PLENTY within a 5 mile radius. But anyway, there was speculation that the coyotes were displaced from their homes there.
I heard the blast from what I believed was the 5am train. The 5am train always blasts its horn way louder than necessary and I picture the engineer just laughing like a madman, knowing that he’s waking up all the babies within a 20 mile radius and making people’s lives miserable. It’s loud y’all. And we don’t even live that close to the tracks – maybe a mile away? It was especially jarring without a window pane to protect me.
Soon after, Kevin gets up. “Where ya going?” “To pee.” YES!!! I’m ecstatic. All I can think is that I NEED MUST HAVE coffee as soon as possible, and I’m relieved that it’s nearly 6am. Kevin gets up at around 6am most mornings and so I think his body clock and bladder alarm is going off. I also have to pee, probably have had to for a couple hours, but I’m terrified to wake up the kids and then have a real disaster on our hands.
He comes back into the tent. The kids are still sleeping, which is miraculous. “What time is it?” Coffee time. Coffee time. Coffee time. “3am.” In horror, I (way too loudly) gasp “WHAT?!?!” I’d been tossing and turning for HOURS. HOURS. I must have coffee. This is so uncool. So unfair. Life is unfair!
I’d had it. I’m outta here. I go in the house. Consider a 3am coffee. But know that I’ll be a miersable piece of you know what if I do that. I chug some water, pee and go upstairs and turn on Dateline. Because that’s how I always fall asleep easily. Murder puts me right to sleep.
Not long after, maybe 30-45 minutes. I hear EVERYONE come in the house downstairs. Oh crap. I’ve woken them all up and now Kevin’s gonna be mad at me. The kids will be over tired and miserable. I wonder about what happened in the tent just moments earlier to cause them ALL to come in? A mass pee break? Someone peed in their sleeping bag, crying ensues? That’s most probable.
They all trek upstairs, I get out of bed, but I don’t want to, but I’m convinced I’m in trouble, so I try to make an effort.
“What happened?” “Coyotes.” Whoa. Ok. I told him I heard them too. But apparently they picked up my winey scent as I walked through the backyard and into the house. Kevin said he heard them running around in the yards just next to us and more cackling – that weird high-pitched kind. He weighed his risks and options. He had no weapon to defend the kids if a coyote got hungry. So, he got them all awake and ran them all in the house together as fast as he could.
We put the kids to bed. I finally fell asleep maybe around 5:30ish. He let me sleep in til maybe 8am.
Not getting any sleep right before a busy week (AJ would be going to back to school this week and I’m always more busy than I can handle) is not a good idea.
I love these pictures, these are the Before pictures. But man oh man…I’m not sure I’ll sign up anytime soon for backyard camping again. It took me a solid week to get over it and I still feel tired.
Thanks for listening to me ramble about it…
Amanda Myers is a photographer in Gwinnett County, GA that specializes in family photography including maternity, newborn, children and high school seniors. You’ve stumbled across her random blog, but to see more of her professional work, you can visit her business website: Family Photography in Gwinnett County. She’s also an Instagram expert and offers a service to other photographers that provides them with daily updates for all of the Instagram hub themes and hashtags, called HubHack. You can visit her on Instagram for personal work, client work, and all things Instagram and Photography-related.
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