Dad wanted us to “camp” in the backyard as I had been doing for several years. But we were teenagers now and wanted to be away from home for our great Screen House experience. So we loaded all our gear into his truck and off we went. We went right to the big tree by the pond in my uncle’s cow pasture, thirty miles from home.
No, we don’t need any help putting up the Screen House. We’ll see you in 4 days and waved good-bye. Then the fun began, as we carefully used our small shovel and hands to clear the raised area under the tree of ‘cow pies’, sticks and stones. When it was nice and clean and as smooth as we could get it we spread the Shelter floor. First job done girls, this should only take about 15 minutes to finish. Yeah!
Then it went something like this:
Judy: “Do we stake it down now or wait?”
Phyllis: “Wait til we get the Screen House laid out… There if you’ll grab that corner, Ethel and Judy that one we’ll have it nice and even,,,,,Good. Now the poles, slide them through the loops on the outside at each corner like this… Great job girls.”
Ethel: “Now how do we get it standing up and fastened down?”
Phyllis: “Carefully unzip and open the door… Here, move the back wall out of the way and you two each take a side and stand the poles up while I fasten the guy lines… Judy, watch it! You’re leaning to far back… Watch out! It’s coming down!”
Ethel: “Help! Get me out of here. This thing is heavy!”
Judy: “There you go. You okay? I don’t think we are strong enough to lift it. Let’s go get your uncle.”
Phyllis: “No! We can do it, just think a minute. We can’t admit defeat. Think of the guys back home laughing at us.”
Deep thought by all.
Ethel: “Got it! Where’s that spare piece of rope we brought? You can throw it over that big limb up there and we’ll pull it up while you tie it down. OK?”
Judy: “Hey, great idea Brains. Lets go. We’re wasting time.”
I coil and throw the rope at the limb several times, as we giggle and laugh at my efforts.
Phyllis: “There only 5 tries to get it over. Quit laughing or next time you can do the rope toss. Now pull… it’s moving.. Wait, we forgot the stakes and guy lines,. Let it down a little and tie it around the tree… That’s good.. Where’s the hammer?”
Ethel: “Don’t tell me we forgot it.”
Judy: “Okay I won’t, cause I tripped over it a minute ago. Here it is. Oh, Phyl you got the guy lines all hooked up to the poles. Good. Here’s the hammer.”
Phyllis: “You take a breather while I get these stakes in. We’re almost done I think… There, that’s done. Now for the lines to hold it up. Pull.. Pull..Tie off… And all the lines are staked and tied. We can put the doors up for Awnings tomorrow.”
Judy: “Let’s get our things inside before those cows over there get curious. Then we can take a short nap and fix hot dogs for supper. We won’t catch many fish with the cows in the pond.”
Ethel: “Oh good my favorite supper after a 4 plus hour, 15 minute job. Oh look, here comes your uncle. Is he laughing at our odd shaped Shelter? Well it’s good enough for me.”
Phyllis: “Well, let’s get that nap. He’s just after the cows to milk. Then we can eat. Later we can watch the stars through the Screen House screen roof and maybe wish on a falling star before bed.”