Life According to Ginger: A Family Vacation and My Love/Hate Relationship with Mother Nature

Life According to Ginger: A Family Vacation and My Love/Hate Relationship with Mother Nature

By Contributor

My relationship with Mother Nature can be compared my relationship with my cousin who is going to Yale. Or my other cousin, who is studying neuroscience. I love them, but they have ALWAYS one-upped me in just about everything. Which can get wearisome. I sit at home, trying to decide on my major and explaining to people exactly where my school is, and they are off traipsing about the coastlines and being successful.

I love Mother Nature, but she pretty much beats the human race at everything, and I kinda take it personally. I win my battles against Mother Nature (and my cousins), but I think we know who is winning the war. Hint: it isn't me, and it isn't Napoleon. Although that would be pretty cool. We could all use a little more Bonaparte in our lives.

The latest series of conflicts started with my family making our semi-annual trip up to the lake, where we fortified our cabin with air-conditioning, and bathed in mosquito spray (the bugs up there resemble WWII fighter planes. Small ones). We fired up the grill, and avoided the lake at all costs.

Mother Nature is no idiot. She knew that my grandmother had been coming up to the lake for decades, and refused to sleep with the windows closed, wishing to be lulled to sleep by peaceful sounds from the lake. Sneak attack! There was a large patch of seaweed by the shore that smelled like the love child of dead carp and cow manure. A simple breeze from the northeast, and my entire family was gagging for the weekend.

The next time that I upset her was mostly an accident. I was hiking along some boulders on the shore and drinking a bottle of water. It was a horrible idea to try the two at once, because I accidentally dropped the bottle into a crevice, no doubt killing some poor creature. This was unfortunate, because I stirred up her wrath, and she sent swarms of mosquitoes (our spray was long gone), and I now have enormous bites up and down my legs.

Next round: I tried to reason with Mother Nature and went out in a kayak to appreciate her a little more, but it was like a less-deadly version of the Treaty of Versailles. The only wave in the entire lake landed directly in my lap, and I smelled like seaweed for the rest of the night.

The final blow was dealt by Gaia herself (Age of Mythology: The Titans, anyone?), and was completely uncalled for. Unless you count all the greenhouse gases from our massive minivan. Being a redhead, you see, I'm vulnerable to the sun. Even if I don't have creepy white skin, I still get burned ridiculously easy. So when I fell asleep outside, caught unawares by another failed attempt at the Iliad, Mother Nature took her chance. My skin is now flaming red, and hot to the touch. Luckily, this was the day before our return home, and I am now hibernating in the basement for as long as my work schedule allows.

Thus ends my tale. I don't have life lessons this week—just that you should NOT mess with nature. You'll get your a** kicked.

Ginger's Song of the Week: Yay! Classical music! Even if you don't like classical, you should try this. I pinky swear that it's not boring. I played it in orchestra, but not nearly as well as these guys. The conductor has fantastic hair, which should be enough to reassure you that it's good.

Related post: Life According to Ginger: Coming Out Before College (a Screenplay and Analysis)

Topics: camping, lakes, life according to ginger, cousins, nature

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