Thursday, December 31, 2009

Throwback Thursday: 1972

I ran across this picture of me and my oldest son Eric, when he was 6 months old.  This was my "hippy" stage: hence, the wire-frame glasses, the straight hair with the center part.

About this time, Eric, his Dad, and I lived in a tent for six weeks at the Stafford Springs Campground in Connecticut, while his Dad finished up his Master's Degree in summer school at Western New England College in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Imagine it:  two adults and a six-month old baby living in a tent.  His father and I had never been camping before in our lives;  it was the most economical way for my ex to finish his degree.  We owned a home in Maine, but had only one car.  We couldn't afford to rent an apartment and make payments on our home, too; and I didn't want to stay in Maine by myself with a baby and no wheels.  We had no close friends or relatives nearby, as we had moved to Maine less than a year prior.

In the end, I loved camping--my ex hated it.  Eric and I got tan playing in the lake mornings, and I read several books in the afternoons while Eric napped.  We had no TV, and of course back then personal computers were practically non-existant.  Half-way through the six weeks, we left the tent and stayed in a hotel for a weekend.  We gloried in the comfort of a real bed for a couple of nights, instead of sleeping on the ground in sleeping bags, and I was able to take a bubble bath, instead of a quick shower in the campsite bath facilities.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, the first night that we actually had the tent erected and moved in, the rain started, and it rained for ten straight days!  We had to dig a trench around the tent so the water wouldn't go under it and make it squishy.  (This could have contributed to my ex's extreme distaste for camping!) 

 My spirits were not dampened however; I went on to camp in that tent many more times over the years with my sons, although their dad never did sleep in the tent again!


Vicente Caldas said...

Hi Eva

I dont forget you. Happy New Year my dear, love and peace in 2010.

jinksy said...

My, you were a game gal! The very word tent had me running for cover...

ethelmaepotter! said...

Maybe it's because I've just been reminiscing about my own son, but I adore this post. I cannot imagine living in a tent, though...with a baby! Eva, you're one strong lady, hippie glasses and all!

My name is PJ. said...

This is one of my favorite of your posts, Eva! You were a hippie! I was totally surprised, not because you don't have obvious adventure in your soul, but because I forgot we all lived through that era!

This should be part of a book - memoirs for your family history, if not for public consumption.

Happy, Happy New Year!!

Kerri said...

I love it! You ARE a strong woman! I couldn't have done that... slept in a tent! On the GROUND?? My back would have been killin' me! You go girl!! Stopping by from SITS

Rhonda said...

I picked this one out of the list because 1972 was the year I was born! lol I loved this! I am so NOT a camper, however, but my hubby and kids go out every summer, leaving me all by myself at home. Sigh.... It's truly awesome! lol

Ms. Wanda said...

How amazing!!! A tent, all's (jersey accent) I could think about was bugs, yikes! Life was so much simpler in the 70's I love this story you gave me an idea for my next one:) I haven't seen one of those black and white photo strips in like forever, wow! Oh and by the way I love the center part and still where it myself with a bun:)

Have a Wondeful New Year Ms. Eva!
Ms. Wanda

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

That is awesome! My parents would have done the same thing. If you could have seen the way those hippies dressed me in 74! It was a sight. My dad was even in Life magazine all "long-haired" as my Grandpa called it. Then they moved to the village in NYC (before it was cool) and that's where I was born. They were worse than hippies, they were theater hippies!

I loved your pictures. I'll certainly be back to see more!

Stopping by from SITS. Happy New Year!

Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

The Vegetable Assassin said...

You have had quite the eventful life haven't you! That's crazy. However, I can absolutely see me doing this. I like camping and adventure. :) Of course we have air mattresses nowadays for that sort of thing. Haha.

This Mama Works It! said...

Wow living in a tent with a 6 month old!! That is amazing! But I bet your son loved it! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Happy new year!

Jen said...

You made memories for your boys. OMG! Does he look like his son .....!!!! Cute picture....I don't know though, that hair on you??!!!!lol

Mesina said...

Have an absoultely fantastic 2010 Eva!!! xx

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

What a fantastic story, and those photos are truly wonderful!

jules said...

What an adventure! Pretty romantic too actually. Love the hair!

Queenie Jeannie said...

Wow! I can't imagine doing all that!!

Happy New Year and thank you for visiting on my special SITS day!!

Eva Gallant said...

Vincente: I left you a message on your blog. Happy New Year.

Jinksy: I wouldn't tent now because I can't make it through the night anymore without having to go to the bathroom--and I'm not keen on hiking up to the campground bathrooms in the dark!

ethel: It was actually a piece of cake! And lots of fun, too.

PJ: I wasn't a serious hippie--just looked like one!

Kerri: Actually, sleeping on the tent floor in a sleeping bag isn't half bad. What's bad is at this age when you have to get up and pee 2 or 3 times during the night and the bathrooms are some distance away in the dark. The last time I went camping was 10 years ago, and that was the reason I gave it up!

Rhonda: You are the same age as my oldest son. But you are missing a lot of fun staying home from camping. Cooking breakfast on the cammpfire, making samores at night. . .but I can also understand you're enjoying some time to yourself, too.

Ms. Wanda: Surprisingly enough, most campgrounds have pretty good pest control, and you don't see that many! I don't know the last time I saw one of those little booths you go into to get your picture taken and get one of those strips like that!

MaWhats4dinner: Glad you enjoyed the pictures; feel free to come back often!

Veg: I can totally picture you doing that as well! (But only wimps use air mattresses!) lol

This Mama: My son was too young to really know much of what was going on, but he did love playing in the lake. I was a nursing Mom--not bottles to deal with, so it was really pretty easy.

Jen: I know...that was not the most attractive hairstyle on me, but when you living in a tent, you can't get to fancy!

Mesina: Right back at you with the New Year wishes!

Richard: glad you enjoyed the post!

Jules: It was an adventure!

Life with Kaishon said...

I love those pictures. Very, very sweet. And I LOVE this story! What a great adventure. I slept on a tent when I was a camper in junior high. I was not as in love with it as everyone else was! : )

Life with Kaishon said...

PS Happy New Year! : )

The Retired One said...

Very cute story,Eva...we camped in a trailer off and on one summer and that was it...we saved up for a tent camper and then moved up to an older tiny camper on wheels after that.
Now that I am older, I would never tent again...but boy we had some great times too. Our kids still talk about the fun they had when we all went camping every summer.

gayle said...

What a wonderful memory for you..I like to camp but not in the rain!!

Jen @ ourfinehouse said...

Wow, what a story! I don't think I could ever live in a tent. You sure are one strong woman!

Thanks for stopping by!

The Lucy and Dick Show said...

What we did for our Ex'es! (Kinda worked out in your favor though?) I also hate camping, but consider a Scottish Inn a campground. Does a Scottish Inn count?

Steven Anthony said...

What a wonderful rich life you have lead...such cool memories;)

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

What a neat story! I wonder how it would be living in a tent with a cat? Happy New Year!

Vivianne's Vista said...

This was truly a wonderful story. It sounds so exciting and free! I can't imagine doing something like that, being so obligated with work and children. But it sure sounds like fun. You are truly a trooper to have done that with a young child and still keep your spirits high!

BTW- Thank you for the visit and comment on my site!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Great story! I had wire rims and a center part, too, along with bell-bottoms and peace-sign jewelry. But I had an office job and work clothes, too, so the hippiness was mostly a fashion statement.

Eva Gallant said...

Kaishon: It WAS and adventure! Happy New Year to you too.

Retired: It certainly does make for memories!

Gayle: It only rained for the first 10 days. The weather was lovely after that!

Jen@: It doesn't require strength as much as flexibility!

Lucy: A Scottish Inn definitely counts!

Steven: There have bee highs and lows!

Reeni: I guess it would be purrty challenging!

Vivienne: At the time, Haubs was a teacher, so he had the summer off and I was a SAHM.

Blissed: I wasn't a full-blown hippie; It was more convenience than conviction!