From Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul

The Camping Trip

It’s not where you go or what you do, it’s who you take along with you.


It was raining sideways and thundering so loud that the house shook. Anne sat in the middle of the hardwood floor surrounded by sleeping bags, camping stove, groceries and a tent. She wondered if the tent would be able to float in the ocean-sized puddles that were forming on the leaf-covered ground.

In a few minutes Sam was supposed to arrive for their anniversary camping trip. They had hardly seen each other the last few weeks. They were both bogged down with graduate thesis and research projects. In addition to their schoolwork, Anne taught two classes a week and Sam worked full-time for his mentor. They knew the only way they could spend some time together was to go out of town, away from phones, computers and professors asking for last-minute favors. This trip was going to be their reunion as well as their one-year anniversary celebration.

“Just my luck,” Anne said out loud. “We finally have plans and it has to rain on our camping trip. We’re cursed!”

The front door opened and there was Sam, clad in soggy hiking boots and clothes so wet they looked like they were melting.

“Who’s cursed?” he asked, plopping down on the splayed sleeping bags. “Certainly not us. Two wildly in-love newlyweds about to go on the world’s most fabulous camping trip?”

Anne shook her head. “You don’t really want to go camping in this weather?”

“You bet I do!”

Before Anne could answer, Sam stood up and walked around the room. First, he unplugged the phone, then the computer. He pulled down the shades and covered the television with the orange afghan they kept on the couch. Then he began setting up the tent in the middle of the living room floor. He brought the George Foreman grill in from the kitchen and set it up next to the tent and lit a fire in the rarely used fireplace.

“Now,” he said smiling, “have you ever seen a more beautiful campsite?” He opened his arms wide and Anne rose and stood in his embrace, laughing as she surveyed their campsite.


That night after they roasted hot dogs on the George Foreman grill and toasted marshmallows in the fireplace, they were tucked inside their sleeping bags. Sam circled his arms around Anne’s waist.

“Sam,” Anne said, “when we planned this night, I imagined that by now we would be watching the sunset behind House Mountain and sipping on some champagne, but, somehow, this makes it all the more special. We don’t need a romantic sunset, or a fancy bottle of champagne or beautiful scenery—we just need each other, forever. Together we can make any situation work out right.”

Anne and Sam just celebrated their ten-year wedding anniversary. To celebrate they did the usual; they went on a romantic camping trip—right in their own living room.

Meghan Mazour


“Do you want to be the one to go outside
when it’s minus-15 to get some firewood?
All right then, quit complaining!”

CLOSE TO HOME. © John McPherson. Reprinted with permission of UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE. All rights reserved.

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