TalonRider Posted December 17, 2014 Report Share Posted December 17, 2014 Posted 21 December 2005 - 08:26 PM A Christmas StoryWhen I was a little boy, my family did not have a lot of money.My father had a reasonably well paying job, but with four kids anda dog, money was often tight. This is not to say that we weredeprived or unhappy. Our family did many activities together, butour favorite was camping, which we did year-round, blazing heat orfreezing cold.It was a great site to see the whole clan scrambling to get every-thing together for a weekend trip. The whole family then piledinto our Chevy station wagon with a dog bigger than the threesmallest children put together. Dad would then tie down ourtrusty tent to the top of the Chevy and off we would go.Our tent was amazing in and of itself. It was an army surplustent, large enough for the whole family plus dog. It had survivedthough rainstorms, snowstorms, and windstorms. It had twice beenuprooted from its stakes in high winds. (Makes me wonder why wewent camping in so much terrible weather.) It had blown off theChevy a couple of times, but it had always survived. At least itsurvived with mother's help at the sewing machine. It had patchesover patches but it was still our faithful camping tent.But alas, canvas can only last so long, so after about ten yearsof steady service, my Dad admitted one summer that our tent was nolonger useable. We didn't go camping at all the following fall.The only thing that kept us kids controllable was that Dadpromised we would get a new tent at Christmas, and we could gocamping all winter.So Mom and Dad went on a savings program to get the money for ournew tent. They even got us kids to pitch in a little. Money wastight, but the savings accumulated, and we all had visions of agreat winter outdoors. That is, until disaster struck in lateNovember, and my little bother Johnny broke his arm. Dad hadn'tcounted on an emergency, and the hospital and doctor billscompletely depleted our tent saving. We were all downcast at theprospect of no winter camping. Even I was almost sorry I pushedJohnny off the roof.So as Christmas approached, we were all pretty glum. Thereweren't as many presents around the tree as usual, because theextra money had gone into my bother's arm. Finally, ChristmasEve was here, and our month long depression was lifted a little,because we could open our presents. Dad had to work, but he waslate, and hadn't called. Mother began to worry, and just beforeshe called the police, Dad drove up.We couldn't believe our eyes! There on top of the Chevy was abrand new shiny tent, even larger than Old Faithful. Instantly,five voices started asking Dad question after question, so heushered us all into the living room, around the Christmas tree totell us what happened.It seems that Dad had seen an advertisement for a store calledSURPLUS CITY (all caps required). Last week he had gone by tosee if they had any tents that we could afford. There was oneperfect tent (the only one actually) for $60. So Dad worked alittle overtime and scrimped a little on his Christmas gifts andhe scraped together about $45. That night he had gone to SURPLUSCITY with his $45 and tried to get a bargain on the tent. He hadmanaged to chisel the manger down to $50 for the tent, but fromthere the manager wouldn't budge. There was no credit or lay-awayat SURPLUS CITY, either, just cold hard cash.So Dad went back out to the car, and thought about how hard itwould be to come home empty handed. In a flash of inspiration,he got the spare tire from the car and went back in. He askedthe manager if he would take the spare tire for $5 so he couldbuy the tent.With that act of desperation, the manager's heart softened. Whatwith it being Christmas and all, and my father being so intent ongetting the tent, and stopping in several times over the pastweek, he let Dad have the tent for $40.When Dad finished telling this story, we all cheered and holleredand generally made fools of ourselves. That was the happiestChristmas I have ever had. And that was the best winter ofcamping we ever had too, in THE WINTER OF OUR DISCOUNT TENT. Quote Link to comment
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.