Five dollar shopping

Every summer when I was a kid my grandma took my sister, our three cousins and me camping. I looked forward to it every year. She took us out for lunch one day. The rest of the weekend we ate hamburgers with homemade dill pickles and hot dogs on the grill.

The girls and I spent our days jumping off docks into the lake at the campground. We roasted marshmallows and played tag. One year my cousin Allison got stung by a bee. The image of that ginormous wasp dangling from her arm and the sound of her shrieks will stay with me forever.

The highlight of our camping trip was an afternoon of shopping. Grandma gave each of us five dollars to spend on whatever we wanted. Every year we went to the same little hobby shop crammed to the ceiling with cheap plastic squirt guns and model airplanes. One year my sister bought a pink plastic toy car with neat flower stickers for her dolls to ride around in. We only had five dollars, but it took us an entire afternoon to decide what to buy. We always drug Grandma back and forth between the same stores trying to make up our minds.

This past weekend, it was our turn to take Grandma out. We all met up for supper at a little cafe in town. It's been probably 15 or 20 years since our last camping trip. Needless to say the conversations have changed a little since then. But we had just as much fun as we did back then.

We were even "plus one" with my niece along for the occasion.