Every winter we spend a great deal of time up at Tower Camp.
A few years ago there was talk of a cabin being built. We even bought a shed, took it apart and hauled it up there.
It's still laying in the field – in pieces.
Money and time became a problem so we continued staying in our tent when we went up there.
The cabin has become a “one day” project and the shed is still a pile of wood.
On Thanksgiving we were at my sister's house and someone asked about the camp.
I laughed and said that we were getting too old to sleep on the ground (air mattresses are great – until the air seeps out and you wake up on the ground) so now we're going to take twin bed mattresses every time we go.
My BIL laughed and said “We should give you our camper.”
Wait. What? Give us your camper?
It's a 29' Dutchmen 29Q.
They've owned this camper for almost 10 years but have only used it about 6 times.
I said something about it being worth money and he said why sell it when they can just give it to us.
Not much else was said and since he'd been drinking I assumed he'd wake up the next day and be glad he hadn't signed the title over to me.
I even sent my sister a text later that night asking how much more alcohol he needed to give away their boat.
She thought that was pretty funny since she's the one who uses the boat and it would be over her dead body before he gave that boat away.
A few days went by and I forgot about the whole thing until my sister called.
“Do you still want the camper?”
We talked for a while and even after my BIL sobered up he thought giving us the camper would be a good idea.
We talked about it being worth a lot more than free but she said they've had it in a storage lot for years and after talking about it decided they wanted to give it to us.
It's funny – I'm a writer and I can't come up with the right words to express my gratitude. “Thank you” doesn't even come close.
There is one problem though.
Our truck is dead. Like, real dead. So I don't have a way to pull the camper.
My Dad has a truck so I called and asked if he'd go with us to get the camper and bring it to our house.
I know I'm putting the cart in front of the horse but I'm not letting a dead truck stop me from getting a free camper.
On our way to pick the camper up Dad told me that he was at dinner with my sister, BIL and some of their friends a few nights earlier and that when my BIL mentioned giving me their camper his friend offered him 4k – on the spot.
My BIL told him no and stuck with his decision to give it to us.
So the Island King and I drove to Gulf Breeze, got my Dad and his truck and out to Perdido Key we went to pick up the camper.
It took quite a while to get it hooked up and rolling but after a picnic lunch (in the storage lot) and a lot of cussing on his and the Island King's part, they got it hooked up to his truck.
We were worried about the tires possibly being dry rotted but thankfully we made it to my house with no problems at all.
Because it's been sitting in storage it needed a good deep cleaning but since they bought it new and then hardly used it there wasn't any dirt or grime – just dust.
And, when they bought it, my sister stocked it perfectly. Dishes, pots and pans, silverware, sheets, towels and every gadget needed for pumping out the tank, hooking things up in a camp ground and anything else you can possibly think of.
We won't be getting a new truck until after Christmas but in the mean time I have what is a basically brand new camper in my driveway.
And as hard as I've tried I still can't come up with the right words to say thank you.
What I can say is that I have the best sister and BIL anyone could ever ask for.
Until I come up with something better, thank you will have to do so THANK YOU BOTH for giving me such an incredible gift!
I love you both and hopefully one day I'll be able to do something extraordinary for y'all.