*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family member, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
Everyone loves going camping, well, almost everyone. So when my aunt and uncle invited my parents to visit their campground at the beach, they accepted.
My father was eager to see his sister and his brother-in-law, but my mother was not so eager. She was six months pregnant and would have preferred to stay at home in the city with her feet up and the air conditioner running at full speed.
Unfortunately, my aunt decreed that my mother was "too pregnant" to stay home alone while my father went to the campground. Despite my mother's repeated attempts to assure everyone concerned that she was perfectly fine staying home, my aunt wouldn't hear of it. "She has to come, too," she instructed my father.
My father insisted that my heavily pregnant, easily overheated mother join him on his trip to the campground. Reluctantly, my mother accepted her fate.
It was the middle of a mid-July heatwave. Saying it was hot would be an understatement. It wasn't any cooler at the beachside camping ground where my aunt and uncle had parked their RV.
My mother tried to make the best of it. Maybe we'll have a cookout by the seashore, she thought. That might be nice.
My aunt had other plans. As soon as my mother and my father arrived, my aunt declared that she wanted my mother to bake a cake inside the tiny RV, which had no air conditioning and one tiny fan.
"Look," my aunt told my mother, "I have all the ingredients for you to bake us one of your special cakes." She pulled out all the ingredients from a small cupboard and tiny fridge in the kitchenette area of the RV, behind the driver's seat.
"I couldn't believe it," my mother told me. "It was at least 100 degrees in that RV, and she had butter, eggs, flour, vanilla, baking powder, and a big cake pan on the countertop."
My mother's face fell when she learned what my aunt wanted her to do in the oppressive summer heat while six months pregnant to boot. Before she could say anything, my aunt spoke up.
"You know my husband likes to have his cake and milk every night before bed," my aunt told my mother.
That's your problem, not mine, my mother thought. She didn't say it out loud, but she wanted to.
My mother exited the RV saying she was going to check on my father. She didn't go back inside, leaving my aunt to bake a cake and cook dinner all by herself.
"I had packed my own food," my mother told me, "so I didn't need anything from inside that camper. Three hours later, your aunt came outside and complained that she had been baking and cooking ever since I left. She said I disappeared while she was baking that cake for her husband, but she hadn't even started making the cake until after I left. She was trying to make me do it."
Finally, my mother had enough of my aunt's complaining and announced, "That cake is for your husband, not mine. I thought I was coming here to get away from it all, including cooking for other people."
I wish I could say my aunt learned her lesson and treated my mother better after that day, but that wasn't the case.
What do you think? Would you expect a woman who was six months pregnant to bake a cake in a 100-degree RV? I know I wouldn't. Comments are welcome.