Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Great Outdoors and Other Wonders

I’ve just finished my last load of laundry from back-to-back camping trips. The first was in Yellowstone with just the family--with me and Rob playing the role of Grandma and Grandpa for the first time. It was kind of deja vu since we used to camp in Yellowstone with his parents when we were newly married. I think we did okay in our new roles, except for the part where Jen thought I was bringing the baby’s crib and I thought she was. The little guy ended up sleeping in a suitcase. Hopefully he won’t require therapy in the future.

The second week was spent at girl’s camp. Even though girl’s camp is one of my favorite places in the whole world, I kind of think there ought to be a rule that Grandma’s shouldn’t be invited. At least that's what my old bones are telling me. Next year I’ll make sure to bring that up if I get another invitation. But I did somehow survive.

I'd be here all day if I tried to list all the funny moments (that's why I love it so much), but I'll share some highlights. Like when a woman walked by our camp as we were setting up and asked if this was an intervention. “Huh?” I replied. (Brilliant conversationalist, I know.) She pointed to the truck parked out front. It belongs to the husband of our camp leader, who I’ll call “Matt” and who we all love despite his obnoxious truck that is high enough to cause nosebleeds and makes the sound of an actual train when you honk it. (Which he does as he passes our house each and every day--but I digress.) It also has his company’s logo emblazoned on the side: Inkdoubt, tattoo removal. “You have a girl with a tattoo?” The woman asked. Ah, hence the intervention.

We had no tattoos, (as far as I know) but just like any rugged camp we did have plenty of glitter, bracelets, hair beads, and be-dazzles. There were glittered bras, glittered people, glittered tents. Even my cell phone and hiking boots got bedazzled. And you should see the bald spot of one of our male visitors. Twenty-eight girls. Twenty-eight cans of glitter hair spray. You do the math.

Other favorite memories are the time a cook (not me, I swear) dumped a trash can supposedly filled with paper products in to the fire, and two aerosol cans of glitter immediately exploded.

Then there was a young leader who gravely confessed to our tent that she’s a claustrophobic who has been known to take down tents in the middle of the night. “But don’t worry,” she assured us, “I haven’t done that in twelve years.” Then she added, “Of course I haven’t been in a tent in twelve years.”

When we got done laughing, we made sure she was nice and comfy.

No list of favorite moments could leave out our camp leader Sharla and her horns. The first I’ve already mentioned—which was fabulous for waking the girls in the morning. The second came from a package that stated it had an “impressive blast”. Yeah, impressive in that it sounded like a cow in labor. I had to make a strict rule that she couldn’t blow the horn while we were glittering—the ensuing laughter made a mess.

Rumor quickly spread through camp that Sharla was pregnant. With twins. She did confirm the news—twin cows, that is.

Sharla instructed us to wear our bracelets on Sunday. The girls spent hours braiding them. I was busy cooking and guilted a couple of girls into making them for me. Sharla said it was so I'd stop flashing my naked wrists at them. Anyway, I digress again. She said that when we pass in the halls we can hit them together, and there will be a great “KAPOW” noise, and sparks of our awesomeness will fly out.

My Natalie tells me that’s why Sharla makes a great camp leader. “Because she gets us.”

And that's got to be the best compliment any camp leader could get. KAPOW!

Friday, July 3, 2009

I'm Back!

Well Howdy! I guess it's time to dust off the cobwebs in the corner of this blog and get to typing. I have very purposely stayed away for a couple of months now. Nothing personal. Stayed away from Facebook and my writer's group too. Summer came, along with the usual craziness that accompanies multiple children and sun, and I hadn't met my goal of getting my query package prepared and in the mail. So I prioritized, and all those things had to take a vacation. Kids and family and real life came first. Fortunately, in between trips to museums, movies, plenty of snowcones, babysitting the grandbaby, a musical production (boy was it cute) and sending two kids out of state for jobs (one of them twice), I did manage to get that package done. Yay me!

And right now I'm the one taking the vacation - I'm currently sitting on a porch swing in West Yellowstone enjoying a big dose of after-rain sun. Yesterday we saw Old Faithful and a real-live herd of buffalo up close. Incredible all.

Pictures to come...when I get around to it...but next week is girl's camp, then my little one starts intense rehearsals for Suessical...

And on it goes...