Saturday, June 28, 2014

Camp Ah Wahn Gohom

Dear Mom,

Thanks for the package. Unfortunately, Mr. Bulliman was in charge of mail call and he makes us "pay" for our packages by doing something embarrassing. I had to massage his stinky feet. Gross!  I washed my hands ten times before they finally smelled clean.  I guess the homemade cookies from Granny made it worth it. I ate them for lunch.

We've been busy and I've made a few friends. On Monday, our group took a canoe trip around Lake Sludge. (Don't worry, Mom, we wore life jackets.) Jeremy fell out of the canoe while leaning over the edge of the boat to poke a fish. He tumbled in, head first. Fortunately, the water was only two feet deep. He had to walk back so he wouldn't track slimy mud from the bottom of the lake into the canoe.

On Tuesday we practiced archery. It's harder than doing it on the Wii!  I could barely pull that string-thingy back far enough to make the arrow go anywhere. One camper learned how to shoot a bow from his uncle. According to Brutus, Uncle Elmer hunts rabbits in the woods behind his house. He showed me a rabbit's foot on his key chain and now I can't stop thinking about some poor three-legged bunny hiding from Uncle Elmer. Creepy. Once Mr. Hood, the instructor, held the bow steady and I hit the target, but the arrow bounced off the hay bale and landed in the grass. I guess I won't be hunting "wabbits" when I grow up.

We hiked Mount Cumulus on Wednesday. It took all day, but at the summit it was too cloudy to see anything. My hiking buddy, Michelle, was a whiner. She kept asking our leader how much further it was to the top. Eventually, Miss Sandy snapped. "Not another word or I'll cover your mouth with masking tape!" That silenced her. Anytime Michelle started to speak, she'd look over at Miss Sandy and then clamp her mouth shut. The hike was nicer after that.

Yesterday was the Tournament of Strength. Ugh. You know me, I would rather read than see how many chin-ups I can do (which, apparently, is only one). The counselors organized challenges: log rolling, rope climbing, a bungee run and an obstacle course. We finished with a massive game of tug-of-war which resulted in two skinned knees and rope burns on both hands. Our team won. Yipee, I guess.

They're serving grilled cheese for dinner. The food here hasn't been great, but I suppose they can't ruin that, right? Tomorrow's final dinner is International Night with foods from around the world. I heard a terrible rumor they're serving sushi.  I don't know if you'll get this letter before you arrive on Sunday, but if so, please bring me a hamburger from Greasy Jay's. I think I'm going to be hungry.

Give Dad a hug. I can't wait to come home. Next summer, I promise I won't say, "I'm bored," if you promise you won't send me away.



I actually love sushi, but I know
a few kids who don't, wink, wink.

Linking up this week with Writings and Ruminations. 512 words inspired by the picture above and including the following 5 words: Granny, masking tape, cheese, mud and massage. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Homecoming Gift

Thunk! The movers slam shut the door of their oversized truck. They clamber into the cab just as the engine roars to life. Then they're gone. I look around the garage filled with boxes and furniture; a labyrinth of cardboard snakes past me into the house and through each room. The dust has settled on the delivery of our possessions, but there is plenty of work to be done.

I wander through the kitchen, peering at my scribbled writing atop the boxes covering the countertops. Amidst the haphazard pile, I spy boxes marked "master bedroom", "basement", "shed". So much for order, I sigh. Scooping up a box, I navigate upstairs, avoiding a filing cabinet and a plastic bag stuffed with pillows. From my bedroom, I look down at the grass and the deck, wondering how long until I can enjoy that lovely sanctuary without too many should's and could's and would's hanging over me.

My two big kids are in their rooms, anxious to unpack treasures, many of which have been secreted away for nearly a year. Aaron pokes his head out his door and grins, "It made it!" He holds up the body of his Lego AT-AT. "I still have to put his legs back on, but it made the trip." Already Aaron has settled into his space, happily overturning boxes as he searches for joints and feet for his creation. As he turns back, I hear Norah hollering from downstairs.


I look at her over the railing of the loft. She smiles at me and asks, "Can I organize my desk? I don't have all of my boxes yet, but I have some of them." I nod and she skips off to her room in the basement she has claimed, displaying her medals and trophies in prominent places and setting out her books in order of size.

I head to the kitchen, standing in the middle of the room and trying to envision the most sensible places for our pots, pans and dishes. What will be most used? What set up will be most efficient? How many times will I rearrange the cupboards until I get it right? Five boxes later, I head to the garage in search of a package labeled, "Mugs". I find it nestled between a box of books and a plastic bin of Christmas decorations.

Overwhelmed with the sheer scope of making this new house our home, I turn my back on the jumbled mess and head to the front yard, taking a deep breath and soaking up a few rays of sunshine. I explore the flower bed: Queen Anne's Lace, Columbine, Iris and...what's that? To the south of the house a vine climbs a trellis propped against the front porch. It was only green leaves and buds yesterday when we stopped by the new house, but now purple blooms have erupted, cascading into the plants below.  Clematis.

With this little homecoming gift from God, I know that we, too, will bloom in this new house we call home.

A little snapshot of our
 homecoming gift.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.
Why should I be unhappy? Every parcel of my being is in full bloom.
― Rumi


Five-hundred-ish words inspired by the picture of pink blooms and quote above. We've made huge strides toward unpacking and in the blink of an eye, it's like we've always been here.