Monday, March 31, 2008

My Weekend At Camp

I survived. And, parts of it were...something resembling fun!

Look, I'm smiling! Even though I'm cold and filthy!

Actually, the whole thing was not all that bad, EXCEPT for Friday night, the night we arrived. It was unseasonably cold, and, in a way that I could not put my finger on.

Not that the girls noticed; they arrived thrilled and ready to pinball off the walls of the cabin in that way that only eight-year-old girls can do. Our cabin, out of all of them, appeared to be the only one without wooden shutters that one could pull down to ward off the cold, so we tacked up towels and ponchos over the windows using bandage tape, and made do:

Things were a bit more rustic than I would like, but, hey, Motel 6's are usually WAY more rustic than I like, so I figured, when in Rome. So, with my heavy sweatshirt - hood on - and burrowed deep into the warmth of The Man's old-school Arctic-designed sleeping bag, and with the valued help of Dr. Ambien, I managed to finally drift off to sleep.

And then - about 11:30 that night, suddenly, up comes this violent wind. And then BOOM BOOM BOOM HAIL HAIL HAIL RAIN RAIN RAIN. Our towels and ponchos did not have a chance, at least in the lakeside corners; some of the moms got up and found their kids soaking wet. (The OG was OK.) Even the good doctor could not keep me asleep during all this, and I and the other mothers sat up in bed and wondered, to a one, "How in the hell are we supposed to know if this is a tornado?"

Eventually, the rain subsided, and we all drifted back into fitful sleep, with dreams of evacuation, and dread of midnight toilet trips in the (now flooded) campground, wafting through our minds. (The children slept happily through everything, of course.)

I did better than some of the moms, who got about three hours of sleep...but none of us were particularly happy at six-effing-thirty the next morning, when we were awakened by all the folks getting ready for Flag Ceremony.

May I take this second to express my hatred for Flag Ceremony?


Anyway, Saturday morning was gray, gloomy, and overcast. (I did not remove my sweatshirt from the night before.) However, my mood was improved by the fact that this campground feeds you three squares a day in a cafeteria-type setting, and the coffee, scrambled eggs, bacon, and biscuits were hot and plentiful.

Thus, happy that I didn't have to forage around for sticks and berries, I faced the morning with renewed energy; good thing, too, because we had NONSTOP FUN FUN FUN for the entire day. Hiking, sports, archery, kayaking, and swimming were on the schedule...among much else.

Oh, you ask, did you say swimming? Even though you just said that it was cold as shit, and that you and the OG were wearing sweatshirts and jeans/long pants all day long? Even though I'd be hornswoggled if you told me that it broke 63 degrees?

Oh, yes, I did say swimming!

Whee! Doesn't that look like fun? (Not for me; I watched. I'm simply too frail, you understand.

For me, probably the best part of the day was watching the OG on the rock wall. Now, the OG, while athletic and very capable of climbing (trees, ropes, etc.), has not ever made it to the top of one of those rock walls, even though we knew she probably could have done it. We didn't push it, of course, but always kind of wondered why she wouldn't do that, when she was so capable of climbing just about anything else.

This time, she tried it once, got about a third of the way up, and came immediately back down. (They're on rappelling ropes, or belays, or whatever that is called.) I said, no problem, and we contentedly watched of the other girls go up to the top - there was a siren at the top that they could ring. I asked her a couple of times if she wanted to try again, as the other girls had taken several turns, but she declined...until, right at the very end, she agreed to try it one more time.

And, the next thing I know, she shimmies up:

and up:
and in about 30 seconds, she is bloody well at the top, banging that siren for all she is worth!

She came down, and I was screaming and yelling and clapping for her, and she said, "Whew!" I said, "That was AWESOME! You finally did it!"

She said, "Do you know how I did it?" I replied that I did not - for I TRULY have no idea - and she said, "I didn't look down this time."

Well said, my love.

That evening, we sang Girl Scout songs, watched skits, and briefly glanced what was to be our only view of the sun all weekend:

There were S'Mores, of course. That's in the contract. I'm not effing well showing up for any of this if there aren't S'Mores, mind you.

All in all, the weekend did what it was intended. My girl is even better friends with her Brownie troop than she was before, and these are indeed stand-up, quality girls, of whose goofy-nerdy Girl Scout-type charm I wholly approve. (It is duly noted that two of my best friends are former Girl Scout compadres, and I can only hope for the same for my girls.) I found the other moms to be very cool, even in the squalor that is camp life.

And, most of all - cliched or not, it was a wonderful bonding experience for me and the OG.

I love you, OG.

(However, I'd be lying if I said that I'd be up for it every weekend. Once a year will be juussst fine.)

We left on Sunday morning, disgusting and poorly rested. A brief sojourn over to Cooper's for barbecue healed my soul, and then it was back to Austin for a much-needed shower and my very expensive mattress.

Next up: The YG's fourth birthday! Is Wednesday! And I have to clean my house for a birthday party this weekend! AIEEEEE!!!!

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of the NEW! GIBSON! ELECTRIC GUITAR! SIGNED! BY! THE! GO-GO'S!

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