Friday, June 28, 2013

Camp Two Sentinels

For a while in my youth, I was involved in Girl Scouts, mainly because my mom had a big interest in the organization. I was in it for several years, but by the time I was in junior high I had lost interest. My mom kept up with it though. She took first aid classes, and for a couple of summers was the nurse at Girl Scout camp. In the summer of 1966, the camp was at Two Sentinels by Lake Kirkwood. A bit southwest of Tahoe. Lovely area. My favorite type of nature. Even though I was no longer in a troop, I could’ve gone to camp. I went the previous year on that consideration, but I’d had my fill of sleeping on the ground.
Camp had been going on for a while when my dad and I went to visit mom and my brother. My brother got to tag along, and at the age of 8 he was a little cutie and sort of the camp mascot. We were only going to be gone the weekend. Once I got there, I was hooked. I wanted to stay, but did NOT want to be in a unit. So I was allowed to stay and sleep in the infirmary (on a bed!) as long as I earned my keep.
I got up at the crack of dawn and went down to the kitchen and helped the cook get everything ready for breakfast. I did the same for dinner. Lunch was usually a sack lunch that the girls in the units would make up themselves after breakfast. After dishes were done, the rest of the day was my own. One girl had brought a huge stack of 16 and Tiger Beat magazines, and for some reason the unit counselor confiscated them until the end of session. They were brought to the infirmary and I was DELIGHTED with them!
Between sessions, a few of the counselors wanted to go into Kirkwood to the movies. My mom and I went with them. We saw “Shenandoah” with Jimmy Stewart.
At some point, there was an open bed in the cabin where some of the kitchen help slept, and I started sleeping there instead of the infirmary. There were a couple times when a camper was sick and had to stay in the infirmary for a couple of days. One time a girl was sick enough that they had to call on a doctor who was staying in a vacation cabin around the other side of the lake. I was dispatched to go fetch her. So I walked around the lake until I found the right cabin. There was another girl who became ill and they were moving her out of the infirmary on a stretcher and she had a seizure. Scared me to death!
That was the last year my mom was a camp nurse. I also think it was the last year camp was help at Kirkwood. If I had to pick one type of spot on this earth to spend the rest of my days, it would be in a setting like Kirkwood. Or Tahoe. Or anyplace like it. It doesn’t even have to have a lake. Just give me those pine trees.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Give Me Some Ideas!!!

I have a bad habit of trolling the blogosphere when I should be writing. When I can’t think of something I feel inspired to write about, I start trolling. I bookmark all sorts of blogs that are interesting to me, but unfortunately, don’t help kick-start my brain as far as MY blog goes.
I find countless blogs about art, crafting, stamping, pictures, travel…and I bookmark them ALL. I have a few that are supposed to be helper/idea blogs, but they never seem to quite fit me or my life. I have come to the conclusion that I am remarkably boring as far as everyday life goes. In my head, there are all sorts of wonderful ideas, thoughts, plans, that I can never seem to pin down.
I think it would help if I were more computer savvy, or at least blog site savvy. Then I could link to past posts, have a page for pictures of my art work, etc. But I don’t know how to do that and I KNOW that I don’t want to take a class. I graduated from high school with such a phobia about the whole “school” thing that I can’t stand the thought of being in a classroom. Unless its for a stamp class or something along the line of artwork.
What I want is someone to sit down with me and show me what to do. I am a very good copycat. I have always done much better when shown what to do, than to be told what to do. But I don’t personally know anyone of that ilk. So I will stumble along as best I can until I can figure it out.
I was pretty chuffed at being able to put together this blog that I have right now. And double chuffed when I figured out how to add pictures! Wow! That was a real revelation! Sometimes I will surf along for a picture that calls out to me to write about, but I’ve found that to be very difficult. I don’t want to poach anyone’s picture and I don’t know how to get my own pictures from my camera onto the computer. Or to take an existing picture (like an old family pic) and scan it into the computer. I know all these things are relatively easy once you know how to do it and have the programs or whatnot to achieve it. My main computer guru scarpered off to Virginia years ago and I have been left desolate.
But I’m starting to get to the point of getting fed up enough to actually do something about the situation. That’s the way I usually am. I whine and moan until I’m sick of listening to myself. I would like to get to the point of having at least 2 or 3 blogs ready to post so when I’m in Fresno or something else comes up where I’m unable to sit down and compose, all I have to do is post what is in the file. I hate posting a slipshod blog. And I know I’ve done that several times. I deem today’s post to be one of them. My soul is so filled with creativity that demands to be freed, but I’m at a loss to open the doors…..

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Vacation

It’s been over 40 years since I graduated high school. Over 45 years since the “carefree” days of elementary school. And yet, I still find myself getting a tad excited this time of year. Why? SCHOOL’S OUT!! SUMMER VACATION!! ENDLESS DAYS OF FREEDOM!!!
In reality, all the days are pretty much the same at this point in my life. But there is still something that gets in my blood and I start daydreaming about the “good ol’ days.”

Staying up to watch the late show on TV because I could sleep in the next day. I saw some great old movies back then. Sure, they were loaded with commercials, but that was so you could run to the kitchen and get a snack. Like chili and crackers. EATING CHILI AT MIDNIGHT!! That would KILL me now!

Sleep-overs 2-3 times a week. My best friend lived across the street from me, and we were at each other’s house ALL THE TIME. One of my favorite memories was gathering coloring books, crayons, comic books, snacks, etc. and sitting in her mom’s old white Simca and pretending we were on an airplane flight to somewhere.

Playing in the back yard until it got really dark, which wouldn’t be til 9pm or so. Getting a bucket and a flashlight and rounding up as many toads and I could find. For some reason there were a ton of those critters that came out after dark in our back yard. I loved playing with them. When the bucket was full, I’d let ‘em all go.  

Best of all, though, was reading countless books. The library was my favorite place in the world. We’d go to the library on Saturday and I’d bring home an armload of books. As I got older, the books got thicker, fewer pictures, still an armload of them, but maybe having the books for the whole 2 weeks before returning them. And of course, if there wasn’t a good old movie on TV that night…READING UNTIL DAWN.

I kinda miss all that….and yet….

While watching my niece’s high school graduation as it was streamed live over the computer, I couldn’t help being SO THANKFUL that I’m past all of that. I don’t have to worry about college, finding a job, meeting someone and getting married, having kids…

I can just be a grandma. That’s a pretty good gig in itself, when you come to think of it…

Friday, June 7, 2013

Gimme 5 June 2013

I can’t even BEGIN to remember the last time I did one of these. I was trolling through my files, looking for something to write about today, and came across this section. The one I’ve chosen is:

5 Things you’d do if money were no object. The general answer is “travel”, but the specifics are as follows, in no particular order…

1. Visit my brother in Indiana. Marv and I went there a few years ago and stayed for almost a week. That’s just not enough time to really explore that beautiful state. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE spending time with my bro and his family.

2. Visit my penpal in England. Carol and I started as penpals almost 14 years ago, and graduated to email, Instant Messenger and now chatting on Facebook. She and I are so alike in our thoughts and heart and have many similar family circumstances. And at heart I am such an Anglophile! Always have been. While in England, I would then stop by and see my newly-found friend Jane. We met on Facebook and I think we would have a pretty good time together in person.

3. Visit my erstwhile penpal in Australia. Lynette and I also started as penpals 13 years ago and graduated to email. Then life stepped in, things changed for both of us, and I’m sad to say that we are now only in each other’s news streams on Facebook. I would still like to meet her in person. And Australia is a fascinating country.

4. Visit my penpal in Arizona. Harriette has been my penpal as long as Lynette has. We have shared many sorrows of the heart together. We mainly communicate by email and Facebook. We don’t talk a lot to each other, but we both know that we are in each others thoughts and prayers continually.

5. Visit my “new” friend in Germany. Unlike my penpals, who are all around my age, Svenja is very young; the same age as Sarah. I met her a couple of years ago through another young woman I’d connected with on Facebook. Sadly, the circumstances weren’t the best; Svenja contacted me when the other woman, Valerie (her cousin) fell ill and eventually died. Since then, Svenja and I have kept up contact as much as a 9 hour time difference allows. She is fully fluent in English, so I know I would be able to have a good time in Germany with her as my guide and interpreter.

As I look back over these 5 visits, I find that I actually DID put them in a kind of order. From longest association to newest. Didn’t even try…
And of course, any trip wouldn’t be to only VISIT….

So that’s a chunk of change indeed.
Wardrobe (you didn’t expect me to wear THESE old clothes, did you?)
Shopping money…’nuf said…
Shipping money (can’t carry ALL of it back in my luggage!)
I know I could bunk down at my brother’s place, but for the rest: FANCY HOTEL! Toy drinks in the mini bar! Room service!! MINTS ON THE PILLOWS, FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!
Sounds fun, eh? Wanna join me?