We really needed this past weekend. Why is it we can't always tell how much we need something until we've already had it? I knew I would love seeing Sarah again, knew I would like her host family, and knew I would enjoy a road trip with what's left of our our shrinking family numbers.
The weekend started actually Friday night when Heather G dropped off a glorious care package she and her care group had assembled for Sarah. (She had called me for things Sarah would like and I blurted out "cold hard cash" because she's not getting paid a dime till the end of the summer, and even that's not guaranteed. I also said Sarah would rather miss a meal than have bad breath, so she likes to keep gum and mints on hand. "Homemade anything" Sarah asked for since it's so rare and goes really fast when shared with other counselors. I had also said she loves cards and children's art. She decorates the area around her mirror with them. Well, Heather came through with ALL of it! I welled up with tears when she dropped it off. It wasn't just a plain old box or shopping bag. It was a picnic basket filled with assorted gum, mints, delicious homemade muffins (we had to beg off Sarah), cards, a generous amount of cold, hard cash, and a set of picnic dishes. plus a long roll of newsprint decorated by Heather and her two young children. Sarah kept saying, "Aww, aww. look at that!"
Hungrier than hungry, our first stop was lunch. We chose the closest non-pizza place in town, which means a half hour from camp. It was a beautiful quaint old restaurant called the Jean Bonnet Tavern. Not cheap, and not fast, but quite good. The waitress recommended the crab cakes. Even though I said we're from Maryland, she insisted they rivaled any Maryland crab cake around. I bit. She was wrong. It was good, but it wasn't a Maryland crab cake. I loved the quilts hanging on exposed stone walls, and glossy old pine tables with silver candlesticks and cushioned wrought iron chairs. Mostly I liked hearing Sarah and Stephen swap stories from their camps.
We spent Saturday afternoon at the camp. Sarah showed us around, starting with her room. The bunks are four high on two walls. Joel had no problem scaling the ladder to the highest one (about seven feet up) but was all kinds of terrifed to come down.
But he soon discovered it would be a day of overcoming fears, for the next adventure was the rock climbing wall. Everyone but me took a turn; I have zero upper body strength and plenty of lower body mass to compound my weakness. Besides, I'm scared of heights and youtube.
Next fun thing was the zipwire, accessed by climbing a 60 foot tower, trusting oneself to a flimsy swing with harness, and hanging on for dear life for what seems like the last ten seconds of it. When Joel got up there I was so scared for him. (We shall see if my pictures show a steady hand or sweaty palms.) I was on the ground watching as his brother and sister fastened him in. I thought he'd chicken out since he had been scared to climb down from the fourth bunkbed. Go figure. He did the zip wire four times and begged for more. Paul, Sarah, and Stephen also zipped. Did I? Nah, didn't I mention I am scared of heights? I did this same zipwire about 16 years ago and the thrill has lasted me this long; no need to repeat it. That was the day I overcame the fear of peers; the fear of heights has only, well, heightened.
I took video of all this, but it's on Sarah's camera since (I can't believe) I forgot my own.
Paddle boats came next. Sarah and Joel raced Stephen and me. They won by a nose.
In the evening we ate a the hometown favorite restaurant called The Dream. It used to be called Dave's Dream, but Dave died. Thankfully he left his dreamy recipes behind. The meatloaf was fantastic.
Saturday Evening? That's a Post unto itself.