Yesterday I was talking to coworker who next weekend is taking his 11 year-old daughter camping. Canoeing and fishing is on the agenda. We started talking about our camp days, but more our camp days as counselors. How when he was a counselor they had floor hockey competitions (alcohol included) until the wee hours in the night. I shared that we used to start off smoking cigarettes on the tennis courts, then maybe sneak into the woods to smoke pot. Others would pair off and go to their respective places around camp to nookie. There was little sleep that led to endless cups of coffee at breakfast to enable us to handle a morning full of songs, cheers, and convincing the same kid to get into the water at swim time or reassuring another that though she was homesick now to remember how much fun she had with her friends at the dance the evening before.
But I miss being a kid. I miss the year round letters and phone calls. The photo collages we used to make and send each other. There was something really special about these friends we had outside of school that we were so close too yet only saw 4 weeks of the year. I grew up with same gang for almost 12 years. A lot of that sadly changed when I had a falling out during college with my best camp friend–the self proclaimed queen bee who I felt turned a lot of people against me. I now realize it wasn’t her fault–it’s just life–and time moves on and we replace our life long camp friends with ones we met elsewhere like in college. These friendships didn’t survive time. It’s sad. These were the special friends of my youth.
It’s never too late to start again, and there are those you can easily pick back up with. I emailed one today to hopefully begin again:
How are you? I realized recently that your wedding was
over a year ago (Happy Anniversary) and I haven't
talked to you at all this year. I don't know where
time goes anymore. I've been thinking a lot about camp
recently--I guess it's the time of year I always do. I
miss being a kid lost in the innocence of swimming in
toxic lakes, showering amongst mildew and mold. Silly
songs and cheers and bad meals served with bug juice.
I ran into Vanessa this morning, do you
remember from Year Course [the year we spent in Israel at age 18-
the PhD of our years attending a Zionist camp]? I went to her house once
the summer after YC, and there she was this morning
selling produce at the Farmer's Market. She lives
about 5 minutes from me...it's so weird. Anyway, it
made my nostalgia that much worse today. I miss my
camp friends! I don't keep in touch with anyone
anymore...so I reach to you my Christmas Snow to get
the ball rolling again.
Hope life is fantastic and all is well in Atlanta.
Miss and Love ya,
I felt sexy yesterday morning. Freshly showered, cute in a black summer dress perfectly accompanied by strapy black sandals, I stopped at the nearby gas station. It was due to be a humid day and Jiffylube had warned me the week prior my car was low on coolant. Here I was at 7:30 in the morning dressed (for me on a week day) to the nines (not to get all Seinfeld but what does that expression mean anyway?), flipping open the hood and pouring blue liquid into a dirty plastic tube. I don’t know, or care, if anyone was watching me, but at that moment I felt sexy. Confidant that I was the kind of the woman who could dress like she meant business yet not caring that she may get hands dirty fulfilling a task stereotypically meant for a man. There is an odd sense of power knowing I could handle these silly little life tasks alone. A sense that no matter happens in life, I can feel sexy doing a man’s work-solo.
There are people out there who believe they see the image of virgin Mary in a watermark under the expressway or in a misshapen potato chip. Outside my window today on dry concrete in a middle of a puddle I thought this looked like the State of Israel. While I won’t be lighting candles or sitting any sort of vigil, I giggled to myself as I snapped a photo.
Because I didn’t get my fill yesterday…I stopped by a used book fair where the proceeds support Little City Foundation, a nonprofit organization that assists children and adults with mental retardation (it is also where my mom began her career in the late 60’s). Though my shelves are already overflowing, it is my duty as a human to support good charities, and buying books knowing the money goes to a good place makes me very happy–a great give-give.
Now, I must really put myself on a book buying fast.
Every summer I look forward to the Printer’s Row Book Fair held in my wonderful city, Chicago. I sometimes wander through a bookstores for hours–knowing there are all these brilliant creations surrounding me inspires and brings me comfort.
There are so many things to see: rare books, authors, maps and art prints, independent presses and booksellers. I love browsing the thousands and thousands of various subject matters, the brillance of the titles and cover art. The browning of pages–the early editions of Little Woman or The Wizard of Oz. Tables of books from independent publishers with titles like Awaken the Budda Within, Tofu Quick and Easy, or Radicals on Parade (Okay, I made that one up, but there was a table of books with radical related books).
I got nostaligic seeing the Nancy Drew mysteries–it brought back the bookcase in the hallway of the green farm house where I grew up that were filled with children’s books. I wish we hadn’t sold them at a garage sale. If I had a daughter (or a bigger bank account) I would have picked these up with out second thought.
A highlight of the day was seeing Stephanie Klein and Jen Lancaster speak on a panel I beleive titled Through Thick and Thin. In person they are both so beautiful, gracious and funny. They are both very inspiring and I appreicate that these incrdible ladies share their voice with so many women who struggle with weight issues and well, just being a woman.
Ah, the love of the written word is like no other.
Outside the lightening was glowing in the sky and rain was coming down hard, slightly blowing through the screen in the window. Inside tears were flowing freely onto the pillowcase while I lay on my side while his hand grazed my back. It’s okay, let it all out. I had been feeling the same way about us-conflicted-cognizant of the missing piece of chemistry-enjoying our time together as friends and when it turned more. Don’t be sad. Even though I knew it was never long term, that we want different things, that eventually we would have to have the talk of truths, I wasn’t emotionally prepared. We admire and care about each other so much. There were plenty of genuine and sweet moments. You are one of the greatest girls I have ever met. You’ve become such a good friend and I want to know what you’re doing four, five years down the road. I’m tired of being alone so I always try to make too much out of something even if “it” is lacking. He held me for a while longer, we embraced by the door, and then it was quiet.