Camp Log 2006, Part Four, The Finale
June 24th comes and goes – my dad’s 92nd birthday, and MIL’s 82nd. Dad’s sister, my Aunt Lorna, shares the same birthday and she is 97. I try to imagine living that long and can’t. Although I suppose I’m well on my way. What a sobering thought. We call him on our cell phones to wish him a happy day, and he’s a little confused at first. When I ask him how he’s doing he says “Oh yes, I think so.”. I guess when you’re 92 you are allowed to make those kind of statements. My family doesn’t swear – ever – but they have always found W.’s ability to curse kind of amusing. Dad refers to him as “Lord Thunderin’ ” – I prefer to believe it’s a term of endearment. When W. gets on the phone he shouts. It’s such a bad habit, but at least dad hears and understands everything he says.
Our get-together goes well. There’s the obligatory tons of stuff to eat and drink and an abundance of sunshine. I had forgotten about this part of the country’s love of desserts. It’s a strange fetish. I suppose because MIL knows I never bother with them, she brings three, including the best brownies ever made. A cousin brings a huge lemon thing in a cardboard flat – shortbread and nut base, lemon and cream cheese center, three inch cool whip topping. She fixes me with a frowning glare and says I better have room in the fridge for this. Good Gawd. I don’t, but make room by taking out some things that might survive the afternoon heat. She tells everyone who will listen what the ingredients are, and that it’s a very “light” dessert. In comparrison to what, a freight train? ? I have to bite my tongue more than once.
In spite of the lemon concoction from hell, we all have a good time and the afternoon flies by. It’s great to see everybody, even though we’re subjected to a lot of local gossip that really doesn’t mean much to many of us. Gord tells his ‘sinking of the quad’ story a couple too many times. He could have drowned, but because he didn’t, it’s a popular tale. Poor Gord has grandchildren named Marcus and Darius. At first I think he is talking about Roman emperors or gladiators or something. Our friends Dan and Karen bring their 5 year old grandson whose name is Laughlin, pronounced Locklin. He spends his time running up and down on the rocks until I’m sure he’s going to hurl himself into space, and fall and kill himself. But he survives the afternoon with the rest of us. Everyone finds our sign post extremely helpful. I guess. At least no one said it wasn’t.
Later that night our generator quits and W. goes into panic mode until we discover it’s only a faulty plug in. I don’t know why I’m even mentioning it, except that it was kind of fun watching him freak out. Maybe I thought so because of all the rum I’d consumed. Hard to say.
The next entry (the following day) in my journal is the shortest one yet. I feel completely wiped for the first time, but instead of blaming it on the fact that W. and I went out in the boat in the hot sun to a place where we picked up a bunch of flat black shale rock, I think it might be because my sister and I later discussed all our old boyfriends. That would exhaust anybody.
The next few days are the last for Ann and M. at the island – M. has to be back for the long weekend to help coach a ball team in some tournament. The deer and her fawns (did I mention there are two of them?) continue to be a brilliant combination of bold and elusive. They have been right up on the back lawn playing, but when you reach for the camera they all scamper out of range. Ann and I go for another walk, this time out to the west point of the island and on our way back see the deer family cavorting on the little beach. We’re too far away to get a picture, and by the time we get to the bluff above the beach they’re gone. So I take a picture of where they were.
Silly, I know. Their tracks are all over that sand spit. You’ll just have to take my word for it.
The morning that Ann and M. leave, we make a quick list of things to do for next year. Bring more bug spray and after-bite. Tackle another flower bed. Paint a picture of a train on the old saw blade we found. Play bocci ball! We never got around to it this time. M. has some interesting rules we’d like to try. Get a gazebo so we can set up a little art studio we don’t have to keep moving from place to place. I have purposely saved a couple of projects to tackle for when they’re gone so I won’t just mope around missing them. I have not had to go fishing once! Haven’t even held a rod in my hands. I’m going for a new record.
Surprisingly enough, W. and I don’t actually bore eachother to death in the four days we spend with just the two of us there. I repaint the thunderbird rock, in the hot sun (duh) and need quite a lot of liquid refreshment to recuperate from that.
Then I go down close to shore and paint a green monster – or something – on a rock that’s below the high water line, so that it could be submerged the next time we come. Perhaps that would be a good thing.
W. tries to cut me off from rock painting for this visit, but I’m relentless, and do a happy face wearing sunglasses surrounded by butterflies before I admit that it’s time to quit. We spend a couple of hours building a new fire pit with the flat rocks we collected. Too bad I didn’t think to take a picture of that – it was pretty awesome as far as fire pits go.
On Canada Day eve we get a terrific thunderstorm. Sheet lightning everywhere, and incredible rumbling crashing thunder with pouring rain. The next day I discover I’ve left one of my books out on the deck through all that and I’m totally distraught. I spend all day drying it page by page in the sun.
Although we’ve been given strict instructions by MIL to take absolutely everything that even vaguely resembles food home with us, so that she doesn’t have to cart any perishables back to her house, we aren’t able to spend our last day cleaning up odds and ends from the fridge, because she brings pizza. That was nice, but it also gives her an excuse to bitch about whatever we leave. Honestly. Throw the damned stuff out. We know that W.’s sister and her family are arriving in a couple of days, so we leave her a note to use whatever they like and throw the rest of it away. MIL is totally unable to throw out anything. If you saw her house you would have no problem believing that. But that’s a whole other story.
We head home on Sunday. Neither of us has to be back to work until Wednesday, so a day or two at home will be nice to get our heads back in non-vacation mode.
Well, that’s it! That’s all she wrote.