Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen

We just returned from our friend Minnie's birthday party. She turned 90 and is still going strong. She is a beautiful woman and full of life with interests and things that give her joy. Minnie is mother to my friend Laura and my friend in her own right. We were both members of the Temple Bat Mitzvah class last year and both sit on the board of Hadassah. Recently we had a date for the symphony and sometimes we get to spend time together or share a meal. I always find a nugget of knowledge or a good laugh.
We're only as old as we act. Our bones may creak and we may not be as spry as we once were, but loving life and people keeps us young.
Happy Birthday Minnie and many more!

Friday, August 27, 2010

By the Sea....

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea.... Tonight was our welcome home bash organized by Carol Rosenberg. We met at Folly Field on HHI and enjoyed food and good conversation. The weather was iffy, but we had a window of opportunity for clear weather and took it. A great time was had by all and we are so happy to be back and among dear friends.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010


This is the Dragon Wagon. The ride goes out every morning at 9:30 and each evening at 7:00. Jeff and I hosted the wagon on Monday and Tuesday and it was always lots of fun. We had three mascots dressed in furry costumes. Splash, the dolphin, Tubby, the turtle, and Magic, the dragon. Tubby is afraid of spiders and we always sang Itsy, Bitsy Spider to torment him.
It is very hot inside the costumes and several young adults usually wore them. We did have some camper adults who helped out and one night I was Splash, the dolphin. The costume was fun and there was lots of screening in the head piece to look out and get air. Halfway through the ride my right eye started to tear and then my left eye. I could not stop crying and began to get choked up and couldn't breathe. It was terrible and I was blinded by the tears. I just kept thinking it will be over soon. Finally the ride finished and then I had to hug all the kids and pose for photos. OMG - it was quite a disaster for me and I never again volunteered to wear a costume. But, it was fun being in the dolphin suit and adored by all the kids.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spiderman, Spiderman

We have a new pal - a Golden Silk Spider, better known as a banana spider. She is amazing and we watch her with much interest. When we got home I noticed her in a large web hanging on the outside of our screened porch. I am very brave since she is outside and I am inside. She is very good looking and about 3 inches total including her long, striped legs. Her body is dark with yellow spots and she is very busy. The web is about 4 feet around and she constantly rebuilds it. We've had some severe rains and wind and she hides while the web is blown around and then repairs and adds to it. She is quite aware of me and Ziggy and doesn't flinch when we observe her from inside the porch. When we go outside and get too close she runs high up on the web and waits until we leave to come down.
This morning she has a dragon fly in the web and it is decomposing. Yesterday she devoured some kind of small bug and I saw two more insects in the web. Most interesting is a thick zig zag pattern in the center of the web where she hangs out. I read on Wikipedia that her silk is the strongest thread known. Also read that her venom can give quite a reaction, although not fatal to humans. Pretty amazing. Tomorrow the exterminator is coming and I'll have him move her to a tree near our porch. She is very interesting, but the web kinda creeps me out.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chatanooga Choo Choo

We've been back three days and it's as if we were never away. We drove all day Wednesday and slept in a rest area at the top of South Carolina. Thursday morning we arrived home before noon and spent the afternoon schlepping things from the RV into the house. It was a frenzy of laundry, sorting and putting everything away. Luckily the heat wasn't too oppressive and we took the RV to the parking lot and felt a sense of relief.

Went to lunch at Jeff's favorite "wing" place and a quick stop at the grocery store. It felt so good to take a shower with good water pressure and climb into our king size bed. Ziggy was the happiest as she stretched out on the bed between us.

On Friday we slept late and I walked on the nature trail. It is hot and humid and feels much more hot and humid than in Pennsylvania. The sun just seems to be closer here and your skin burns as soon as you walk out of the air conditioning. We had a lunch date with Laura and Michael and went to another of Jeff's favorite places, "Squat and Gobble." The waitress walked up to the table and said to Jeff, "How was your camp?" She remembered all the details he had told her of our summer job and brought him his usual order of a pork chop sandwich and diet coke without him ordering. (Don't ask about the sandwich - lots of fat and calories) We enjoyed catching up on all the news and laughing with dear friends.

I actually cooked dinner for us and then I went to services and sang with the choir. There were only five of us singing so I was needed even if I was out of practice with some of the newer tunes. It was good to see so many old friends and be welcomed back so warmly.

Saturday we were up early and at an all day rehearsal for Follies. We have missed practicing all summer and need to attend every rehearsal from now until the show opens on September 14th. I had been practicing my lines all summer and forgot many of them when I got on stage. Oh well! I'm in one comedy sketch and sing back up for two musical numbers - "Chatanooga Choo Choo" and "Charlie and the MTA." Still have to put together costumes. Jeff is doing a comedy skit and one solo song. We loved the rehearsal and seeing all the theatre folks.

We were invited out to dinner and it was a Trenton High mini-reunion. Jan and Harvey Trabb had Joe Ott, an old friend, visiting who was also a dear friend of mine. So we had me from the class of '67. Harvey, Joe and Dick Willever, class of '66 and Phyllis Willever, class of '64. Hinda '59 and Marty Klinghoffer '55 rounded out the Trenton group. When we made a toast we broke into song - "Here's to Trenton High School, the red and black....." Luckily Hinda, Phyllis and I were all on Black Team so we all yelled "mostly black." Don't ask if you don't want a huge lecture about Sports Night and school spirit. Anyway we talked about old friends and teachers and it was great.

Like I said, "It's as though we were never away."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

If You're Happy and You Know It

Just finished our last wagon ride and the title song was sung each time. The kids love it and so do I. We are packed and ready to roll in the morning. Weather was gorgeous today and a joy to be outside. Said goodbyes to all that mattered and lots of fond memories. Campers who were especially nice made me feel happy. All in all campers are a pleasant bunch who always wave and say hello.

Tonight we averted a tragedy as Jeff was struck by a kid riding one of our rental three wheelers. These are cool bikes where you lie down to ride. Anyway this kid came barreling behind Jeff on a hill and crashed into his back. Jeff fell backwards onto him and then rolled off. Several campers came running to his aid and got him up. He came home full of dirt and leaves and a bit shaken up, but no blood. He is going to be very sore in the morning and I hope that is all.

So our summer job is over and we are going home.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away

Two more days and then we leave. Hooray! It has been raining for two days now and it is gloomy and depressing. Our Sunday schedule has Jeff and me escorting RV's to their camp sites and it is a fun assignment. Luckily the rain had stopped when we started work and then it began to pour. We were each in a golf cart all afternoon with no side curtains. I sat in a damp raincoat on a soggy towel and prayed that I wouldn't catch a cold.

Monday and Tuesday we will work in the bike and boat compound from 9 to 3. We'll also do the Dragon Wagon ride each morning and evening. That's it and then we pack up and go on Wednesday. It has been an interesting summer and should take us two days to get home.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy Talk

Jeff and I had an ice cream date this afternoon with our four young girlfriends. We had so much fun licking ice cream cones and chatting about our summer escapades. All of the girls are excited about school and talked about their favorite subjects and plans for the coming year.

We gave them a gift of a CD so they can remember us. It is Peter, Paul and Mommy which has a few songs that we sing at our campfire each week. The girls are regular attendees and have learned all the words to our favorite kid's and folk songs.

We met so many lovely families and great kids this summer. That has made us feel wonderful and lots of smiles.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bite Me!

Today Judy and I worked at the bike/boat compound. On Mondays and Tuesdays we do the morning Dragon Wagon ride and then go to bikes/boats until 3:00.

The best number of staff to run the compound is four. It usually works out to two people doing bikes, one doing boats, and one more floating between the two and doing repairs and maintenance. Typically people rotate through the various jobs during the course of the day. On weekdays the staff is usually three people. Not a problem. Not all the maintenance gets done, but things keep flowing.

Today was quite hot and VERY humid. Judy and I work Mondays and Tuesdays with a young woman named Whitley. She is a 21-year-old single mother of a 3-month-old boy. The three of us were getting everything done although struggling with the heat and humidity.

Then Whitley was working with a young boy. He pulled her hand over and BIT her! The kid's mother said, "Oh yeah. He bites."

Whitley's skin had been broken, and she was freaking out. The owners of the campground handled it really well. They made sure she went to the ER. Betty, the owner's wife was smart enough to ask if Whitley is nursing. (She's not.)

At any rate, we were down to the two of us to run the whole shebang. We handled it, but it wasn't fun. Judy was nice (or crazy) enough to let me run home for a quick lunch and a pee break (for both me and Ziggy). And somehow we muddled through.

I don't want to say we were counting the minutes, but we were counting the minutes. Our shift finally ended. I went directly to the splash pool where I just soaked under the falling water. Judy went directly home. I came back, and we both fell sound asleep.

We haven't heard from Whitley yet. I hope she's OK.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Sometimes It's Worthwhile

There's a lot of drudgery in our job. And then there's the great part.

We have befriended four sisters. I'll call them S, M, J and A. I can't put their names or pictures on the blog. The sisters are respectively 12, 10, 8 and 6. And they have just been adopted - by their great-aunt and -uncle! They are as nice a family as you would ever want to meet. But the sisters come from an abused background that makes you want to cry.

To make a long story short, the kids have two different fathers and a drug using mother. The oldest girl has a chest covered with burns she got when she was six. She was "watching" the two younger kids while the "mother was upstairs making A." She was playing with a lighter and set herself on fire.

The younger girls were treated badly, particularly when mom was high. Nobody seemed to want to step in, so great-aunt and -uncle B and J stepped in. They have been awarded custody by the court.

I can't use their names because their birth parents don't know where they are. Their adoptive parents and the kids are constantly stalked by the birth mother, so they come here to escape. No one knows where they are.They have a seasonal site, and the girls have the run of the place without worry.

These are four of the nicest kids you can imagine. They are very bright with great personalities. They are all A students. S - the oldest - is very shy and self-conscious - particularly about her burns. She took the worst of the abuse. M - the 10-year-old - has a very outgoing personality and is going to do very well in the world. J and A - the two little ones - are my "best friends" and they come running every time they see me.

How anyone could mistreat these kids is beyond me. There is no place in hell hot enough for them. And may there be a special place in heaven for B and J!

Judy and I are so glad we are able to help be a positive force in their lives. It really makes us feel needed and useful, and makes us appreciate how good we have it.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Old Friends

I have always loved this Paul Simon song and my dear "old" friends. Jeff and I drove 1 1/2 hours to Reading, PA and met up with Judee & Albert and Eileen & Al for lunch at an Olive Garden Restaurant. What fun talking and laughing and let's not forget the eating. We were there for a few hours and savored every minute.
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