The Sad End


Today is our final day at Medomak camp.  Last week the weather forecast rain for almost everyday we were here, but thankfully Weather Bug was wrong, wrong and more wrong.  Our only rain was one fast moving big storm on Wednesday when we were in the car heading back to camp after our Camden Hills hike and yummy lunch at Fresh in town and a little soothing rain at night on the cabin roof.

It has been Mainefully-wear-a-sweatshirt cool with patches of hot enough to swim in the warm lake waters.  I have participated in just enough activities to feel like I got my campfull, but also did my own thing often enough that I felt like I was on vacation.  I did not stress about Russ working everyday or about Carter lying on her bed watching YouTube rather than joining in any group activity.

I barely exercised other than land sports playing and the amount of walking it took to go from our cabin to the dining hall or the waterfront, but am thankful we had the farthest cabin from both.  I got to know some wonderful people from Germany, England, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oregon and Maryland. I felt no guilt that I skipped campfire most nights given that neither my child nor my husband would go.  I played games with many people who did not complain if I beat them, but were worthy opponents who I felt no shame to lose to. I ate the good cookies and skipped the not as good tasting desserts without too much worry.  Next week will be the piper paying come to Jesus time for that.

Tonight is the final campfire which I will attend to compete in the camp wide Hiku-off and talent competition.  Since camp is filled with many children this week I have to find a fairly tame story to tell as my talent.  This is difficult since most of my best stories are not PG rated.  I can’t tell the why-I-don’t-drink-anymore, or the Saskatoon story.  I guess I can cleanup Carter’s birth story enough to make if funny for grown ups and go over kid’s heads just fine.

So farewell to camp and Maine and summer as I have come to know it.  Tomorrow Carter and I drop Russ off at the airport and make the drive home.  Real life, responsibilities, discipline, and regularity are what’s ahead.  Sad face.

Be Careful What You Write Me



I love having a blog. I must since I write everyday, whether I have the time or anything to say. Amazingly some people read it, whether they have the time or anything to learn. One of my favorite things about the blog is the comments, e-mails, and facebook postings I get in response and the things I learn about other people.


Last week I posted a blog titled Lobstah! In response I got an e-mail from Sheppy Vann, the just retired head of the DA preschool. She surmised from one of the photos in the post that I was in Rockport Maine which was not that far from where she and her husband Dick live in the summer at the old farm house his grand parents bought to summer at in 1907. In her message she invited me to visit them.


Turns out Sheppy lives only a few miles from camp and that Dick had attended summer camp for many years at Medomak when it was a boy’s camp. Never being one to pass up a chance to spend some time with one of the best storytellers on earth I went to see Sheppy and Dick at their sweet house on St. George’s Lake.


Even though I knew Sheppy came to Maine in the summer we never discussed exactly where until she read my blog. It is just another example of how small a world it is that two families from Durham, NC end up at the same place hundreds of miles away from home every summer.


Thanks to Sheppy’s superior reading comprehension she had an iced tea with lemon all ready for me when I walked in the door of the kitchen with it’s restored wood burning stove and sink with a water pump which thankfully is not their main water source anymore. We took our drinks and our needlework and went out and sat on the Adirondack chairs in the back yard and she knitted and I needle pointed while I filled Dick in on what Medomak is like these days. I got to hear the story of how Sheppy and Dick grew up together in New Jersey and eventually married. It’s a good story that’s Sheppy’s to tell.


After a few hours together I had to get back to camp, but I had learned more about Dick and Sheppy in our visit than I had in the last 11 years of knowing Sheppy at home. There is a closeness I feel with people when I visit them out of context. Somehow the regular life stuff is out of the way and we can talk freely about anything. Not that either Sheppy or I ever had any trouble speaking freely. Dick was a good sport about listening and did not try and compete in the story telling arena.


So be this fair warning to all you readers. If you invite me somewhere don’t just do it to be polite. You never know where I am going to show up and I might just take you up on your kind offer.

Carb Fest

One of the best things about Camp Medomak is one of the worst things for me personally, that being their cook Andrew.  See Andrew is a very shy guy who is in charge of cooking three meals a day for about seventy people.  Just thinking about all that cooking causes Andrew a lot of stress, that and also having to possibly receive many compliments from campers in person.  To help balance things out Andrew bakes.  And he is quite a world-class baker.

I know all this because Russ would get up very early everyday at camp and go up to the farmhouse where the kitchen and dining room are as well as the wifi porch that became Russ’ office.  Even at six in the morning Andrew would beat Russ to the farmhouse and begin his day, silently baking.

Food at camp was no pre-made, food service heat and serve stuff.  They have a big garden and a cow for milk and get as much sourced locally as possible.  Being just twenty minutes from the ocean also gives Andrew a chance to get a lot of good seafood, but the baking, that is obviously his real passion.

Vacation started at our friend Warren’s house where he was generously mindful of my diet.  I stayed away from the walnut bread and my own ice cream cone when I was there, then we went to camp.  At camp you eat what you are given and if you don’t like it there is always peanut butter and jelly.  You can be assured I always liked what was served and also did my best to stay away from peanut butter and jelly.

I would arrive at meals famished from running, well, maybe walking fast, kicking balls, shuffling tiles, throwing balls, paddling boards, making art and playing games.  At first I did my best to stay away from Andrew’s baked goods.  Although lunch the first day was impossible since he had made up this tuna melt bread where the tuna and cheese were rolled into the center of a homemade wheat bread kind of like a tuna melt Stromboli.  One bite and carb heaven came back to me.  That night I skipped the cranberry wheat rolls because the roast turkey was so good I was able to withhold, but then came the banana cake.  Enter the flour and sugar nirvana I had avoided for all these months.

The next day the leftover turkey on warm fresh focaccia and I was full blown back to eating carbs.  Yeah, I ate salads and the many fresh vegetables, but the zucchini and goat cheese flat bread with the hint of corn meal it was worth every calorie.  I ended the week at camp with apricot and ginger scones for breakfast.

Three days of post camp vacation in Maine had me still loving carbs.  What the hell, I was not about to try and detox while I was sharing one hotel room with a fourteen-year-old girl and did not have access to enough iced tea.  At last we are home.  I have gone to the Harris Teeter to stock up on all my standard foods and I am about to begin the three days of hell to get off carbs again.  At least the ones I did eat at camp were worth every bite since they were loving made by Andrew and did not have any preservatives or crap in them.  I pray now that I will not dream about the challah or the whoppie pies he made.  Tomorrow the scales will give me the honest truth of the damage.  One week a year of that is about all I can take.

Haiku Off at Camp

We have left camp with hugs and kisses and sad goodbyes. It is the counselor’s day off so most of them slept in and we did not get a last chance to say goodbye.

The talent show was a hoot. Carter honked her seal like sound through the whole alphabet. My story of losing my luggage on the way to Saskatoon, was followed by Corey’s story of putting his poopy underpants in his carry-on backpack when he was ten and having security take them out at screening.

After the four grown Stone children and their parents did a rendition of peel orange, banana and potato Carter screams back to me we need three more kids in our family. The camaraderie of family is why we go to camp.

Half way through the talent show we had the Haiku off. About seven us had written poems. We stood in a line and each read one and then started over again. When you had finished reading all of yours you sat down. I was the last one standing, although Peter who was up there last with me had some great ones. Here are all my haiku’s about Camp Medomakcamp medomak.

Medomak best camp
For family reunions
And strangers alike

Yoga campfires games
Playing winning laughing fun
Why I love this camp

Holly and George Stone
Make memories for us all
Thank you for this camp

Camp food yumminess
Two desserts a day oh my
Diet starts at home

Jen wakes early to
Milk the cow. Making yogurt
We need Jen at home

Paddle board virgin
Now I can walk on water
I’m no Jesus

Lobster Mac and cheese
Muscles whoopie pies and slaw
one meal Too much good

Learning how to milk
Perry the docile sweet cow
Five gallons of good

The staff is the bomb
They work hard for us to play
Does not seem like work

The sun moon and stars
Closer brighter nearer too
God must exist here

Thank you mother earth
For giving us this blue lake
Fish say thank you too

Rain coats hang dripping
After morning of rain scag
No holes in one here

Week of Friendships form
Just beginning to know you
Sad time for goodbyes

Liz lends Carter sweats
For the night at north star lodge
Thanks for warming legs

Jackie rings the bell
Gives us all the news today
Too many fun choices

Norwegians cut wood
Elizabeth and Purnell teach
New benches exist

Noah and Rick sing
Strum sweetly on their guitars
I wish I could sing

Gosha arts and crafts
Lindsey learns about our games
Fun new counselors

Peters back at camp
Maintenance is his new thing
Being Sean’s bitch

Alexa in back
Of the candy store counter
Doling out goodies

Corey kicks the ball
Straighter farther than the rest
No wonder he wins

Andrew Perry who?
Oh you mean that guy Pierre
Which name should we use

All the stone kids
Here at camp for the whole week
What good parents make

Nature or land sports
Yoga or arts and crafts, ooh
Too many good choices

Russ sits on the porch
Sucking down the wifi line
At least he’s at camp

Carter learns to row
Gliding across the water
Thanks to George and Liz

Andrew’s kitchen hums
Making all our yummy meal
Quietly he nods

It’s cold in my bed
I forgot to get blankets
It’s 100 at home

Fourth cabin on right
Home at camp for a week
Nice neighborhood eh?

A rainy camp day
No swimming or no sailing
Still better than work

Jackie gives coffee
handle of the mug sticky
Thanks to marshmallow

Hey Dave can we come
To camp during reunion
Yes. You family.

Barn roof is shinny
Gathering the rays of sun
George makes energy