Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tennessee Reunion, Day 2

Item: Today (as in today-today, August 1) I found my missing sunglasses.

Item: Heather esplained to me that I have to esplain to you that SHE is HELPING me write this BLOG and therefore it's BINXUS of me to get ALL the credit and y'all need to be sure and give HER credit TOO. (But only a little. Haw haw!)

(Binxus: adj., 1. Of, or pertaining to, badness and/or orneriness.)


Lowlight: I went to sleep around 2:30 a.m., I think. Monday morning came way too early.

At 6:00 am, some cheerful person popped out of bed and bipped into the bathroom. BANG! The bathroom door had a decisively truculent slam.

Highlight: I went back to sleep. For about two minutes.

Lowlight: The original BANG! woke up three other people, who got up and went into the bathroom too.

Really Lowlight: Then those people remembered things they had forgotten in their suitcases so they came back out to get them.

Exceedingly Dim Lowlight: Then some more people woke up and decided to join the party.

Wavering Candlelight: Then some of them were ready to go for the day and so they headed out of the dorm.
CREEEEEEEAK BANG! (The dorm door apparently had arthritis and a bad temper to boot.)

Highlight: By this time (7 am) I gave up my beauty rest for lost, and got up. Throwing on some clothes and washing my face, I headed out of the bathroom (BANG!) and the dorm (CREEEEEEEEAK BANG!) and into the early morning sunshine. I felt incredibly virtuous for getting up that early. :preen:

Highlight: Meandering over to last night's fire pit to enjoy my Bible reading amid the chirping of the birds. Several other gals had the same idea as me, and by the time I finished reading, we all decided to go on a walk. Breakfast wasn't till 8:30 and it was only 7:30.

Highlight: So it was me, Linnae, Grace, Jill, Jennifer, Jason Craig, and a couple other guys who finally set off on a walk. Fog had rolled in by this time and everything was wet and woodsy and mysterious looking. I could just imagine some elves or fauns lurking in the trees... although it was much more likely there were snakes and poison ivy. We stayed on the road, however, and so did not have to deal with any woodland wildlife, elvish, snakey or otherwise.

Funny incident: About a mile down the road, we were finally passed by the first car we'd seen. A big ole redneck pickup slowed down next to use with a large black dog's nose poking inquiringly out of the window. "Good mornin'," the redneck feller called out. "My dog loves to greet ever'one we pass and she shore would like a pet from y'all!" We obliging stepped up and pet the dog and the feller drove off with a cheerful wave. That incident didn't particularly surprise me since we live in redneck country, but apparently it was a new experience for some of my fellow walkers and they giggled about it for quite a while.

Highlight: We came back from the walk feeling virtuous and hungry.

Raquelle: All right, all right, blog hog. I'm tellin' this story too, ya know!

Lowlight: All those annoying girls who got up at 6:00 a.m. Wait, Heather already told you about them. But really, I can't fathom why in the world anyone would want to get up at 6:00 a.m., 2.5 hours before breakfast, ON PURPOSE. Can you? I laid in bed trying to ignore them, thinking things not lawful to be uttered and planning to write a Nasty Sign to put on the bathroom door telling people to KEEP QUIET, there are OLD FOGEYS sleeping in here!

Finally I pried myself out of my bunk and ironed an outfit, using my blanket as an ironing board.

Oh, did I tell you about the iron? Heather and I had a Big Discussion about bringing the iron. I won. She thought I was an idiot. But c'mon, who wants to go around looking like your clothes have been wadded up inside an Easter egg all day? This is Miss Prissy Raquelle we're talking about here!

Highlight: I counted at least three other irons in the dorm. I wasn't the only Miss Prissy. Yay!

Double highlight:
Breakfast more than exceeded my expectations.

Elaboration: Maybe I should elaborate on my expectations. Ahem. Having been to many rustic camps over the years, I had become used to Camp Food. I do not by this mean to imply that I had come to LIKE Camp Food. Only that I was used to it. Camp Food consists of cold, partially cooked piles of glop that bear a faint resemblance to certain well-known dishes like eggs, casseroles, soups and such. There are usually some accompanying rubbery pancakes or old dead rolls as well. This is what I was expecting. And let me assure you that I would not have been at all dismayed by being served such Camp Food, as it is not the easiest thing in the world to cook for 60 people.

HOWEVER. I here and now wish to give credit where credit is due: Mrs. Reynolds, Mrs. Voorhees and their accompanying helpers turned out some Truly Awesome food. Breakfast was farm-fresh, free-range eggs (courtesy of Kamon's chickens), homemade apple cake that was Highly Yummy, and plenty of juice and fruit. I decidedly pigged out.

I know, I know, Heather already mentioned the apple cake but can I mention it again? It was delicious! I had seconds.

Highlight: Enjoying the pleasant weather this morning. Several of us girls meandered out to the picnic tables where the bonfire had been and played spoons.

Highlight: I got to use my cute little cat-lovers deck of cards for spoons. Awww, pwecious.

Giggle moment: Watching Michaela play spoons. She was so intent on her cards she missed the spoon almost every time. They say that a person who can concentrate on anything for three minutes can rule the world, so watch out world, here comes Michaela. (Sorry, I hafta pick on you a little, Michaela! )

Watching everyone play spoons and knowing that Raquelle had enough playmates that she didn't need me to play with her. I detest playing games.

Highlight: Taking a nap on a picnic table. No really, it wasn't much harder than the bunk was, and it was in the shade with a soft breeze blowing by.

Suspected Lowlight: I believe some rascals took my picture while I was napping. I unfortunately woke up too late to catch them in the act.

Not being a part of the frisbee game. Heather came by and said folks were playing frisbee.

"Ultimate Frisbee?" someone asked eagerly.

"No," she said. "They're just throwing a frisbee. Badly."

Highlight: Also NOT being part of the Gaggle Of Expeditioners Who Ran Into Some Ticks. The effect was something like this:

Me(sitting complacently at picnic table with bug repellent): "Hi so-and-so!"

WHIZZ! (Speeding blur goes by): Yaaaagh-I-have-ticks-g'byyyyyyyyyyyye.

Me: *settles messed-up hair from breeze created by speeding blur*


It was sorta like this:

Item: There are advantages to being a prissy little prig who doesn't go expeditioning through the woods like Lewis and Clark.

Highlight: Messing around in the kitchen and helping fix the lemonade and sweet tea for the afternoon. You know the old saying about how a watched pot never boils? It's true. Especially when it's a giant pot. Once we got the water heated we opted to scoop it out with the coffeepot, as no one felt particularly inclined to pick up a giant pot of boiling water.

Highlight: Going back to the dorm and taking a nap. Yes, indeedy. A nap. It was nice.

Highlight: Yummy chicken pitas for lunch. Mmmmm!

Did we mention the awesome chicken pitas for lunch??? It deserves a rerun. And of course, ham sandwiches for those silly guys who looked suspiciously at anything that wasn't obviously meat, beans or potatoes.

Somebody had Messed With the picture of Spike on the poster board.

Highlight: My daddy wasn't a Boy Scout for nothing. Daddy says the Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared" and I learned this lesson as a youngster sitting on Daddy's knees learning the song about "Be-prepared-prepared-prepared-the-motto-of-the-Boy-Scouts, be-prepared-prepared-prepared-prepared-the-motto-of-the-Scouts....." I brought no less than FIVE copies of Spike's picture. I replaced the damaged copy with TWO copies and felt Inordinately Smug.

By the way, you should know what was on the board by now. Aside from a few boring announcements and the schedule, there were as follows:

Scheduled bear visitation: 3:00 a.m.
Taxidermy lab: 4:45 a.m. ($5)
Bear disposal: 6:20 (free class!)
Breakfast: 8:30 a.m. ($20) vegan option available

And next to Spike, there were such things as "Monorail kitteh comes to end of line" and "death to catz" and (under the second copy) "copy cat." Oh, and "reb cat."

Highlight: Clowning with Sara in the dorm about my concealed weapons permit. I believe the promised threat on the reunion thread was going to be, "Stick 'em up, I've got a PERMIT," so I was trying it out. Sara wasn't impressed.

Highlight: Sneaking around in the dorm assembling the gift bags for the planning committee. Sara joined us, writing some thank-you notes while we packed.

Giggle moment: Mrs. V. and Mrs. R. (as in, gift bag recipients) both chose that time to come into the dorm and Do Things for the next hour or so. In fact, Mrs. V. unwittingly walked right over to our bunks (strewn with gifts) to start chatting with us. Heather hastily stood in front of the beds to try to block the view.

'Nother giggle moment: Several folks had donated cash for the gift bags. Someone gave me a $20 bill and I fished out my wallet and changed it to two $10 bills so I could put one in each bag. I set the money with the other things and continued sorting. But then when I went to tuck the money into the thank-you note cards, I couldn't find it.

"I must have gotten distracted and put it all back in my wallet," I muttered confusedly. I reached for my wallet only to hear Sara--Miss Chawming, Innocent, Swayt Li'l Sara--cackling fiendishly.

"I took it, I took it," she howled, forking over a handful of rumpled bills.

You can believe I counted it all closely after that piece of Highly Shocking Behavior. I wouldn't have thought it of her, would you? But now I know. If you're around your back. I mean, she doesn't care what kind of trauma she puts you through, ya know?

Meandering out to the sports field to watch the games - and not having to participate. Did I mention that I detest games?

Highlight: Chatting with Mrs. G, Mrs. F, and other ladies sitting on the sidelines. It was a truly gorgeous day and we enjoyed the weather and the fellowship.

The chocolate party mid-afternoon. Good chocolate and good stories! Let's see....who was it that accidentally made soft pretzels out of cornstarch instead of flour? And I think it was Grace who caught the oven on fire while making a grand cookie crust experiment. I told the story about tipping my desk over in Sunday School and Heather told about time she accidentally got a snake stuck in her dress. (Ask her about it. )

Highlight: Going on a walk after the chocolate party. Actually, wait....I think I went on a walk by myself in search of Heather, because Heather had the charged cell phone. But I didn't KNOW she had the charged cell phone and I was trying to FIND her to ask where it WAS and turns out she had it in her POCKET. Sheesh.

Heather: What actually happened was that I went on a walk with Jill, after fruitlessly searching for Raquelle to go with us. Jill and I solved the world's problems and had a lovely saunter.

Highlight: TRYING to find my SISTER who was TRYING to find ME and finally FINDING her after we got back from the walk.

Lowlight: TRYING to call Mom on the cell phone. Uh, phone coverage wasn't so good out there. Though we were lucky. Some folks didn't have any coverage at all. My conversations with Mom usually went like this:

Me: Hi Mom, can you hear me?
Mom: I...(crackle, crackle)...having a good....what's.... ARE YOU THERE? (The last part needlessly twice as loud because the sound suddenly got better)
Me: Yes, I'm here. Can you hear me now? I'm walking across the bridge.
Mom: Yes, that's better. So what have you.... (silence) .... (silence) ....
Me: Hang on, I must have walked into a dead spot. There, how's that? Can you hear me now?
Mom: (crackle, crackle)... had nice day... girls?... (silence)
Me: Hold on, maybe if I hang upside down from the bridge, the coverage will be better.

You get the idea.

Dubious Highlight: Having Jason S. and crew show up in the middle of us gals solving the world's problems - and he assured us that HE was the solution to the world's problems. I'm still trying to decide if that was heartening news or not.

Entertaining Highlight: Listening to Jason S., Joe, Chadwick, Jason C., and some other guys solve the world's problems. Their solutions, needless to say, were different than OURS. However, the conversation was exceedingly lively (no one was thrown off the bridge, but I do believe it was threatened, in a friendly sort of way ). I believe it covered such topics as vegetarianism, veganism, presidential candidates, the definition of swearing, and a great deal of politics.

Going back to the dorm to fix myself up for the evening dance and using my chawming IRON to touch up my blouse.

Highlight: Presenting the gift bags at supper. Thanks again to everyone!

Heather: Even to the folks who literally dropped their gifts in the bag as we were carrying them up to the front. :chuckles:

Minor lowlight:
Getting so carried away doing the gift bag presentation that by the time I got back my plate my spaghetti was cold. Wups.

Lowlight: I was on KP duty after supper.

Highlight: I had a Cute New Apron to wear for KP duty.

Should I tell you the little secret about my apron?

(Confession about to ensue)

I was, uh, actually supposed to be finishing my own costume and working on a new ball dress for Mom, not to mention a bunch of other Stuff With Deadlines, but I got this bright idea a week before the trip to sew a cute li'l apron. But I knew if I told Mom I was going to sew an apron I'd get one of those motherly Instructive Moments, wherein your mother sensibly reminds you that you have ENOUGH to do and why are you getting sidetracked on a comPLETEly unnecessary little project like that? And reminds you that you'll be pinging uncontrollably before the trip because you didn't manage your time well. And have you done your chores yet today, Raquelle? At which point I would scuff my toe sheepishly on the carpet and slink off to go be responsible, carrying my sad, blighted apron hopes in a secret lonely place in my heart. Oh gosh, I'm getting sniffly. *bawls*

So I, uh, craftily snuck the fabric home from Walmart and worked on it when she wasn't around. Haw haw!!!! I swore Heather to secrecy and even roped her into doing the buttonholes for me. Mom didn't find out about it she and Dad arrived for the evening dance and Heather spilled the beans. I came waltzing into the dorm from KP duty and got one of those Long-Suffering Motherly Looks from Mom.

This is probably how all the criminals start out....hiding stuff from their moms. Al Capone probably made dozens of aprons without his mother knowing it.

Heather: I have absolutely no comment to make about this little shenanigan. :makes no comment:

Highlight: Mom and Dad showing up after having been sightseeing all day. They were raring to go for some dancing!

Highlight: Getting wound up talking over the day with Mom and forgetting till the last minute to change into my skirt for the dancing.


Highlight: Getting to dance every dance if I wanted to (I didn't, I sat out one or two to take pictures).

Highlight: Getting to dance as a girl.

Highlight: Getting to dance with guys who liked dancing.

Highlight: Mom and Dad getting to dance and have a fun time. They love dancing so it was really fun for them! They left around 11 pm, I think. Unfortunately, they left before the swing dancing started, or I think they would have stayed later. But they had an hour drive back to their hotel so they wanted to get going.

Highlight: Look, everything about the dance was a "highlight" so this "highlight" stuff is getting old. We need a new adjective. Ahem.

Memorable Moment: Watching Kamon swing dance. Or something. Heavy on the "or something." He assured us later that he didn't have any more idea of what he was going to do than we did. This was rather unfortunate for his partners, but Highly Hilarious for the rest of us. I'm positive the floor was smoking when he was finished. I wish I'd taken more pictures of it, but I was rather engrossed watching and forgot about the camera.

Fascinating Focal Point: Homemade brownies and cookies.

Clever Climax: All the guys getting inspired by Kamon (or possibly the brownies) and demonstrating their (non) skills in creative dance efforts.

Hilarious High Spot: Three of the guys trying to do some line dance thingie on their own.

Fun Frolic: Me getting to swing dance, even though I don't swing dance very well. Jason S. claims Mom and Dad taught him swing dance last year at the HSA reunion, and he certainly was good at it this year. I did swing dancing with some other guys too, and I also did a very exciting and memorable polka with Stacy. I only agreed to do it with him (I'm terrible at polkas) because I knew he'd hang on to me if I fell. :snicker:

Gee, I let Heather write a little bit of stuff and she steals all my thunder. Pretend you didn't read all that stuff. 'Cause I already wrote MY version and don't want to delete it. (Yes, we are actually writing this at the same time and sending each other stuff back and forth every ten minutes or so, it's fun.)

Highlight: Dancing. *smirk* My favorites were Marie's Wedding (duh) and "Road to Spencer." Wow, was "Road to Spencer" FUN!!!!!!!

Giggle moment: Asking a couple of guys if they would come over and dance with Michaela and Anna's little sisters. The littlest sister (Lydia?) gave her tall would-be partner (Joe, I think) one appalled look from her two-foot vantage point and turned to me with enormous frightened eyes. "I'd rather dance with YOU!" she announced emphatically. Poor guy. Talk about a blow to your self-esteem. a 6-year-old. Gee. Sorry Joe!

Highlight: Okay, this is going to sound silly.

Nah, I won't say it.

Yes, I will.

No, I won't.

Heather: SPIT IT OUT!!!!

Okay. It was fun to get to go to a dance and actually dance the girl's part most of the evening. That seldom happens at our local ECD group.

Highlight: Doing a short polka with Stacy and not A) getting knocked down or B) knocking anyone else down. Unlike my sister, I am NOT terrible at polkas. I have polka'd on more than one occasion, once at a Civil War ball where everyone else dropped out and it was just me and my (experienced) partner showing off for all to see. See? I might be a prissy little prig but I'm not completely faint of heart. (Polkas are not for the faint of heart.)

Incidentally, I might be prissy little prig but I'm also not completely faint of heart because I can clean up any kind of (disgusting) cat mess you can imagine. Without flinching. So there.

*tries to think of other ways to demonstrate her non-prissy-prigness*


Heather: Back on topic, Raquelle. Stick to the OP.

Raquelle: *removes Heather from Friend's List*

Highlight: Swing dancing with Jason S. Jason's swing dance skills are lookin' good, folks! *accepts $5 from Jason*

By the way, Jason is an awesome guy. *accepts another $5 from Jason*

Oh, and he's planning to become a Confederate. *clutches wildly to her $10 as Jason tries to snatch them back. *

Heather: So anyway, lights were supposed to be out at midnight, or we'd all turn into pumpkins. So around 11:45 we reluctantly headed for the dorms and got ready for bed.

I made a Nasty Sign for the bathroom door, saying "BE QUIET, I'M SLEEPING" or words to that effect.

Heather: I fixed the dadgum bathroom door before bedtime. You see, as a Professional Napper, I know all about how to deal with obstreperous doors that boink you awake right in the middle of dream about the Handsome Prince. I have successfully silenced the impudent POP our bedroom door makes, not to mention the shuddering rumble the closet door emits. And then there's the inviting CREEEEEEEEAK the front door lets out, besides the earth-shattering slam of the back door. So, as I say, my resume is replete with bested doors.

This particular door was no problem at all. One sock + two rubber bands was all I needed. Viola! No more BANG!s at 6 am. Don't clap, just throw money.

Funny thing, but I fell asleep in about five minutes flat this time.

Raquelle: I did too. I think.

By the way, there were some really odd ducks at this event:

Oh, and this one's for Marcos and Chadwick....

Now, since this was like a double-blog post because two people were writing it, that means it should get double comments. Everyone has to leave TWO remarks. Right?