I guess a photo essay is in order, because I could never do it justice with mere words. So here are the highlights of our week at Camp Michigania.
I. Proof that I actually went to summer camp
Yes, I made these lanyards with my own two hands, using the “twisted box stitch with multiple strands” technique. Impressive, huh?
II. I found a new hobby!
Almost forty years old and I’d never polished a rock! OMG, it is so fun! There’s this wheel, see, and it’s coated with sandpaper, and it spins, and you hold the rock up against the spinning sand paper and gradually the rock gets smooth. If you’ve ever thrown a pot (on a wheel, that is) the satisfaction is very similar. The rock on the right was an ugly grayish-brownish color before I polished it.
III. How I survived the heat wave
Shame on you for thinking that! 😉 Now let me explain! Camp Michigania is owned and operated by the University of Michigan Alumni Association, and part of their mission is to woo the big donors. In order to remind us what a great academic institution the old alma mater is, they usually have a professor come up and give a lecture or two during the week. But the Alumni Association realizes full well that U-M alumni only really care about one thing and that’s athletics. So they always make sure to have a coach on hand as well.
Now, I am not a U-M alumna, and therefore I am absolved of the duty to be interested in sports. However, when it’s a hundred degrees outside, and there’s only one air-conditioned room in the entire camp, and that one room is being used by a hunky football player to give a speech in, I can feign interest as well as anyone.
In fact, that evening turned out to be one of the major highlights of my week. Joey came with me. We sat in the very back row, worked on our lanyards, got some respite from the heat, and felt like co-conspirators. And because he’s not an alumnus (yet), Joey had no interest in the topic either. It was pretty terrific in the mother-child bonding department. And you know what else? The hunky football player was kind of interesting and very sweet. His “speech” consisted of fielding questions from the mostly-female audience: questions like “what do you eat before a game” (everything) and “what’s the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry like” (even worse than the Yankees-Red Sox, as if we didn’t already know that) and “what was your worst football moment ever” (losing to Minnesota). And he passed around his jersey and ring. Awwww!
IV. In the literature department
Overweight alcoholic schleppy 40ish Vietnam Vet loser guy rides across the country on a bike, meets a variety of kooky people and at the end is, you know, self-actualized. Kind of annoying but not a complete waste of time. And the camp book group was definitely not a waste of time. At the end we compared notes on our various book groups. Some people have very structured meetings with questions prepared in advance, etc. There was one guy there who belongs to no less than five different book groups. How cool is that? But nobody’s group was as cool as the Slaves of Golconda. 🙂
I also read my very first Wooster-Jeeves novel. I have read every single Blandings Castle novel, multiple times, I believe. But I could never get into the Wooster-Jeeves books. (I think what put me off was the first-person narration. In my opinion, Wodehouse’s style and humor are better suited for an omniscient narrator. Or something.) Anyway, the timing was finally right, and I thoroughly enjoyed Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit. If you’re looking for a good vacation read, it just doesn’t get any better than P.G. Wodehouse!
V. The big kids honed their architecture skills
They won an award for their creation. Before you get all excited? Everyone who made a castle won an award.
VI. The little kid took a nap
This really is newsworthy. He hasn’t napped since Thanksgiving.