Hello, hello, we're all back: camp and a protest

Y'all, driving to and from Maine (from MD) in six days in a rented van in order to pick up your children and their extensive baggage from and say goodbye to sleepaway camp after six weeks is not for the feint of heart. It is not a trip I will replicate anytime soon.

That said, J and O were blissfully happy at camp and cannot wait to return. J cried and cried during the closing ceremony, and my heart was full of gratitude for the joyous, adventurous summer he and Ol had. Neither missed screens or electricity. 

The celebration of boys and their development, of nature and living intimately and compassionately in it, of simplicity and togetherness, of tradition and of emotion and connection was palpable in every memory shared, joke recounted, and bit of growth noticed. Plus, Jack gained 8 pounds. This camp is a very special place, and we all look forward to returning next June.

Once gone, we found a live spider in Ol's trunk, some of their clothes seemed shellacked into grotesquely dirty homages to day spent in dirt, some of their possessions are flat-out gone, J jubilantly showed me how his Nalgene bottle had survived being run over by a truck, and Ol matter-of-factly informed me that his record for wearing the same pair of underpants topped 11 days. I'm ill. Don't even get me started on dealing with their finger- and toe-nails. Vomitous! And y'all, I am not a germaphobe or clean-freak. 

Long story short, camp scored 100% but we will return home in different fashion next year. 

Shortly after completing eleven loads of laundry and settling back in, the one-year anniversary of the heinous white supremacist affair in Charlottesville arrived. I am telling you, life never stops. This year, the "fine" supremacist folks planned to march not only in C'ville but also in DC. Hell no. Yesterday (Sunday) morning, I donned seersucker shorts and pearl earrings (tee hee) and headed downtown to march with a dear friend against the bigots. 

We counter protesters were many, an energetic, compassionate, fed-up motley crew who simply are not interested in tolerating racism, fascism, trump, or any shitty, backwards shit here. In addition, the police presence was huge. I admit that my stomach hurt a bit as we approached Lafayette Square where the Right's rally was officially located. But we saw not a one, and at last count, I heard that no more than two-dozen racists showed themselves. 

 racists encircled in yellow

racists encircled in yellow

All in a day, or a week as it were. 

The PH 5 and two epic road trips

First thing this morning, the electricians came to hang my PH 5. My excitement was palpable, and I regaled them with the story of how we acquired the lamp and tenderly carried it home in our hand baggage, thanking kind flight attendants along the way who smiled at the misshapen, slightly oversized parcel, and kindly tucked into their coat closet and my overhead bin.

So you can imagine my mouth-agape-slo-mo-horror as one of the electricians (two of the nicest guys) bumped the just-hung lamp from the plate that attaches it to the cord, and we all watched it FALL TO THE GROUND with a crash. 

"Please tell me that it's not dented," I gasped. 

"I am so sorry," one of the guys said as he handed me my very dented lamp. Y'all, time stopped. I took a deep breath, told him I understand how sorry he was but could he please give.me.a.minute, and gingerly assessed the damage. Fortunately, I was able to mostly reshape the shade, but the entire fixture was slightly off-center and no one could get it back on the mounting plate. 

I did feel so terribly for how terribly I knew these guys felt, y'all. I had literally JUST told them that this was a thirty-year-old treasure that I had carried home from Denmark. And then bam. But still. And there is a gash in our newly-refinished floors.

I took another deep breath, bid them adieu, met with a darling client, picked my mom up from the airport, called Tom, and decided not to think about things until he, my dear and infinitely capable husband, got home.

Readers, he fixed it. Mostly. It is such a gem, and I just love it. And now Mom and I are sitting here, me writing, she puzzling, under the perfect, non-glare, non-shade glow of Henningsen's genius.


Tomorrow, she and I embark on a road trip to Maine. We are going to get the boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While this road trip will be fun and special for many reasons, it also marks the 20th anniversary -to the month- of the road trip we made from Lake Charles (Louisiana) to Philadelphia to move me to graduate school. For that occasion, she had caps monogrammed for us: Thelma and Louise, Road Trip '98. She was Thelma, I was Louise, and we were going to make that endless Uhaul-towing-a-car drive fun.


A windshield crack started on the passenger side early on. That side mirror shook SO violently that we wondered if it up and broke the windshield. In any case, that crack travelled all the way across the windshield as we drove east and north. Somewhere in Mississippi, we pulled into a truck stop for gas, and there Mom bought a truckers manual. We filled in various bits of information about our "rig" all the way to Philly and managed not to have to back up once. We couldn't, so doing so really wasn't an option.

We actually did have the best time, and since then, the hats have marked important times in our lives: my wedding, my sister's wedding, and now this trip to Maine. I sent mine home a few months ago so Mom could get the monogramming done at the same place she always has. Sadly there are new owners, and they seem to have zero humor or joy, but alas. The hats look great.

We are renting a minivan in the morning, packing up, and heading out. We'll stop in Philly, for the obvious reason but also to see one of Mom's friends, and on and up and into Maine by Saturday for the camp parent social. After pick up on Sunday, we'll make our way back down, arriving home on Wednesday, all together once more. 

Pies and kids

I can hardly stand it, y'all. This Sunday -just 4.5 days from now- I will lay eyes on my boys for the first time in six weeks. The letters have slowed as have spottings of them in the once-weekly camp photo album. I saw Ol from behind today, but that's it since mail last week. Which I think means all great things. BUT, I can't wait to get my mitts on those two. 

 OMG, how precious are his legs?! The kids are in line signing up for War Game team preference.

OMG, how precious are his legs?! The kids are in line signing up for War Game team preference.

In the meantime, I've been working and nesting and making lots of pies. I taught a fab class last weekend: a dad and his daughters. How dear. We made two pies, and I have since finished the one that was in the fridge and made two more.

 tomatoes, spinach, basil, chives, feta, mozzarella, eggs, and milk

tomatoes, spinach, basil, chives, feta, mozzarella, eggs, and milk

 lemon meringue pie

lemon meringue pie

Plus I have overhauled the boys' rooms and bathroom, even teaching myself how to install dry wall anchors, repair wood trim, and caulk. Hear me roar. Y'all know how I love to paint. Mamma mia does everything look sharp. 

This has been a great summer, good for all of us in so many ways. I feel grateful. And I cannot wait to hug J and O.

PS- Know what's happening tomorrow? My PH 5 is being hung! FOR THE WIN!