Saturday, July 30, 2011

Grover, Day 1 (Tuesday, July 26)

Well, we're back from camping and I have bucket loads of stories to share. I suppose I'll begin when we pulled up to Aunt Dorothy's cabin. But first maybe I'll say that one day I want a cabin. Or at least yearly access to a cabin. It's nice to be able to go the same place year after year after year.

I first went to Grover seven years ago, before Andrew and I got married, while he was still on his mission, and his family wanted to make me fall in love with them so that I'd fall in love with him. Or something like that. I'm not really sure what their plan was but Andrew and I are married today.

It doesn't really seem that long ago that I infiltrated his family's anual vacation but then I saw Phillip step out of the car. Phillip is the neighbour boy. He also went to Grover seven years ago. Do you know how old he was seven years ago? I'll tell you. He was seven.

Not a whole lot has changed about me in seven years, at least...not that I can tell.

But I can tell you a whole lot has changed about Phillip in seven years.

For one thing, he's not a baby anymore. He's a gangly teenager.

That kind of shook my world. I was like, "Wait! When did he grow up? We just went to Grover seven years ago and he was just a little kid!"

I mean, I knew he grew up because he lives down the street, right? But for some reason realizing that seven years ago he was seven made me feel...old. Except that I haven't changed. Except that now I'm bringing along two little girls to Grover. And where did those little girls come from? Weren't they babies the last time we went to Grover?

Anyway, we pulled up to the cabin and I helped Rachel out of the van and set her on the stone path leading up to the cabin where Grandma was standing in the doorway smiling and waving. I gave her a little nudge forward and said, "Go on into the cabin with Grandma."

Instead of going into the cabin though, Rachel started twirling around in circles, looking rather disoriented. Finally she started walking off to nowhere.

"Rachel," I asked, "Where are you going?"

"Ummm...where's the cabin?" she asked.

I turned her back around to face the cabin.

"There. That is the cabin. Where Grandma is."

We were all laughing at this point, but then Rachel said, "But it doesn't have any wheels!" and we lost it entirely. I suppose "cabin" wasn't firmly engrained in her lexicon and she had no idea what I was talking about. Now she does, though, as does Miriam. Hopefully Rachel will remember what a cabin is by this time next year, although I don't hold out much hope that Miriam will.

After getting camp set up we prepared dinner—it was pretty low key—we roasted hot dogs. Grandma brought out a garbage bag though, which she then promptly lost.

"Where is that garbage bag?" she asked, frantically looking around the camp, "I know I brought it out with me!"

She found it, a bit later, in her hand. She had balled it up and hadn't noticed.

Grandma hung it on a nail on the pavilion and announced, "This is the garbage. Phillip, Ben, Daniel, James—this is the garbage."

About five minutes into the meal Phillip asked, "Where's the garbage?"

And he was dead serious, too. He could not remember where the garbage was to save his soul.

We did s'mores after dinner. Karen (who is Grandma, in case anyone is confused about that) made some ganache for a ward activity a while ago and she brought that to spread on the graham crackers instead of using a chocolate bar, so they were super fancy s'mores.

Ganache is kind of a fancy word, too. It's pronounced "guh-nosh."

"This ganache is guh-nud!" Grandpa said (splitting "good" with an "n" to make it two syllables).

That opened up an avalanche of possibility and for the rest of the evening we were saying things like, "That's guh-narly, man!" or "Will you guh-net me another marshmallow?" or "Oh my guh-nosh!"

For some reason we thought it was hilarious and we just couldn't stop. We were making ganache jokes until nearly midnight. In between we were making other silly jokes. There's something about camping that makes lame jokes seem really, really funny. I'm not sure what it is, but when we asked Phillip for the hammer so that we could hammer our tent stakes into the ground and he said, "Sure. I've been carrying this hammer around all day! My arm's kind of Thor!" we laughed for a long time.

Then there was the time when Grandpa and Phillip decided they were too cool for "Word" anymore so they'd fist-bump and say "PowerPoint!"

When it was late, late at night and our jokes were dying down, Andrew stared at the window and said in a worried tone, "What's that big, black thing in the window?"

I stared out the window, looking for something big and black (and most probably scary). The girls were out in the tent by themselves—not too far away but certainly a good sprint away—and I wasn't too keen about there being a big and black thing outside with them. As hard as I looked, though, I couldn't see anything big or black (or at all, for that matter).

"Where?" I asked, getting worried.

"Right there in the window track," answered Andrew.

"What—this fly?" asked one of the boys, "Or, I guess it's three flies all together. They're all dead."

"Yeah. That's it," said Andrew.

"WHAT?" I exclaimed, a little outraged, "That's not big! I was looking for a coyote or a wolf or a bear or something and you were looking at a FLY! What's your problem?!"

Soon after that we finished our round of hand-and-foot and went to bed so that I could protect my children from mysterious black things all through the night.


  1. I loved this and your ganache jokes. They are still funny. Not just camping funny.

    7 years ago I was almost 18.

    Philip and "gangly" go together well.

  2. You're right, there IS something about camping that makes lame jokes really funny. I think it's all the smoke - is that what people who get high feel like? :D