August 2015

23.) I’m okay with never seeing or tasting another chicken nugget or serving of mac and cheese. I cannot emphasize this point enough.

24.)  When it comes to setting up a tent, I still have no idea what I’m doing which is ironic considering I worked at a camp. (Yes, there were stakes and poles left over when I set the darn things up,  and, yes, I did patch up a hole with construction paper and duct tape. But no one smothered to death or was stung by mosquitoes now were they?)

25.) Making friendship bracelets only leads me to curse. If God wants us to wear string around our wrists, He never would have invented gold jangly bracelets…which, by the way, I wear very well.

26.) Boys cabins are still gross.

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27.) Warped minds come up with the best camp games.

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Yes, you are looking at a young man sliding through oatmeal, jello, pudding and gravy while his friends beat him with a noodle. But, hey, they aren’t glued to their electronics now are they?

28.) Nothing makes me happier than seeing girls working together.

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29.) When I’d leave my phone somewhere, lots of images like this would appear.

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30.) But I needed that phone to take pictures of lists like this one…because I was always forgetting lists or dropping lists or losing lists or ignoring lists. I suck at lists.

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Speaking up lists, my list of Things I Won’t Do With My Vagina is now at 6,948.

31.) When your children tell you there’s a mouse in the cabin, and you blow them off and tell them they are just hearing chipmunks in the walls and ceilings (because THAT’s so much better), you learn sometimes it pays to listen. Especially when you find said mouse dead under your bed on the very last day of camp….four weeks after they told you they heard a mouse.

32.) Experts be damned, lots of little boys still love playing dodgeball…especially if noodles are involved. Please don’t ask me how or why the noodles are involved. Suffice it to say  big boys are directing the little boys so….

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33.) Bug spray without DEET is worthless. Forget Skin So Soft or homemade natural concoctions. If it doesn’t have DEET, it won’t work.  Yes, I know all the warnings about DEET; I’m just saying that I was outside 67 days straight all day, every day so I have a clue. Don’t shoot the messenger.

Now that I think about it, I’m being a little unreasonable about some of my non vagina related activities so I’m back to 6,945.

34.) Tie Dye is still all the rage.

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35.) Buddy Checks are a bane of any waterfront director’s existence…still…25 years later. Seriously, kids. Remember your friggin’ number and yell it when called upon. It’s not that difficult.

36.) I build a mean campfire…sans lighter fluid…the millennials needed lighter fluid.

37.) This girl hasn’t spotted a mic she doesn’t like. We were told more than once that we looked like mother and daughter. So we lied to a few campers on Honesty Day (of all days) and told them we were mother and daughter. I’d like to think she got her stage presence from me.

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38.) Sunrises have the same effect on me as sunsets.

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39.) Old campers, like old students, show up at just the right time to remind you that the work you did years ago mattered. It really did.

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40.) And one of them returned with an original gift from the heart.

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Which leads to…

41.) Campers make me all kinds of weepy.

42.) Some of their helicopter moms make me all kinds of grumpy.

43.) I can spot a Helicopter Mom a mile away, but Helicopter Moms can’t spot themselves if they were looking right in a mirror and the mirror declared, Yeah, you are one of those moms, lady.

44.) At the beginning of the summer, I thought going back to summer camp at 44 marked me a complete loser – after all I was newly divorced, had given up my career for 10 years to be a SAHM and wondered if I had any marketable skills whatsoever.  What I realized after nine weeks is that I’m pretty darn lucky to have met all the campers, staff and parents (even the helicopter ones) that I did, because I’m a better, stronger and more grateful  human for the experience, and everything’s going to be okay. God kinda has a clue…even with millennials.

 

 

 

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Grace and Tees

by Priscilla on August 9, 2015

It happened to me again just the other day. I saw a woman wearing an I love my husband, t-shirt.

And it made me feel like shit.

And because I’m a thinker, I wondered why I allowed a t-shirt the power to make me to feel like shit. It’s just a t-shirt with a harmless message. It was just a nice wife saying something nice and affirming to her husband. (Although for the life of me I don’t understand why we can’t just turn to the people we love and tell them we love them to their faces. Now it has to be emblazoned across our chests and instagrammed and tweeted…but that’s just a 40 something human still trying to wrap her head around this Brave New Social Media World.)

Was it because I, too, loved a husband once, and he chose not to love me back?

Was it because I was simply snarky and jealous of this husband loving wife?

Was it because this whole divorce thing has caused me to question God –  even Its existence?

Maybe…probably. Okay, I check yes to all of the above.

But none of those answers are good enough to settle my unsettled heart, and if I’m still contemplating a harmless t-shirt a week after its brief appearance in my life, something’s up spiritually. Today, once again I cried myself through a church service where I felt like a fish out of water while a nice family with a nice mother and father and two nicely dressed sons read one of my favorite faith passages, Hebrews 11, while I sobbed faithless and alone up in the very back row of the church balcony, wondering why on earth I was still coming to church. Why was I still thinking about that damn t-shirt?

And the thought occurred to me, Could I wear a t-shirt that read, “I love my EX husband?” Because really, that’s what the Gospel boils down to, right? Love God. Love Others. All Others. Not Some Others.

Could my friends who have endured molestations and beatings wear I love my abuser. t-shirts?

Could those falsely accused, spending years in a wretched prison wear shirts that say I love our judicial system?

Could someone who’s lost a child in a car accident don a t-shirt emblazoned with I love the drunk driver who killed my kid?

And who would MAKE these shirts?

And who would MARKET these shirts?

And how would we REACT to these shirts? Let’s face it, seeing shirts like that walking around on the streets would make us feel more than a little uncomfortable. Loving someone who loves you back is easy. Loving someone who violates you or your trust is a whole other ballgame…

…but GRACE IS UNCOMFORTABLE.

Grace doesn’t say roll over and take it and go back and ask, Please, sir might I have some more.

 But it does say Forgive as I have forgiven you. Love as I have loved you.

 However, Grace has no timetable. It doesn’t demand instant forgiveness and  lots of kumbayaing around the campfire together. That’s Cheap Grace to steal a term from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, someone who knew a thing or two about the giving and receiving of Grace. Cheap Grace spouts off platitudes and plays nice. It wears t-shirts that don’t make everyone feel uncomfortable.

Real Grace doesn’t roll over and play nice and appease everyone. Real Graces demands we walk through the fire, wrestle with God, live transparent lives and refuse to go quietly.

I’m not ready to wear an I love my Ex Husband t-shirt anytime soon, and if you are honest, I’m sure there’s someone, somewhere that you aren’t ready to dress up in a t-shirt for either.

So for now I cling to my belief that Grace is eternal, and God has Its own timetable, and as the poet penned the words, Twas Grace that brought me safe thus far, and Grace will lead me home, I too, am choosing to follow Grace all the way home…even if there’s no t-shirt for me.

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I don’t know if I really have 44 things, but it appears that in today’s society, in order for anything to reach Buzzfeed worthy news status, a numeral must be part of the some attention grabbing title. Today I saw a blurb something along the lines of 8 Things I Won’t Do With My Vagina. To which I thought Only 8? Really? Because as I type, I’ve already come up with a list of 498 things I won’t do with my vagina. I’m pretty sure by the time I’m done with this post I’ll be up to 10,387 things which may limit my chance being swiped right on Tinder…which leads me to #1.

1.) The 20 somethings I worked with tried to convince me I needed to sign up for the Tinder App. Why not just take me back to second grade and line me up for choosing teams for dodge ball…because who doesn’t want the healthy girl?

2.) Camp still waters down the KoolAid in order to quench the thirst of 200 little kids every day (and I mean that literally not metaphorically.)

3.) Sunsets are always better over water.

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4.) Rainy day activities don’t have to suck.

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5.) British accents make everything sound better even if they are saying, The third toilet stall in the girls bathroom is clogged due to an enormous piece of dooky. Seriously, say it out loud. A clogged toilet isn’t a big deal anymore is it? In fact, it sounds like sunshine and rainbows.

6.) Mosquitoes are drawn to light…expecially the light in the bathrooms.

7.) Spiders are drawn to mosquitoes…especially the mosquitoes in the bathrooms.

8.) Camp bathrooms are gross thanks to the myriad of mosquitoes and spiders.

9.) Say #8 in a British accent, and you forget about the dooky filled toilets and the spiders in the showers.

10.) If you work at the same camp your kid attends, she suddenly thinks you are cool because you can hook her cabin up with cool after hours snacks and shenanigans.

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11.) I developed a love/hate relationship with millenials.

12.) I hated them when they mocked the one article of anything I’ve found that had my name on it.

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13.) And then I love them all over again when I’d look up and see this walking past me into the dish room. (It became a contest. Because when you are holed up together for nine weeks straight, everything becomes a contest.)

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14.) Then they’d forget to unload the van or leave the freezer door open all night, and I’d go into this mode.

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15.) Then one of them would snap a shot of said mode, and another would feel the need to mention that said shot wasn’t very flattering and I better not share it if I wanted to hook up on Tinder.

16.) But he said it with a British accent so he got a doughnut.

17.) I got to hang out with Peter, Paul and Mary.

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(In case you were wondering I’m up to 2,489 things I won’t do with my vagina. Take that Buzzfeed writers.)

18.) Nothings smells as good as a campfire.

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19.) Until you go and stick your hands in it. (He’s a millennial…go figure.)

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20.) Camp friends are still your best friends…even 25 years later.

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21.) The words, This is a repeat after me song, still send me screaming.

22.) So I go find my happy place and all is well again. blog post 5

I’ll be back tomorrow with Part II after I de-fungi my flip flops and scrub the smell out of mosquito repellant out of my sheets…and hang out with my dog…she’s missed me. blog post 12

 

 

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