I’m securing my spot in the Good nursing home. We were planning to meet some friends for a swim at the lake and I decided to camp over last night. I called and got us a site right next to the trail that leads to the lake. I figured, they want to camp, the weather is nice, let’s get it over with. Now I can check that off the “to do this summer” list. So we set up camp, headed to the lake for a few hours, came back and changed, had a hike, made some dinner, roasted some ‘shmallows, played cards, read, and went to bed. This morning I made breakfast and we broke camp, home by 9:30. I belive most of our time was spent loading and unloading the van. So much CRAP to take. When we go camping with Andi and Brent this August, we’ll need one of those top-of-the-van containers. All that stuff and I still forgot the bag of tent stakes. Luckily there was no wind. I have a queen-sized blow up mattress on which I slept, flanked by Ben and Lily. It loses a bit of air as the night wears on, causing them to be pinned to my sides. Very restful to be paralyzed. Esp. since I always have to pee in the middle of the night if I sleep outside. My bladder hates me. Anyway. Here are some photos, to prove that I am the Best Mommy and deserve to be treated well in my dotage:

Kids in front of Greenbrier Lake

In front of Greenbrier Lake. We swim on the far shore.

Hey!  Where are my breadcrumbs?

Out on the trail…”hey, where are those breadcrumbs I was dropping?”

Blink Tournament 08

We played a lot of Blink, as I didn’t have the deck of cards I thought I did. Lily kicks BUTT at this game. I wish there were college scholarships for it.

Mr. Crazy Hair

A bit of reading before bed.

LAST weekend, I went up to Dickinson for Alumni Weekend. Ol’ pals Christie and Laura were going to be there, so I celebrated my 19th anniversary of college graduation at the ol’ Alma Mater (two uses of ol’ in one sentence. That, my friends, is quality writing.). I hadn’t seen either of them since at least before Julianna was born. I thought we all looked rather similar to our college days, but every time I checked out a group of people I thought looked about our age, they turned out to be Class of ’93. So clearly, I’m not as young as I think. Which is sad.

Look! Here we are outside the Arts House, where I lived sophomore and junior years:

outside Matthews Hall

Shhh…Laura thinks that water bottle is her baby. Tragic.

I also visited my freshman dorm, Adams Hall. Steve lived in the basement, like an upperclassman troll, so I first went down to see The Herm. It was once the “recreation room” and then a bar and then was 3 sophomore rooms and some space. Now it’s under construction to become something else, but oh those clever “little-Ivy” scribes…

Get it?  PROcreation?

And then I trudged alllll the way up, from the basement to the 4th floor, to my old room:

Deana and Sarah's room

I didn’t remember Adams 4th as so institutional and cold. But it probably didn’t remember me as puffy and old.

We were known as the Dickinson Red Devils. Way back in the day, the college was Methodist (Allison Methodist is the church on campus) and the students were allowed to choose the mascot. Clever scamps that they were (see photo above), they chose the Devils b/c that would annoy their ministerial masters. Now it’s 2008 and the college is Environmentalist instead. Behold, the Green Devil:

Oh, you've already done it.

There were little signs all over the place, exhorting us to be pure in our practices. This one was next to about 200 square feet of unmowed grass on Morgan Field:

just mow the damn lawn, hippie

Let’s say that together, shall we? “Sustainability Learning Moment.” Don’t you feel…holy somehow? Like “Holy crap, I cannot BELIEVE how stupid that is.” Yes, not mowing saves CO2. But this is a wee little spot of land. Coincedentally, it is a very uneven spot, full of boulders, so I”m thinking it was just a pain in the ass to mow and some genius thought of a way to turn his reluctance to fall off the mower into a virtue. Give that man a MacArthur Grant! And look, that warranted TWO green devils. Very righteous.

When I was a young, nubile coed, the Reagan years were in full-force. We of the lefty bent numbered approximately 12. I joined the DSA. I went to every march on Washington I could squeeze onto the bus for. I wandered campus barefoot until it was so cold I had to wear my soft-soled Minnetonka moccasins. I let my freak flag fly, my friends. But now…I think they’d drive me into the arms of the Young Republicans. Somewhere, David Taylor (’90) just shivered with glee…

Even though it was about 99 degrees with 100% humidity, we walked all over campus. Carlisle is really a lovely town, with a great mix of spiffy and seedy. They have their problems, though:

drink faster!

Ah, small town life. I just want to pinch their cheeks. “They stay awake until the end of class! It’s horrifying!” We also went to Massey’s. You just KNOW this is going to be good, right?

Massey's Frozen Custard

And the beauty was that the small vanilla malted with extra malt really WAS pretty small, so I felt entirely justified in also having a small cone of Teaberry custard. TEABERRY CUSTARD, people! I mean really. It was delicious.

That night, Christie and I popped into the G-man to scope a place to hang with Laura once she was sprung from her Dad’s glee club performance (you’d imagine a gal’d need a drink at that point). We walked in and it was smokey and loud and crowded. Just like old times. Only this time I said, “Wanna bail?” and Christie agreed. The bouncer stopped us and said, “Are you looking for something less smokey?”

“We’re looking for something less loud.”

“Well, the back room is smoke free and less crowded, so it’s probably less loud. Try it out and if you don’t like it you can just leave” (really? We aren’t signing away rights to come in here?)

We went back (new room) and sat in a booth. There were SIX flat screen TVs on the wall AND one little one in each booth. Each showing something different. So, if you’ve ever wanted to drink bad beer in a Best Buy, this is your place. Apparently all that input was distracting to the bartender, too, for we got no attention. No one came to take an order or check on us or check our IDs…we used to have trouble getting served b/c we were too young. Now we can’t get served b/c we’re too old. Oh, cruel fates. We bailed. Went to Blondies. As seen here:

the blondes at Blondies

Who can tell the difference?

oh shit, we're old.

We had a very fun evening, especially before 11 pm. At that point, they turned the lights down and the music up and the Young People arrived to drink what appeared to be 1/2 gallon pitchers of Tequila Sunrises with a straw. They were probably energy drinks, though.

Christie and I stayed at the Hotel Carlisle, which was outside of town a bit. I think people sometimes held events at The Embers, which is attached. Dunno. It was a weird kind of place. It had several long low buildings of rooms and a, for lack of a better word, campus. It had the feeling of something that was once grand. Like the 80 dollar a night price tag had always been there, as had the guys in red-jacketed livery. Only now that price is low and those guys are old. Room was nice, though, and clean.

Sunday morning, we ponied up the $15 for the champagne brunch. The weather was perfect and the food as good as we remembered (no, really, we had great food there). Laura’s husband is Filipino, and thus, brown. The college president came up and introduced himself to John, no doubt thinking he’d somehow missed a rare brown alumnus. I’m sure he was crushed to find otherwise. Nevertheless, expect to see John on all the Alumni Weekend brochures to come…