Saturday, July 17, 2010
Over the past 25 years, the young girls in my family have spent summer weeks at my house. First it was nieces, then cousins and daughters of my childhood friends. After a while, though, they all grew up, went to college, got jobs, husbands - even children of their own. It's been mostly girls, of course, who want to come play with my toys, so after a while Himself began calling it Bess' Girls Camp. And at last we've got New Cute Little Girls (and one adorable boy) to come visit again.
This past week our precious 8 year old cousin spent 5 days with us, exploring the wild outdoors, swimming, coming to work with me (it's wonderful how many girls love to spend time in libraries, helping with story hours and putting books away) and sampling lots of crafts from my cache of supplies. (Cousin Hannah says I have the best toys of any grownup, ever!)
The best thing about having children visit is that they want to go swimming every day - (we get a little lazy now and often say "let's just take a walk) - and to get to the swimming beach we have to canoe across wide Occupacia Bay. Great exercise there - and lots of laughs, because our aqua phobic labrador Jack had to swim back and he cried all the way home. I've never seen a dog resent water as much as he does. Monday the cool water was refreshing and a little rainstorm spattered droplets on us as we paddled home, but as the nights have stayed above 70 all week, by yesterday it was bathtub temperature. Little minnows nibble at your back in the warm water and of course - we're surrounded by a ring of greenery with not another soul out there to intrude on the luxurious feeling that the whole world belongs to us.
Summertime we have lots of childrens' programs in the library so it's easy to take my own visiting cousins with me and not worry about them getting bored or me getting interrupted. I was going to be interrupted anyway. Also, if the cousin is the right age, she can join the reading club, read books, earn Book Bucks and spend them at the BookStore. The rule at my house is: you must be 7 years old before you can stay the week without your parents. I see there is a 5 year old sister who has started counting the days.
Himself is a magical man full of poetry and stories and with a voice you never forget - deep , rich, mellifluous and he will read Hans Christian Anderson stories on the back porch in the evening. He also knows all about the trees and will take a cousin for a walk in the woods and teach you how to identify them. He will even pick you up and tell you "Walk up the tree trunk so you will really know how that bark feels" He's just so cool.
But the really exciting part about staying at Bess' Girls Camp is Bess' Toys. There is Ginger Peach Preserves to be made
There is jewelry to be created
and there are babydolls to be dressed in hand knitted garments
There is also origami and drawing and real watercolor paints - but you get the idea.
Alas - a week has to come to an end sometime and it did yesterday with a gala swim with mama and aunt S and brothers and sisters and More Cousins. The house is quiet now but I believe there is another, former BGC attendee coming in this afternoon. And I believe there will be a Boy Cousin coming in August.
Happy times here in the country. Hope your campers are having a good time this summer.