I have returned to the world of intarwebs access, phone service, and public transportation. Communist Space Camp, as The Mysterious X has dubbed it, is over for another year, alas. In order to make the acronym more pleasing to me, I will slightly rename it: Communist Space Camp Wonderland (CSCW).
CSCW was quiet this year, with lots o' folks missing or only briefly stopping by. Nevertheless, I loved it. I had some great conversations, saw some incredible people, and played with lots of children. Plus, I did all of this in the gorgeous Berkshires, in and around Plantain Pond.
This year, the entire area was smothered beneath a layer of blooming mountain laurel, an unbelievably beautiful flowering bush that only occasionally blooms early enough for me to appreciate it at CSCW. This resulted, as usual, in pitchers of flowers on every dinner table, plus a bouquet pinned to Ginger's vest on Friday evening.
Two more of my little boys are headed to college next year, plus another three CSCW-ers. This year marks the first year that a child whose birth I distinctly remember has, disturbingly, graduated from high school. When did I get so old? Two more, at least, are doing the same next year. Oy. Relatedly, but even more disturbingly, boys whom I helped to raise are becoming sexually attractive adults. I find this slightly creepy, despite the fact that there is no possibility of a sexual relationship with any of them, given my almost-paternal feelings and their near-universal heterosexuality. Also, I think it's wrong to feel creepy about finding young men physically attractive, as long as I don't act on these findings. Nevertheless, creepy is what I feel.
Back onto positive topics: I spoke with my sister for no less than a minute or two on Sunday! We both tried very hard, I think, to make it a real conversation. Next time, the goal is five minutes. Shudder. I also had a real conversation not with but about my mother, discussing her unhappiness with the Burbqnk Matriarch. It was gratifying to know that someone else is watching her and noting her discontent and wanting to do something about it. This may not sound like a positive topic, but I assure you it is.
I am running out of describable aspects of CSCW 2008. Most of the beauty of it is not conveyable by blag. However, a few more notable moments:
1. Drinking absinthe with the Ball-Breaker (age 66) and, briefly, Ivan (age 11). Ivan's codename, nothing like his real name, derives from the frequency of the name Ivan for third sons in Russian folklore. Ball-Breaker's, from a famous shirt of hers.
2. Giving Engels a back massage so relaxing that he immediately passed out for about five hours. This was the last in a string of about seven massages I gave on Saturday evening; my hands are famous and magical.
3. Making up new verses to the "Hop, Little Bunny" song. My favorites: "Spit, Little Llama" and "Eat, Little Tapeworm." Children's entertainment has never been more educational!
4. Burning my wishes in the solstice bonfire. This was followed by much revelry and the fiery sacrifice of many a marshmallow. Welcome, summer.
5. Remembering how to knit! I made three squares for the afghans we send off to college with the kids, up from one square last year. The first of these, I must confess, is not fit to wipe one's boots on, but the second and third are quite respectable. I have red and black yarn with me from the third square, and I intend to remember how to purl next.
6. Singing Neely Bruce's wonderful Sacred Harp setting of the First Amendment with Ginger, Novgorod, and Rainbow Brite. I intend to find the rest of the amendments (only the first ten, thank Bruce) and sing them all, with the exception of the second.
7. Staying up until 5 AM on Saturday night/Sunday morning to keep Ix company before his departure for the train station. Ivan and Engels were passed out on the couches, while Rainbow Brite, Ix, and I talked for several hours. It was a great way to end CSCW.
Post-camp, I am in Beantown. Many visits will ensue, I am sure, as I have already seen one old friend (AMisH) and spoken to three others. For now, I am enjoying alone time at AMisH's apartment while she is at work--I had a REAL shower and did LAUNDRY! I feel so clean and like a real person!
(If you are wondering about the title, check out this!)