Summertime brings all kinds of memories of childhood. Like the time I fell out of the big oak tree in our front yard. Days spent out in the sandbox making mud pies galore. Riding our bikes up to Naughtright Road to the horse farm up there and paying a dollar to ride the ponies. Oh, and there was the time Kelly dared me to grab the electric fence wire.
That might explain a few things.
But one memory of mine is the three weeks I spent at Camp Mogisca up somewhere in the wilds of New York State. My neighbor Kelly and a few girls from my troop went up there one steamy summer...seems to me we were about seven years old at the time. And I don't think I'd ever been away from home longer than one night.
I was excited about horseback riding. I had started taking lessons the year prior, and I was convinced that we were going to get to ride every day. Um, not so much. I think we rode once.
Then there was the swimming. I wasn't a strong swimmer so I got to take lessons while the rest of my friends must've had hidden flippers because they were exempt from them and had fun horsing around while I worked on strokes. I hated pool time.
The hikes, Lord the hikes. I ended up with huge blisters since by day three I had run out of clean socks. And Camp Mogisca don't got no laundry service.
The freedom was the best part, though. We felt so big and bad hanging out with the teenage counselors who pretty much let us do whatever we wanted as long as no one got hurt. We could stay up late, we could talk all night, whatever we wanted was fine with them.
The one thing they probably should've made us do, though, was take a shower. Seriously, I don't think anyone in our little "tribe" showered for the entire three weeks. Hey, more hot water for the counselors, right?
At the end of the three weeks, as the school bus carrying us back home pulled into the school parking lot, my mother said you could smell it a mile away. We had a huge blue station wagon with wood paneling on the sides, and she made me sit in the jump seat in the waaay back. With all the windows rolled down. Then I was promptly dumped in the tub and three changes of water later was finally deemed fit to come out.
And I think she burned every item of clothing in my bag. It was that bad.
I got to telling the story the other night at a happy hour for work and my friends were howling with laughter. "You? Seriously? I can't even imagine!" howled Cathy.
Yup. And I believe that Camp Mogisca is probably to blame for me being so high-maintenance now. Or at least I'd like to think so. I can tell you this much, though - I'm very proud of the fact that no one has had to burn my clothing since then. I'm just sayin'.