Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Camp Reed Afternoon Report Day 3

I'm feeling pretty sad that my tour of duty at Camp Reed 2009 is over. Tomorrow, I go back to work and Captain Reed takes over.

The kids will love it. He's already set up a field for water gun fighting -- providing all kinds of crazy shelters for people to hide behind -- and he's thinking of taking them on a road trip.

Me? My nose will be firmly back to the grindstone. Heavy sigh.

Today we were stalled a bit as we waited for Village Plumbing to drop by and fix the clog in our basement drain and the leaks in our master bathroom. I'd missed the call that would have brought them early, and we were just coming onto Canterbury Park on a bike ride when the call came that they were 30 minutes out.

We opted for a quick spin and headed down the trail, with Alison scouting again. She and Hannah kept up a good pace and we made it to the edge of the State Fairgrounds before we headed back. We pulled up just as Tim the Plumber got to our house.

He was great, but the work took us through lunch. Right before it, our neighbor called, desperate for help with her 13.5-year-old dog who she thought was stroking out. I helped get Maddie (the dog) into Debbie's (the neighbor's) car and then added Chelsea to my camper list.

They were all happily watching a movie and munching on lunch when Debbie returned; harried but freshly convinced to prolong the dog's life. I'm not a dog hater, but Maddie is blind, deaf and prone to tremors. Debbie is a single divorcee, recently laid-off and caring for a special needs child.

I'm not sure I would have agreed to give Maddie another day. Another of Debbie's charges, Pearl the rabbit, hopped off into Bunny Neverland last week after 13 years. Frankly, I think the animal signals are clear and that Debbie needs a break.

After Tim had fixed all that ailed our pipes and faucets and I was able to tear the kids away from our Charlie Brown Special collection, we got back on the bikes and rode to Broad Ripple Park to try out the pool. (It wasn't up to the standards of the Jordan YMCA pool, according to the little otters.)

While they were happy to cool off, I'd just had my hair done. I could only dip my toes for fear of having my friend Julie from Ado disown me. She'd warned me away from chlorine when I left her Tuesday evening. She's not only a way better hair stylist than I deserve, she's a new mom and full of hormones. She probably would brand me with a curling iron if I dragged myself in there to get my freshly un-grayeed hair repaired.

Debbie's bad luck with animals seemed to follow us as we biked to the park pool.

"Aw! That poor chipmunk," Ali called, alerting everyone to the road kill. "Hey Hannah, my mom ran over a squirrel once."

"Mrs. Reed! How could you?!"

I launched into my speech about how I was certain the squirrel had committed suicide and used me horribly in its dastardly plot of self-destruction.

"I don't believe that for a minute," Hannah said.

"Yeah, Mom. You KILLED it," my offspring reminded me.

I battled them for a while before I reminded them that I could have let the squirrel live but taken evasive action such that Alison and I could have died in a firey crash. Alex, who loves me most when I'm pedalling him around on the tandem, jumped to my defense.

"I think it could have committed suicide," he said. "It shouldn't have run out in the road when a big car was coming. And besides, there are millions of squirrels. There aren't millions of Mrs. Reeds or Alisons."

I love that boy. He's so smart.

They played a little at the park before we came back home into the lovely air-conditioned house where they gorged on frozen yogurt and ice water before their parents came to whisk them away. (The basement drain problem was causing the a/c run-off to back up and pool on the floor but thanks to Tim, we're basking in the cool again.)

I may have to get sick Friday afternoon and have to go home early...

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