A second mattress swiped from the other single bed and a memory foam mattress topper on top of that make the bed only slightly more bearable. My back spasms as I try to relax. Laughter wafts through the cabin walls as Enya serenades, well, only me, as everyone else has finally fallen asleep.
Too tired from a day of homeschool co-op followed by five hours of driving, a delicious dinner at the Yankee Smokehouse, and then catching up with friends at Camp Calumet, I decided that my t-shirt and shorts would do for pajamas. After a run to the bathroom with a child in the 40 degree New Hampshire night, I soon regretted my choice.
Battery operated tea lights flicker as I coax my body into a semi-comfortable position. Among other things, I pray for at least a couple hours of sleep to find me in preparation for the long day of work ahead of me.
My toes burrow into the cool sand as the fog begins to lift from the lake. Just two weeks ago, we were told, ice still inhabited Lake Ossipee. Watching a pair of ducks diving after their breakfast, I breathe in the cold morning air and give thanks once again for this place. Picking up my crutches, I call to my children, encouraging them off the beach and toward breakfast.
Staring on freezer number three, a walk-in freezer, after cleaning out and cleaning countless cabinets, shelves, and carts, I realize that my body is still functional and I'm not in agony, as I thought I'd be six hours into Work Day. Getting Camp ready for the Summer isn't an easy task by any means. It feels good to be working.
Done early cleaning the Lakeside Dining Hall, we escape back to the cabin where children decide it's time to take the plunge. I grab a towel and a camera and we're off to the beach. The temperature just twelve hours ago was 36 degrees and the ice left the lake two weeks prior, but that doesn't stop my children from wading in. I giggle at the sight of my two Aspie children in the water wearing hoodies and gasp as Danger Girl dives in, completely submerging herself in the frigid water.
Campfires are near the top of my favorite things at Camp, and this one surpasses every expectation. Joy and contentment permeate my being, driving out thoughts of the pain that wracks my body. It feels good to be here, to push beyond my limits for once, to contribute, to have fun... to be normal for a day. As the sky grows dark and the fire dies down, I close my eyes for a moment as we sing a round of Beautiful Savior. I love this place, these people. Two more months, I think. Two more months and we'll be back.
She sits on the bench, so sad. She's just realized we're leaving today and it tortures her entire being. She reluctantly makes her way to breakfast, where her sadness is short-lived as she greets friends, old and new.
The shed by the lake cleaned out, squirrel nest evicted, swimming area lines and buoys untangled, beach chairs set up, we head to worship. Every song I need to sing is included and the Message preached is just what I need to hear. My heart and soul are full as we sing a last chorus of "The Trees in the Field."
It's time to pack up and clean up our cabin. I feel sad, but at peace. We will return after getting our house in order, my mind more at rest for having done so. I will have time to coax my body into better shape for hikes and kayaking and other camp fun. I give thanks, once again, for this place.