I realize that you probably haven’t seen much of me lately. I’ve been
busy: driving, planning, chopping, organizing, comforting, cheering,
baking, packing, cutting, picking, slicing, dicing, arranging and
rearranging. Not to mention allowing myself the chance to feel like a
kid in summertime in again. In short, I’m back at camp and helping to
prepare snacks and salad bar for 100 people. I look forward to these
two weeks every year. I’ve helped out in the kitchen for the past
seven years, but this is the first time I’ve been “in charge.”
It’s a lot of work; so much to plan and organize and execute. Everyday
I bake something. I love it.
For these two weeks no one asks me about books, well hardly at all.
There are no computers, no cell phones and much of what we eat is
grown in the camp garden and in the surrounding town. Each day the
little kids come in bearing gifts of lettuce, radishes, squash, peas
and basil. This year there is kale and some small red onions.
Everything makes its way to the table, where kids often comment about
the veggies they helped to grow and then pick. I can hear the pride in
The one thing I don’t often do at camp, is eat. I’m too busy to really
sit, so I nibble. A pea here, a radish there. A bit of carrot dipped
into hummus. Today when I came home, M surprised me with a plan to go
out. Our wedding anniversary was last week, and our first date
anniversary was this week. T is conveniently away on an overnight
kayaking trip. We had some celebrating to do. So we got dressed into
something that could withstand the high temperatures, and headed out
for an adventure. Just the two of us. When we entered the restaurant
we quickly found an empty booth to the back. While we waited, we held
hands across the table and talked lovingly of the past. It was almost
as if we could conjure up our younger selves and seat them right next
This was one of those meals to remember–we went from appetizers to
dessert, a real treat for us. It all tasted splendid, especially since
I didn’t have anything to do with the preparation. The blackberries in
the cobbler were so deep and flavorful it made me want to eat nothing
else for the rest of my life. It didn’t work in Bread and Jam for
Frances, but maybe it would work for me. I’d really like the chance to
The waitstaff were ever so sweet. They kept coming over to check on us
and give us their best wishes. One waiter asked our secret. I told him
to always be kind. I think this rule has worked well for us all these
years. Funny to think that a task randomly assigned to two co-workers
almost twenty years ago could lead to so much more. That first date we
held hands around the amusement park and talked and talked and talked.
Soon after we became a couple but kept it not quite a secret at work,
but not a topic we talked about openly.
After we got engaged (and everybody knew), M and I were at a party and
one of my trainees snapped a picture of us. I’m kissing M on the
cheek. He’s smiling broadly, clearly enamored. Even though it’s black
and white, I’ve always thought of it as our own personal homage to
Klimt’s Kiss. Looking though my photos from camp this week I was
surprised to see some similarities between that photo and this.
Captions started circling in my head. We’re two peas in a pod. I’m
sweet on him. P is for practically perfect. I quickly dismissed them.
I want to look at this photo years from now and remember this week and
everything I did. My time at camp, certainly; but the restaurant, the
meal, our hands touching across the table and the way he looked at me.