Sunday, October 23, 2011


Spent the weekend with the boys and scouts camping on property at Lake Murray, practically in the center of the lake on an island owned by the Turbevilles. Although it was a bit chilly and windy on Friday night, with the leaves rattling as if being struck by rain, it was a delightful and enjoyable trip. The boys mostly fished and did a little hiking and such, but they all seemed to have a wonderful time. A few rough patches with them, but when isn't there when you are talking about a diverse group of boys. Chimo did very well, as basically an honorary member of the troop, and hopefully he will be able to work toward his arrow of light (sounds like a video game, no?) despite the pack he joined suddenly discovering it had no other boys his age, and another pack denying him entry (because he didn't attend the school where the pack met). If he could do it, he'd join the older boys in a second and would be off and running. Chimo will be a great scout, I think; when he arrived he was right to it setting up his tent, and although he was shunted off in many of the activities, he found a lot of fun things to do. It will be interesting to see the dynamic once Joey & Chimo are in the troop together. On Friday a racoon ate his late-night dinner next to my tent. No one believed me, and even mocked me; then on Saturday one of the boys saw the racoon. I felt vindicated. You could hear quite a number of birds. I placed my tent away from the rest of the group, right along the edge of the lake, and the gentle lapping of waves against the rocks was wonderful and soothing. The campsite was a bit on an incline, and I often felt as if I were slipping toward a watery doom, but I managed. Mostly I relaxed and chatted with the adults. I also got to read a little bit (Ishiguro) and even fished a while with the boys a while. No one was particularly successful with the fish, though we did observe turles. I instructed one boy on how to use a rapala lure, and I managed to do some cooking instruction with two of the boys. And I even whipped up a nice sauteed medley of vegetables for the dinner (the food was very good). I hope the others liked it. Joey and others who will likely be attending the upcoming jamboree did some sort of planning. We made a quick visit to a really well-done Halloween display at a nearby mansion. I hurt a little in the hip, but felt pretty well overall, despite sleeping outside. I was pretty cozy on Saturday night, thanks to the gift of an additional blanket.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I came across this drawing by Chimo in my desk, that I am sure is about two or so years old, having been done when he was mid-third grade I am guessing. In it he draws his family, but note the clear separation between Mom and the three guys. He draws himself between his older brother and me (why he gave me a tie and no glasses, I am not sure). Next to his mom he places "Mad man" (Chris Rossi), looking every bit evil with the huge single eye, creepy grin, and wispy ponytail. And his mom, wearing a dress (she seldom did) is looking at him with tears in her eyes. And note too how carefully he draws a line between his mom and madman, writing in the corner that this is the "sukee side". (sucky side?)