In one week’s time, I was able to relive a lot of the life I’ve led that brought me to this point. No, I’m not a time traveler, but I certainly felt like one.
From 1965 through 1976, I had the great fortune to spend my summers at sleepaway camp in the Berkshire Mountains. The camp, opened in 1950, was celebrating its 65th anniversary, and the current owner was celebrating 25 years of owning and running the camp, and as a result, invited all counselors and campers back for a weekend reunion.
I was a child again. I was able to forget about the everyday stresses of my life as an adult in an unforgiving world. I rolled down hills, I toasted marshmallows around a campfire, I sang camp songs and I renewed friendships with people I hadn’t seen in 40 or 45 years. (Stop counting on your fingers if you’re trying to figure out how old I am). I even stretched my limits, forgot my fears and challenged my body physically by going zip-lining. I competed in color war, pulled pranks on my bunkmates and relived the end of the summer banquet traditions. And then it was over. The reunion seemed to have passed as fast as my life is passing, in the blink of an eye.
Then it was on to Boston, where I met up with my husband, the American history nut. His intention was to see everything he possibly could that related to the birth of our country. We traveled the route of the Freedom Trail, two and half miles, stopping at every attraction, and did so in one day. Living in Florida, I’m not used to hills… including Bunker Hill. It took us nine hours, with 30 minutes for lunch and a half a dozen water bottles each. Paul Revere had nothing on me!
A cool, indoor activity, like visiting the New England Aquarium, was a welcomed relief. In fact, it was a huge surprise. No, we didn’t fall in the shark tank. We did, however, receive a private tour of the “behind the scenes” of the Aquarium. We learned some most fascinating facts, most importantly was one, not to raise dragonfish unless you are financially independent, and two, always be nice. Karma works. As my cousin’s late daughter, Carly Ferro would say, “Be kinder than necessary.” That, I believe is why we were picked for the tour.
In Boston, I got my lahbstah, my chowdah and a big fat piece of Boston cream pie. I was still the happy camper I was when I started this week.
We hopped a plane to D.C., where we grabbed a car and drove to Baltimore to “relive” our parenting days, by visiting our daughter. Somehow, with time, the roles have reversed. Our daughter was the consummate hostess, treating us to meals, filling the refrigerator in our hotel room, and sharing her life with us. We visited Annapolis for the history and the Naval Academy for the cute guys in uniform. Our daughter provided lunch, again. The next day, we visited Botanical gardens and a Conservatory, got lost coming back, and shared a delightful Shabbat dinner.
True to our calling, (like John Muir), we headed for the mountains of Shenandoah National Park on Saturday. We explored caverns and went horseback riding. We even had to call my husband’s old boy scout skills to find our way back, because GPS doesn’t work in the mountains. Back in Baltimore, I got my long-anticipated crab cakes.
On our last day, we went into the city to visit the Maryland Jewish Museum. The oldest standing Jewish Temple in the country, some great exhibits and then one last visit with our daughter at her home.
And as fast as that, my vacation was over. Well, not yet. After driving back down to D.C., and dropping of the car with 4 minutes to spare, we, through no fault of our own, got to extend our trip for two more hours due to a flight delay.
It was a whirlwind week, which started with a visit to my happiest place. Then, a lot of history, a lot of hugs and a tearful goodbye. Both to my daughter and to that relaxed feeling. I had to return to the everyday stresses of my life as an adult in an unforgiving world. I’m trying to enjoy every minute these days, because before I know it… in the blink of an eye…