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Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Bruises, Dead Cats, Friendly Campers, and Old Friends

I haven't posted in a few days for a few very good reasons. I knew that I wouldn't be home much this week due to the fact that I agreed to essentially run my parents' campground and canoe livery business while they went to their cabin in Canada with one of my aunts and uncles, my brother Garrett, and his girlfriend Arika. It was supposed to be easy. I wasn't having to fully run it, just supervise a relatively seasoned staff, watch my parent's house (and the campground), etc.

Somewhere along the line, it all changed. As I was taking care of a few last-minute things on Sunday (I was trying to get a few personal things out of the way), I received a frantic call from my Grandmother, the Grandma With Whom I Lunch (my Dad's Mom). She had had a bad attack of vertigo and needed my help right away. I had never heard her that talk way, ever. I panicked and fought the urge to speed while heading north on I-75. I had no idea what I'd find.

It turns out that she became so dizzy that she fell and hit her cheek on her kitchen chair. It happened during the middle of the night, and she ended up spending the rest of the night on the floor. She wasn't able to call me until 12 PM the next day (she had made her way to her bed and called me when she woke up several hours later). In the end, she was extremely lucky and is now doing much better. I ended up spending the night with her Sunday night, just to make sure that it wouldn't happen again soon (the best I could, I suppose). That set up things for the next round on Monday.

Monday morning I called my other Grandma, who lives nearby, and went to help her with some errands, etc. She fell almost a week ago, breaking her nose, blacking both eyes, and hurting her knee. Well, we went through her ER discharge paper and it stated that she needed to get her wounds rechecked. She finally did that today, but it doesn't sound good. Her knee is one of the most painful things I've ever seen. I'm going to help her much more tomorrow. Of course, each Grandmother was worried about the other.

Also, the eight year old cat of an elderly family friend of Brian's died recently. It is hard enough to lose a pet, but doing so when that cat was a direct tie to your deceased husband, not to mention your one constant companion after he passed away, has to be infinitely harder. Over the last few years, I have grown to know this woman and her cat well. Brian and I paid her a visit, but what can you say?

All of this took place against the backdrop of dealing with the day to day business of the campgrounds and canoe livery. I swear, my parent have some of the best customers. Most of the business is built on groups of people who come year after year. Many have come for decades. This was the case with a group I dealt with this morning. The woman who organizes this particular group looks no older than her mid-40s, but she informed me that she has camped with us for 19 years. After she found out that I was Bob and Leslie's daughter, she insisted that I must have been one of the little kids running around when she first started coming. Quite frankly, it made me feel old, even at 27.

As if I didn't feel old enough already, I headed to the main location in Omer to see just how things were going and to see an old friend. A childhood friend of mine, who is now 26, now comes camping not only with her parents, but her infant daughter as well. We became good friends (indeed, at one time I considered her my best friend) through the canoe livery. Her family camped with us every year pretty much from the time she was born. As we sat, reminisced, played with her daughter and the baby girl of one of the canoe rental employees (also in her mid-20s), etc., I couldn't help but wonder, exactly when did we became the adults? When did it happen? The mothers shared stories of birth, labor, and future baby plans (and/or lack thereof). I sat in awe. At 27, I am nowhere near ready to have kids, as much as I love and want babies. It amazes me that my Mom already had two kids by the time she was 27; both of my Grandmas had had three by age 27.

All of a sudden my childhood friend started talking about all the things we did as kids. We swapped baseball and football cards (she still has the ones I gave her), she was there when I got my braces off, and she once snuck out of my bedroom (she once spent a week at our house one summer) to hang out with older boys in the campground. We used to tube, canoe, and sit around campfires. I was hurt when she and her family stopped coming for a while, and she changed into a moody teenager (to put it mildly).

I now realize that she was hurting too. She lost her best friend back in Windsor under extremely tragic circumstances. In many ways, it still affects her. Today, however, what struck me was just how selective memory can be. I don't remember ditching my little sister or playing in the display case in Omer (we had to be all of five years old). She probably doesn't want to remember sneaking out and defying her parents. She found it strange that "baby" Garrett (my now 6'3 17 year-old little brother) is now the one taking her canoeing.

There is so much to take away from all of this, but I have to admit, I'll be glad when my parents come home.


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