Monday, March 05, 2007

Weekend at Camp Friedenswald (the "Friendly Woods")

We went to Michigan this weekend for our annual gathering of folk music, food, and fun. This group has been gathering for over thirty years. It is composed of folkies who used to play at a coffeehouse at Western Michigan University, and the people who used to come listen to them. Charming's father and his wife are two of the original members. We have been attending for the last eight years.

The music is phenomenal; the food runs just a close second, and the friendships are supreme. Most of the people have differing religious and political views than I, but the music, parenthood, and grandparenthood are in common.

About a third of the people who come eat only natural foods/vegetarian, or some combo of the two. My intestinal system gets a good workout with all of the grains I try!

The music. Ah, the music. So many instruments! This time they had a Ukulele Fest--someone handed Charming a baritone uke (the size of a 3/4 guitar), and someone else had a banjo-uke. There were eight or so others. There is something about ukuleles that makes everyone want to gather and sing-along--think Bicycle Built for Two, The Sidewalks of New York, etc. It was a fun way to begin.

Later, the fiddles, upright bass, banjos, harmonicas, mandolins, and guitars came out. Luscious!

My problem (as always) is that those darned musicians can't start their evening before 10 pm, when I am fading into the dust. Friday night I went to bed at 3 am, Saturday night at 2 am. This morning I'm doing that looking-for-the-Mack-truck-that-ran-me-over thing.

Blackeyed Susan and Alvin Fernald went with the group that went to the Tubing Hill. (if you don't know) Tubing is sledding on large inner-tubes. After trying many tricks, the group found the posted Rules (the sign was drifted with snow), and discovered they had broken almost every rule, except Only Use the Camp's Inner Tubes. They had Made a Train, Gone Down the Hill Without a Tube, etc. There was one other rule to break: Only One Person on a Tube. Grandma Lynn (my father-in-love's wife) grabbed Alvin and said, "might as well make a clean sweep of things," and took off down the hill, double-style. Alvin had the record for the Longest Run of the day. A Good Time was had by all!

There is always a new craft to try, but I usually miss it by taking a nap. This time, I took my nap earlier, and was able to try cold-water felting. Here are the flowers that Blackeyed Susan and I made:
Mine is on the left. I later tried some needle-felting in the center, with blue and white wools. I don't like the results, so I will pull those off, and leave the center yellow.

The other thing I did was felted beads:
The toothpicks hold the holes open until I string them. How funky-cool are those?
My oldest daughter Violet met us there, and we had two fabulous two-hour gabfests, catching up on all the things we forget to say on the phone, or don't have time for when she comes home and is bombarded by four nieces and nephews, and seven siblings. Good, good stuff. The kind of conversations you can't have without unstructured TIME.
Sunday morning we packed up, cleaned up, and came home. Charming and I took a nice long nap, then went over to Johnny Tremain's and Lily's home for cake and ice cream. It was Junior Asparagus's fourth birthday. He can already read, so Lily requested books as gifts. We brought Green Eggs and Ham. (from my "gift stash"--I'm embarrassed to say that I forgot to shop for Junior before we left! I'll get him a couple more this week...) After catching up with their family (they had been gone all week before we left, to a family funeral in Illinois), we came home and crashed for a little tv, then BED.
This morning will be Home Ec before schoolwork! I'll feel better when the laundry is sorted, and the rest of the foodstuffs I brought are put away. But this annual weekend is precious to us, and also precious because we share it with Susan and Alvin. You may know that we had six children in eight years, then had two more ten and eleven years later. I love having things that just Charming and our youngest two do together. It makes some memories for the future that are "just theirs."
Now, off to the Housework!!

1 comment :

Copper's Wife said...

Hey, the felted flowers are great; and I really like the felted beads. Wouldn't those be fun to make to match a knitted wool sweater!!