From the Fortress of Solitude
It's days like this that bring fond memories of the dark, cold days of winter. It's hot in Utah Valley. So hot in fact the fortress walls are moist with sweat. I'm here in the great room waiting from my brother Jon and his son to arrive from Las Vegas. He is coming through on his way to South Dakota. Jon is doing what many other residents of Las Vegas are doing, looking for work elsewhere. Vegas and employment are antonyms. He's heard the grass is greener in South Dakota and Wyoming. While in S.D. he plans on attending the Williamson family picnic at Spearfish Park on the 24th.
I finished another camp Saturday evening and spending today licking my wounds and remembering what sleep feels like. I start another four day camp on Monday.
This is what I look like at the end of every week long camp. I start the week fresh, relaxed, and free of vices. I end the week wearing 20 extra years, chain smoking and addicted to anything bottled and unavailable to minors! (Don't look so shocked - I'm kidding. I'm still a good - non smoking and tea totalling chap but feel exactly how this picture looks).
I'm hoping to make the drive to the Williamson Reunion after camp on Thursday if the kids haven't savaged me too badly.
You'll have to excuse me for the following, but considering the copious amounts of British blood in our veins from many family lines I thought this might appeal to the naughtier in our clans.
Forgive me? Come on, its that English sense of humor emerging. What a bloody nuisance it is suppressing it all the time in this conservative valley where even showing a bit of leg will brand you a heretic, forcing you to wear the scarlet letter, as our sister Lisa can testify when she's out shopping at our neighborhood WalMart. Lisa is from California and is known to show a bit of leg. Of course Lisa being Lisa, she doesn't leave it at that. She takes enormous joy in shocking the residents of happy Utah Valley by committing the ultimate sin - sporting tops which far exceed the Valley's strict dress standards of women's tops tightly laced around the neck and wrists. California dressed in her terminology; a Jazebel in Mormon terms and Nude according to the Muslims.
A quick up date from the home front. I took Luella grocery shopping to Wynco last week. She is on her roller coaster diet and likes to search the shelves for the holy grail - delicious food sporting zero calories. I chuckle as I watch her scan the shelves. She talks to herself, then the food, then to herself.
"What do we have here. I've not seen you before. Can I eat you in abundance?"
She spins the bottle around to examine the nutritional label, shakes her head back and forth, says something her grandchildren would be shocked to hear come from the mouth of their beloved granny and, out of spite, replaces the item on a different shelve.
"Serves 'em right for tempting me like that," she says to justify her mischief.
"Who are you talking to?" I ask in passing. She changes the subject knowing I'm looking for every excuse to bring my long term plan forward a few years. "The Nearly There Home for the Elderly and Confused is holding a room for you." I smile.
"Shut up," she says while ramming my cart to get it out of the way.
I can tell where she is on the roller coaster by the food she ends up with in her cart at the check out. Then, when I'm not looking, she picks up a bag of M and M's and hides them in the palm of her hand. I've got to hand it to her. She's as good as any magician when it comes to slight of hand - only I'm on to her game and she knows it.
"Can we stop for a drink?" she always asks as we drive home. While I'm in the Convenience Store pouring two 32 ounce Diet Mt. Dews with one squirt of cherry for extra flavoring, I can see her enjoying her forbidden chocolate treat in private.
"What's that around your mouth?" I ask when I get back to the car. Luella has an eating disorder like many of us in this family and tends to wear her latest meal around her mouth and on the front of her shirt.
"Shut up," she answers while using her hand as a moist towelette.
Luella noticed something red coming toward us on the road as we were driving up the hill toward the Fortress.
"Look! It's your dad!" she coughs, struggling to get the words out in between gulps of cherry laced Dew.
I looked up the hill. Indeed there was something red coming down the hill. It was a Red Dodge minivan. Charles drives a large Ford pick up truck.
"That's a mini van." I wipe her spittle from my dash board and arm.
"Oh, so it is. I could of sworn it was your Dad."
"Can't you see that was a mini van?"
Then a classic Luella answer that endears her to us all.
"Well, it was red and that confused me."
I laughed. She laughed and we once again enjoyed a bit of time together. Bless her heart......
Here's hoping you all have a great week!