This week at Lakeshore 8/26 – 9/1

This week has been another hot one at camp. Even the cool evenings that we enjoyed the past few weeks have not been seen too much. People walk in after a brief period outside, immediately commenting on the heat. Even the people who enjoy warm weather are beginning to grow a little weary of this heat. You get ancy as football starts up and kids go back to school for those chills in the air. You want to wear long pants and long sleeves. You know it should be here soon. You’re just tired of waiting. The Tulip Poplars are finished waiting for the Fall. If you go outside, you’ll notice that their hat-shaped leaves are going from green to yellow. These are little reminders to us that Fall is coming. The Tulip Poplars heard the news first.

Kathy Conrad has come to visit on Monday and Tuesdays the past few weeks. She’s helping the development department put together the Lakeshore Legacy Dinners. One day, she brought her dog, Daisy, to visit. This also happened to be the day Corky decided to bring his mother’s dog, Shorty, to visit. And, with my dog, Digby, who regularly comes to the office with me, we ended up with a parade of small dogs in the office. You’d be sitting in one room, hear a sound like the galloping of very small horses, and then 3 little 10 inch tall balls of fur flash by. It’s nice to get to spend some time with others like us, who understand what it’s like to be you. Currently, the other two dogs are back at their homes, and Digby is asleep in the seat next to me with a tennis ball under his chest. It’s just not as exciting when your friends leave.

If you spent anytime outside during the day early in the week, you would hear all kinds of loud noises coming from behind the Tabernacle. There were chain saw noises, the sound of tires throwing gravel, and the sounds of scraping tin. Jim spent a good bit of the week deconstructing parts of the boat shed that was damaged by a fallen tree earlier this summer. The Maintenance Staff will, very soon, be winterizing our motorized boats, and the boats don’t fit so well in a shed slot whose roof is caved in with a large branch in the center of it. So, Jim tore down about half of the shed. There is something fun, even though it might get scary, to tearing things down. When you build something, there is always worry that your work could just end up with a pile of materials on the ground. When you are tearing something down, that’s the point. You want to knock something down, so you really can’t mess it up. It’s going to be messed up–that’s what you want. You’re only concern is not to be caught under anything falling when you succeed. That moment when you step back, and it all falls in can be so much fun to watch. You don’t generally wish for buildings to collapse or for trees to fall, but it if is going to happen, you kinda hope in the back of your mind that you are standing at a safe distance, watching. “Woah, man. Did you see that? That thing just totally fell. Dude.”

While Jim was tearing down, Travis was building a new storage closet for the Administration Building. This building, hopefully, will help us organize office equipment, ropes course props, and fund raising event decorations. Travis framed the foundation with 2X4s–a small square just outside the hardly used side door of the Administration Building. To level things out, Travis spread sand from the waterfront in the frame. Later on, I think the plan is to pour concrete, then build walls and a roof. Martha’s grandchildren were very excited about the construction of the new building, thinking it was a sandbox. I think Travis still plans to finish constructing the storage building, but a staff sandbox is something to think about. During those afternoon breaks, instead of just sitting on the couches in the front room, we could go out, slip off the shoes and build sand castles.

It would be a welcome break from all the office work that is typical of this time of year. It can really suck the life out of you to spend a whole day looking at a computer screen. On Wednesday, I had all I could take of computer work, so I went up to the Conference Center. My camp keys are currently missing, so I was on a mission to relocate them, but I really just wanted to go outside. The keys were nowhere to be found, but I noticed out the prayer chapel window that our bird feeder was empty. So, my key finding mission become a mission to refill the camp bird feeders. I got the one outside the prayer chapel, the one at the back of the craft hut, and the feeder outside the Sunroom window that serves to distract so many people from the speakers in that room during camp and retreats. It just changes your whole mood when you finish pouring the birdseed, re-hang the feeder, then step away to see little songbirds fluttering in for a meal. Time slows down a bit, when you can watch them bounce around from branch to branch, approaching the feeder with a lot of caution, but a lot of curiosity too. Some birds will set up shop on the feeder, others will gather at the bottom of the feeder waiting for dropped seeds. You feel much more alive watching this, than checking emails, creating flyers, and writing web articles.

Tonight we will get to see a blue moon in the night sky. I found that a Blue Moon is when there are more than 3 Full moons in a season. Most will just say it’s the second full moon in a month, which is close to the same thing. The moon won’t look anymore blue in color than any other kind of moon, but it will light up the night sky. If you are out tonight, you will probably cast a shadow. Even if it is cloudy, you probably won’t need much artificial light. And, we’ve already had one of these this month. The saying along with Blue Moons refer to the rarity of them (we won’t have another one until 2015). There’s this idea of a magic that comes along with it. If another full moon sneaks its way into our year, what else might sneak in an extra visit? My dog, is still asleep next to me, his legs are twitching every now and then. The birds, I would imagine, are picking away at the birdseed that has appeared in their feeders. As the light of the sun dims this evening, the moon’s will get brighter (even though it’s really just reflecting the sun). So much light shines on this place, so many come to be fed.

Keep our groups in your prayers this week: the Smithmier Family Reunion and the Miller Family.

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