Friday, September 28, 2012

Camp cooking and yearbooks

This is what is left of the kitchen after the cabinets and cooking island were removed.  The rugs are gone now as well, shaken, vacuumed and put away.  We are waiting for the sheetrock, plumbing, and electrical people to start.  Removal of the cabinets was a long process.  I worked with the handyman who helps out around here, and we got them off the wall, labeled each door and cabinet, and put them onto a truck to be shipped to a lady who is buying them.  It was a lot of work!

The adventure of camp cooking has begun.  The first night we had Chinese takeout.  Last night, we grilled vegetables and salmon on the outdoor gas grill.  Thankfully, we still have the refrigerator and the freezer as well as a microwave. And we actually enjoying this interlude of simple cooking.  

The cold that I had is gone. Must have been a mild one, thankfully.  Between feeling under the weather and doing the demolition work here, I haven't been to the boat in a few days.  So I'm going to check up on things there and maybe we will spend the night at the marina.  I don't think that the workmen will start until Monday at the earliest. 

I did spend a few hours yesterday morning with a fellow I sponsor.  It was good to get out of the house and take a drive to meet up with him.  He is so grateful to have someone to share his story with, and I'm grateful that he is so willing to do the work in recovery.  He is going to the convention this winter and wants to help me with one of the workshops that our district is doing. I know that I'll need his help.  I need to get through this remodeling before I can give much thought to anything else. 

Last night, I stayed up late reading what people had written in my high school year books.  I went through the writings from Sophomore through Senior year.  Aside from the usual stuff about having a good summer,  I was struck by how many people who wrote what a great friend I had been and how much I helped them with their studies.  Some wrote that I had the best sense of humor. Teachers wrote that I would be a good scientist one day.  I frankly don't remember much that was good from those days, but obviously others had a different take.  Perhaps my memories are just selective or skewed,  and I have chosen to focus on the pain and not the joy or the friendship.  I honestly don't know what is real or not from back then.  But I am warmed by the idea that so many did like me and call me friend. 

And the importance that writing in a year book took on was obvious.  There were reserved pages and lots of angst poured out on those pages.  I thought that this captured that by-gone era pretty well. It's from an article in New Yorker magazine:

"When you wrote in someone’s yearbook, you only had one shot. The message could be clever or sappy or crass, but you couldn’t spend all day on it and you couldn’t revise. As a teen-ager, I was obsessed with this idea—the yearbook-signing as a work of art. I knew what I didn’t like: vagaries (“we had some fun times”); empty promises (“let’s hang out this summer”); clich√©s (“stay sweet”). I prepared a mental list of friends and acquaintances, and drafted elaborate messages in my head. Just what I was after with all of this is hard to say. Did I think of myself as a writer? As a shy kid, I may have hoped that people who didn’t seem to notice me in real life would find me charming on the page.

These days I don’t thumb through my old yearbooks very often. The pages themselves seem to smell of adolescent angst, and trips down memory lane, while sometimes pleasant, are often embarrassing. But then again, isn’t that what yearbooks are all about? They’re time capsules, not live feeds. The foolish things that we wore, loved, wrote, and worried over are all there, preserved for us to cringe over later. We can’t edit them out, or bury them in a flurry of tweets."

17 comments:

  1. camp cooking is not a bad thing at all....i live outdoors for a year and cooked all my meals over a flame the year after college...ha, yearbooks....mine are hidden in my parents basement...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, man. We are enjoying the camp cooking. On the boat today with the gas stove!

      Delete
  2. Your kitchen is coming along. I remember doing ours. Washing dishes in the bathtub is less than fun. I don't remember HS very well and my parents had my brothers and I share a yearbook, so I didn't get any of those. Isn't amazing how much we are who we are going to be in HS? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that college really helped to shape me a lot too. But I knew what I wanted to do in grade school.

      Delete
  3. I love the rugs and fairy lights.
    When my parents split, everything from our childhood home mysteriously disappeared. Fortunately I salvaged maybe 20 black and white photos, I still have them.
    Now, I put a folder together every year for each of my children. Just stuff that they will be able to look back on; drawings, cards, school books, stories . . . Anything that will be fun (or embarassing) to see again in many years.
    I hope you both get some time on the boat soon x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like a great thing to do for your kids. I know they will cherish it.

      Delete
  4. I had a boyfriend who took my yearbook for a few days and when he returned it, he had decorated it so beautifully and artistically with pictures and sayings and quotes and it was a work of art.
    I will never forget that. He was a beautiful boy. I do cherish that yearbook. I still have it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds so beautiful. No art much in mine. Well, except for airplanes.

      Delete
  5. You're camp kitchen sounds great to me...I could have grilled veggies and salmon every night!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are doing really well. Lots of food to grill.

      Delete
  6. I've moved so much, I guess I pitched the yearbooks somewhere along the line. I can't remember anyone's name either, to find them on FB.

    Syd, more cat pictures, pls.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some were people that I went through first grade with. Truly, small town USA. My whole family was from this area of Virginia.

      Delete
  7. My yearbooks got ruined in a big storm one year...they were in a shed and the shed blew over and everything inside got wet and ruined...my wedding stuff, my yearbooks, lots of photos, such a bummer! I have reconnected with a lot of friends on FB though....but high school wasn't really my thing to begin with. I got through it, but I didn't thrive there.

    So about your kitchen....are you keeping the wood floors? I hope. It will be a beautiful space and I am looking forward to seeing the "ta da! we are finished" pictures. :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The wood floors will definitely stay. All the floors in the house are wide plank. The color is great. Me too on the final "ta da".

      Delete
  8. Well look at you, Mr. Handyman. I can't wait to see the finished product.

    I wish I could find my yearbooks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL--yes, I'm pretty handy at some things. I can't wait to see the finished product too.

      Delete
  9. Your yearbook observation is great. As my marriage came to a dramatic end, I went back to my yearbooks to remind myself what I used to be like. I found a treasured letter from a dear high school boyfriend tucked into one of them. He wrote, "This will be a very special thing for us to remember..." And he went on to tell write about the positive impact I had on his life. Who knew 25 years later what a positive impact his words would have on my shattered self-esteem.

    ReplyDelete

Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.