Tag Archives: adirondacks

Goat brothers

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I love this name. Goat Brothers. Are they goat men? Is this their family name? Are they simply goat like in their behavior?

The thing I love about being in the Adirondacks is that I can go to a bar with something like this on display.

I don’t believe I have ever been to a swap meet. I may have to come back up here for this.

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Time to Cry Tuesday – There’s no place like camp

This sign hangs on the owner’s house as you enter camp. It just about says it all. It is hard to explain this to someone who has never been fortunate enough to find the kind of connection my family has found to this place. I have written about it before, more than once, actually. But I always seem to find just one more way of articulating a place that has meant as much to me as any other in my life.

It’s not just the camp, although it is sort of the sacred ground of both my own childhood and that of my kids. But the surrounding area is so amazing. There is a clarity about being there. The way the air smells. How the water feels. The chill of the early morning and the hot sun of midday. The stars at night. There is nothing like the great expanse of a starry night in those mountains. It is a sight I will never tire of.

No cell service. Winding roads through beautiful mountains. Clear lakes. It is all so untouched. Or as untouched as it gets these days. Back when we were kids there were party lines and no new houses. Cell hot spots and new homes have sprung up in the closest town, but not a lot. For the most part the place looks very similar to the way it did 30 years ago. What a gift, to be able to visit the scene of your childhood with so little changed. There are no words to explain that elation.

And the best part. The part that I will never tire of being thankful for, is that my kids know the exact same feeling. Their bond may even be stronger. Not just because it is still so current, but because these times allow them to keep the link to all those people so effortlessly.

Life is long and camp is short, but if you are lucky, you can carry it with you till the day you check out.

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Time to Cry Tuesday – Checking Out

I admit it. I am a connection junkie. I have a blackberry, a blog, accounts on facebook, foursquare, twitter and countless other ridiculous places I won’t admit. I post, share, ponder, like, friend, tweet, IM, BBM, text, and in my retro way I am known to send an occasional traditional snail mail thank-you note when old-fashioned sincerity is in order.

But this weekend I worked pretty hard at checking out. Nestled comfortably in the heart of the 6 million acre Adirondack Park, I stayed in a sleepy little town called… no, not Petticoat Junction. But pretty damn close. It is called North Creek. And it is a bustling metropolis compared to the town we were there to really visit, which is called Minerva.

Minerva… 12851. 28N. Say those three things to anyone who has been lucky enough to spend their summers at the sleep away camps in that town and a glazed look will come over their eyes. The air smells so sweet, the sky is that extra shade of blue, the lake tastes like nothing on this earth. The stillness of its mornings and the majesty of its sunsets are amongst the most beautiful experiences on earth.

But the true gift of this little jewel on earth is found in its lack of cell service. Yes, you read that correctly. I was thrilled to be technically untethered for a few days. And although North Creek prides itself in its relatively new hot spots, I can honestly say I tried my best to keep away from them as much as possible while I was in town. Sure I threw up some shots on facebook and even checked in on foursquare once just to see if there were venues that were listed, but for the most part…

I checked out.

And kids, I have to tell you, it didn’t suck. Somehow being there and letting go made me remember who I am on some level. Or perhaps it was who I want to be.

Again.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Time to Cry Tuesday – 55 precious minutes from the past

These days we take for granted the ease in which we document and share our memories. With digital cameras, smartphones and flip video we can share a moment in real-time with our entire network of friends and family without giving it much thought. Our children do not know a time when photos and videos were not shared before the sun rose on another day.

But back in 1974, just one lone Yale film student was cool enough to have a Super 8 camera at the summer camp I have written about so lovingly before. And that super(8), cool guy just happened to be my husband’s co-counselor and dear friend. As luck would have it, this Time to Cry Tuesday happens to be his birthday. So, Steve, this one is for you.

After thirty-five years, most probably buried in a box at his parent’s house, Steve uncovered an artifact like no other. The very Super 8 film that he shot in the summer of 1974. He burned a bunch of DVDs of that most incredible piece of history and shipped it back east to those of us that he knew would love it the most. Thanks to Dr. Jimmy as courier, we are now in possession of a copy of these 55 precious minutes from the past.

For those who have not read my gushing posts about this very special sleepaway camp, it is a place where 3 generations of my family have attended (yes, my mom went there). So did my husband, his siblings, my cousin as well as both our kids. The friends we made there are counted amongst some of our closest friends today, and their children are friends with ours. Ok, so my daughter’s boyfriend is the son of one of them, too. There it is all out in the open. One big happy family.

We watched this amazing footage with our son the other night. His love for the place is as strong as ours. And there, in silence as there was no soundtrack on Super 8, were the younger versions of ourselves and people we have known for all these years. To see the place in action, as it was back then, was such a gift. Not just to ourselves, but to our son as well. He hears the stories and knows the way we feel about the place, but for him to see that history come to life was such a joy. There we were, his age! Seeing not what has changed so much as what has remained exactly the same – the essence of the place. The traditions. The love. The complete and utter freedom to just BE. And do it with passion.

This young man of a generation that documents every move it makes stopped and sat in awe of a generation that was so very lucky to have that one lone Yale film student who took the time to painstakingly piece together that carefree summer for all eternity. In his own words:

I can’t believe it’s been hidden as if in the Grateful Dead vault for 35 years. But as that was my last summer of camp, it’s frozen in time for me there. I remember the fall of ’74… I spent three months cutting the thin little slivers of Regular 8 film on a tiny film viewer and splicing them together with tape.

Thank you, dear birthday boy, for giving us all back that magical summer, and letting us share it with our children.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visitLeaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Time To Cry Tuesday – Happy Campers

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No, make that counselors. Yes, after 11 years of writing a check to that haven in the adirondacks I am happy to say BOTH of my kids are staff members this year. 

But the joy of not paying is tempered by the fact that for the first time in 11 years I will not be attending visiting day. And though I am sad that I will not be able to visit with my kids I could be equally heartbroken that I will not be able to eat the best fried chicken on earth and those heavenly little lemon meringue tarts with the little dollop of whipped cream on them.

Seriously, this is Time to Cry Tuesday so let me squeeze out a few tears for you.

We have aged out – for the second time in our lives – from a place that holds such intense memories that its culture is ingrained in our family as much as, if not more, any other piece of us. 

I look at this picture and wonder, how can this be them? Wasn’t this just us? (note the Grateful Dead T) Ok, Gary’s beard was way more impressive (Danny is partaking in the great facial hair experiment). But I look at this photo and I know exactly what they are feeling. How the air smells first thing in the morning. How the lake tastes. The sense of belonging like no other from a place that is rival to none. For us still!

I look at those faces and the passage of time is so evident. (and I think what good money was spent on the orthodontist). Yet I could conjure up what a day at camp feels like as if I attended last year. So could my mom (yes, she went there too). And of course I have that tug at my heart that asks, “what happened to my little campers?”

I know they appreciate every minute. Jana surely did not think she would be there again this year. And they are forever grateful that we gave them this gift.

They are giving it right back with this image. Thanks guys for bringing us back, yet again.

We love you both, more than life itself.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under danny, family, Jana, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Top Ten Search Terms (vol.2)

I will be shamelessly self-promoting my new photo blog, leaving the zip code, here from now on. You won’t be disappointed, I promise. Let’s see if some of you will take the ‘submit’ challenge.

This one was really hard to narrow down to only 10, so I cheated and put all the tampons in as one listing. They were all too funny to leave any out.

As I did last month, I have linked these to the posts I think the search yielded:

10. petafile aroiund my neiborhood (uh, do we have a spelling issue going on here? this link is a stretch but I could not think of what else they found with that)

9. victim nail polish (I was once a victim to nail polish but I went into therapy and now I am good)

8. highway to hell photo code (wait, is there a password to get into hell?)

7. does menopause make women irrational and (Duh!! No, these hormones are not a problem sonny, just don’t come near me when I have a knife in my hand. I cannot help but wonder what came after the ‘and’…homicidal? frankly psychotic? certifiably insane? any other suggestions?)

6. mars cheerleaders (imagine the outfits they would be wearing)

5. decision ball outlook so so (this is a pretty wishy-washy magic eight ball, no?)

4. okay to drive baby in convertible? (helloooo, if you have to ask we should get your number and call social services)

3. acronym for burnt mouth from hot pizza (that would have to be BMFHP?)

2. adirondack milfs (I believe this may be an impossibility, have you ever been to the adirondacks?)

1. tampons don’t work (um, maybe you need to change it more often),  yank out tampon  (ouch, must you yank?)strategies for getting tampon out (this one should be pretty simple, did you not know that was what the string was for?) and the all time fave…

obama covered with tampons (just the visual alone is hysterical. yes I posted about this one already, so sue me)

There were a few more that I loved, but I need to be selective, right? Feel free to vote for your faves. And claim any of them if they were yours.

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Filed under absurdities, humor, search engine terms, searches, Uncategorized

Pink Flamingos

We stumbled upon this scene on a back road in the Adirondacks last week. John Waters would surely have loved this! We are not quite sure if the owner/artist put that flamingo in the mouth of that creature, or if it was some drunken prank from the night before.

Nonetheless, it was worthy of my making the poor husband turn around to get the shot.

I believe his exact words were, ” This is absolutely the last time I am stopping for a photograph” which translates into “Enough of this crap you snap happy bee-otch.

Now honestly Gary, wasn’t it worth it?

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