Saturday, September 5, 2009

mt. riga: being the second chronicle

my dad, who is paranoid, began to worry that i, at twenty-four years in age and having traveled all over the country singly, could not be left alone for so long a period as six hours. actually, i do not count the time when i was asleep, nor the time after i showered and walked down to the schwartz camp to hang out with virginia and ken, so we're looking more at two hours of total "alone" time. my baby cousins could be left alone for two hours and would probably be fine.

so at any rate, i got up that morning, ate cookie crisp and took my stuff over to aunt olivia's, showered, puttered some more, and then went down to have a chat with everyone at the schwartz camp. they gave me a tour of their cabin, which i'd never really seen in detail as a child, which was pretty cool, because my great-uncle and his other son, phil, are both engineers, and so there are all kinds of contraptions in the camp. they have a solar panel that charges the batteries that run the water pump on-demand (other camps usually get gas-run motors), counterweight-balanced gas lamps rigged up to the ceiling in the main living area, and my uncle's very interesting little creation hanging on the mantle, a hand-made 'betty lamp' as was used up through the 18th and possibly 19th centuries, to burn any sort of fat or grease in a small dish, the precursor to oil lamps. his burns bacon fat with a wick made from shoe laces twisted together into a short pipe.

so after this little rendezvous, i was just leaving their camp when i saw a silver toyota carolla drive past and park at my aunt dinnie's camp, just down the road. i wondered who else on the mountain had a car like that, when the driver door opened and my dad jumped out, looking dishevelled and breathless. with a sense of forboding, i turned my steps towards him and called out "dad, what are you doing here?"

here is the crucial part. dad had driven down only several hours earlier. rather than say something like "i know you weren't expecting me" or something along the lines to justify reappearing so suddenly, he cried "well there you are!"

"where should i be?" i replied in confusion, and repeated my initial inquiry. at this point we were quite close to aunt dinnie's cabin, and i could see my uncle rick on the deck so i thought it better to not stand awkwardly by without greeting them, and began to walk down to the cabin.

"i worried about you being alone," he said anxiously, following me. sigh. i don't remember how i responded, but at any rate we went and chatted for a bit with aunt dinnie and uncle rick, after which i made my escape and headed back up to aunt olivia's camp to get ready for a surprise birthday party for fran miller, whose camp is just down by the dam, and who had turned 70 in march. they were going to try to get her to jump off the dam house in honor of the occasion, because that's what people on the mountain do to the elderly.

No comments:

it's not just for the classroom!