It will be cool under the oak trees. Always, there is a breeze off the river. My husband will take the hammock, the youngest kids will go off into the woods, and the teen-age girls will set up down by the dock with magazines and suntan lotion. Every kid will have a cousin to play with. Boy in Black will get a group to play frisbee golf or bocce. I'll find a place on the grass where I can take a nap or write in my journal.
No computer. No telephone. No housework. No mailbox.
The best part of a week at camp is simply that there is nothing I have to do. Nothing at all. My mother, Blonde Brother-in-law, and Red-haired Sister take charge of the meals. My mother assigns chores to my kids. The small tent I share with my husband takes minutes to set up, and then I am free to do whatever I want.
At breakfast each morning, we will eat blueberry pancakes and argue about which island we want to go to that day. Blonde Sister always wants an island in the bay because it is warmer. The teenagers like Wassail Island because it's got a small cliff that is perfect for jumping off -- and shoals to swim to. My Dad will argue for an island out near the channel, in the deep cold water where we can watch ships go by. My favorite island is Third Brother Island. The sail there is gorgeous: we go past an island full of great blue heron nests.
Eventually, some one will make a decision, and we will pile into the boats: the sailboat, the old aluminum motorboats, the canoes. We'll spend the day at an island, swimming, eating, playing in the water. We'll come back late in the afternoon, tired and tanned. Family members will gather at the picnic table to eat snacks; I come from a family of skinny people who eat constantly. And I'll go off with my journal, to lie on the ground, write or sleep.
Lazy summer days of doing nothing much at all. That's the week I've got coming up. I'll go sailing with my Dad. Canoeing with my Mom. I'll take some walks with my husband. We'll take at least one big family hike. Maybe I'll will even talk to my brother. Mostly, though, I'll just enjoy a whole week outside, near the marsh that I love, getting long nights of sleep in the fresh air, eating food cooked over a campfire, swimming in the river, and feeling my body relax.
I always come home from camp feeling rested, relaxed, and peaceful, ready to tackle anything. It's one thing I've always been able to count on.