For Memorial Day weekend we gathered, like we always do, at my parents' camp on the river. My parents went up first, of course. My mother is eighty now, but she still likes to do all the work at camp herself: before we even showed up, she had mowed the whole huge lawn, which serves as parking lot, Frisbee field and campsite for all of our tents. Shaggy Hair Boy and Smiley Girl brought their new puppy, plus the dog they’re taking care of for the summer. With-a-Why packed his bag, as usual, with games instead of clothes: his favorite thing at camp is a good game of chess or Go in the shade of the oak trees.
Red-haired Niece, her boyfriend, and Boy-in-Black went up a day early to work on a secret project: they ripped out the seats of Blond Brother-in-law’s boat, rebuilt them, and painted them. Normally, this is the kind of work Blond Brother-in-law would do himself, but he’s had a tough year: he just went through his fifth round of chemo. He made it up to camp, though, and was able to admire their handiwork, and he was even feeling strong enough today to take back his usual job of grilling our food for lunch.
On a spring weekend at camp, we spend most of our time just sitting around and talking, with occasional games of bocce. This year, we had something exciting to talk about: Schoolteacher Niece and her husband have a baby daughter! She was born on Friday, and she has a pseudonym already: Little Ray of Sunshine. It’s a nickname that readers of the Betsy-Tacy books will recognize. Her grandmother and aunts spent Sunday showing us the baby pictures on their phones. We're all thrilled to have a new baby in the family, and we fully expect that she'll be joining us at camp in July.