The reality has begun to sink in, soon we will be moving up to the camps. As I look around the house, and my ever growing “to-do” list a myriad of details emerge and pass through my head. Quickly I grab pen and paper lest in my hurry I should forget them. As these details sink in, I look mournfully at my perennial beds which I worked so hard on last summer, and my newly planted orchard which requires constant vigilance from our renegade deer herd and realize in the same instant the joys I find in those will be replicated a thousand times over in new natural miracles unfolding at Spencer this spring.
The last few weeks have spent buried in a pile of paperwork, from insurance, to registration, to camp journals, and tax forms, we have been sifting through everything that needs to be accomplished. At the same time I have been sourcing out new blankets and sheets, waterproof mattress pads, pillows, kayaks, green cleaning supplies, energy efficient laptops, solar panel upgrades, cookie cutter designs and much more. All at once I am thankful for my years of knowledge at the camps and feeling blessed that I didn’t step into this cold. From gas mantles, refrigerator repair kits, kerosene lamps, life preservers and jackets we are going in armed for battle! The first Zodi shower has been purchased and we plan to give it a test run before ordering enough for all the cabins, if it passes muster we will be full steam ahead for all the cabins, if not we will retreat, and refocus on mission on a different type of on-demand hot shower.
And amidst all this I have begun to allow myself the luxury of thinking of how we will furnish our own home camp. A king size bed has been graciously delivered to us, next on the list a sleeper sofa this weekend (for family guests who may want to stay with us in our cabin), beds for the girls, and a few chairs. A banjo with the Spencer namesake will be coming to adorn the home camp wall again and if I accomplish my goal I will at least have a rudimentary knowledge of how to pick out a tune on it….along with that I might just invest in a harmonica and try my hand at that. As Henry David Thoreau sojourner of the Maine Woods once wrote “In a world of peace and love, music would be the universal language.” I also am resisting temptation currently but have found an old fashioned butter churn I have absolutely fallen in love with. Dana loves to make fresh butter, and I am hoping his enthusiasm won’t be dampened from the transition from the stainless steel electric Kitchenaid mixer to the hand pumped churn.
Cookie cutters arrived this week. Originally I thought I would stick to one design a year, but I just can’t do it. I love the squirrel, butterfly, dragonfly, moose, rabbit, bear, equally. So instead I gave in and will have several and guests who desire to make specially shaped cookies will also have them at their disposal.
Reports from the North Woods indicate partially plowed roads and much mud. With the arctic front moving in this weekend we are hopeful that no further snow accumulates.
Throughout this we have been actively talking to guests and passing out brochures, business cards, and information as requested. I have enjoyed many of the interactions as I have developed relationships with individuals I and have realized how wise my Gram’s words were “You will have your own guests, they will find you, and bond with you.” You can’t beat over 25 years of experience and 80 years of accumulated wisdom for seeing through every situation clearly and providing sage guidance. At first those things were lost on me, but as I interact I realize, people will come to us not just because of the beauty and nostalgia but because of who we are and how we welcome them into our home and family.
We are excited that in June the Boy Scout Pack from Penobscot Maine will be joining us for a weekend of fun and natural learning. I am excited to be able to provide this opportunity to a generation of young gentlemen and their chaperones. Infusing the camps with the life and soul that a group of spirited young boys can bring. I am sure Mose the eternal prankster will be looking down on the weekend’s events with a proud and twinkling eye!
My best friend Tamara “Poet Laureate of the Middle Yukon River Valley” who owns Yukon River Lodge in Alaska with her husband Sam www.yukonriverlodge.com has confirmed this week that she will be arriving for a visit in early May. This delightful news along with her practicality, good conversation, and camaraderie will be a welcome respite from the drudgery of moving and the mundane tasks of cleaning and organizing! Perhaps we will escape to test our ornithological knowledge on a few paddles around the pond and walks in the woods and at least one tea party with the girls…It seems that as Spring progresses there is more and more to look forward too