With our first ten years behind us, we want to thank Nantucket for all you’ve done for us! We couldn’t have done it without the friendship, help, love, loans, donations and gifts of so many people and businesses. We know our list could never be complete for ten years worth of thanks, so we say a loud and general thank you to the many people who have helped us over all the years, and offer some more specific thank yous to at least some of the folks who made Summer 2016 not only possible, but wonderful! (Please accept our apologies if we leave you off the list!)
Giant thanks to the Steamship Authority, who were enormously generous with passenger tickets on the fast ferry to get us all to and from the island at the start and end of camp!
Giant thanks also to the Hyline, who were also quite generous with tickets for those of us who needed to travel between Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
Giant thanks to our volunteer and always available, helpful and cheerful nurses, Gloria Gasnarez and Jenny Boley!
Giant thanks to Erik Evens and Billy Tornovish at Don Allen Ford for the loan of a truck to help us make it to the beach with all our gear!
Likewise, giant thanks to Amy Manning for the loan of a truck to help us make it to the beach, etc.!
Giant thanks to the Nantucket Whaling Museum, and especially to Susan Berman and Karen MacNab for tours, sing-alongs and storytelling!
Giant thanks to our yoga teachers, Marjory Trott, Sally Charpie and Sheri Perelman, who brought peace and beauty to yoga classes, whether before breakfast or before dinner!
We offer giant thanks to Darcy Creech, who designed and donated 2016 Tulgey Wood t-shirts for all of us and many of our friends!
Giant thanks to the community of the Unitarian Meeting House, and especially to Linda Simmons and Gary Langley for all they did to embrace and help us, including allowing us the use of the main hall for our concert!
Giant thanks to David Crohan (and his dog, Walker) who traveled to Nantucket and played a beautiful benefit concert for us!
Giant thanks to our friend Bob Lehman for singing at the benefit concert, and for hanging and singing with us throughout camp!
Giant thanks to our new friends at the Union Chapel in Siasconset! Elizabeth Queally organized a memorable and lovely cookout and long term support that astounds us!
Giant thanks to Chris Shannon from Madaket Marine, who took us out on wonderful boat outings!
Giant thanks to Maria Costanza at Pi Pizza for two amazing and delicious multi-course meals for all of us!
Giant thanks to the folks at Something Natural, who willingly set aside plenty of yummy bread for us to use for sandwiches!
Giant thanks to Kathleen Sanderson for organizing and cooking a delicious dinner for all of us!
A giant thank you to Linda Williams who organized our tickets to the Boston Pops for the past two years – – already a favorite activity for the group!
Giant thanks to Dan Bartlett of Bartlett Farms for our shopping discount on their farm-grown produce and for giving us space to store our van out of the weather over the winter!
A giant thank you to Ed at Nantucket Emissions, who generously examined our van and helped it make it through one more summer.
Giant thanks to Dave Renner who brings us wood every year for our pit firing of our pottery!
Giant thanks to Susan Grey for supplying enthusiasm, costumes and a beach wheelchair!
Giant thanks to the Highway Department for beach wheelchairs, which make all the difference when it comes to getting some of us over the sand and to the water!
Giant thanks to the Lighthouse School for the loan of all of our chairs and tables this year!
We give giant thanks to Francis Dorris for her recruitment help this year!
We also heartily thank our kitchen cabinet, a group of talented and dedicated folk who help us all year long in creative planning and organizing. The group includes Jack and Mary Beth Weinhold, who also design and photograph for our brochure and publicity, Jacques and Joan Zimicki who are also our landlords and who help us with reduced rent and loads of energy and connections, and Peter Boynton, without whom we certainly wouldn’t have found a way to continue camp for ten years and whose ways of helping have been too numerous to list!
For your entertainment, while you’re waiting for the much-anticipated, soon-to-be-available link to the play from 2016, we offer this link to the filmed version of our play from 2015 – our musical version of Ghostbusters! Enjoy!
I look forward to receiving and adding more photos from Sunday and Monday, but for now, here are a few new additions from earlier days (that just got sent to me now!) and from Saturday afternoon (the play and chat-time with the audience afterwards.)
Eleanor helps peter present Gabe with a gift after the show
Remember the Whaling Museum? Here are some (belated) photos from outside there.
And, an oldie but goodie:
Sunday, August 21
Jack Weinhold nicely came down the street first thing this morning to take our group photo. The lawn was too sunny for the light to be right, so we posed on the front porch. We are excited to see what he captured!
We had time to almost complete the Callopy Cup – – Bob played against himself, with great results!
We had a good long beach trip to Jetties Beach, including delicious sandwiches that we brought with us. Meg and AJ went for a beachside luncheon at the restaurant there. It was very relaxing and in many ways, just the right beach for us. It’s definitely the most accessible of the beaches we went to this year.
Carley led an incredible yoga class this afternoon before dinner and then we stuffed ourselves on the best pizzas on Nantucket, generously donated by Pi Pizzeria.
After dinner, we said our good-byes. As is our tradition, each person gets time to come to the front of the dining porch and tell us what they loved about camp.
Peanut said goodbye first. “Okay, class, tonight we’ll go to sleep and tomorrow we’ll go home.” Then she invited some friends to come up to the front with her. She told them she loves them and they had a big group hug. She made several other announcements during the evening to tell us that she loves us and will miss us and looks forward to camp this year.
Aiden said that tomorrow we’d eat breakfast, pack up a big backpack, say goodbye to friends and go home. For his first announcement, he said, “I’ll go back to Boston and never be seen at camp again.” We all cheered when later, he changed that to, “I’ll see you next time!”
Bob Lehman stopped by to say good-bye. He said the concert was great and the play was fabulous and he looks forward to seeing us all next year.
Peter told us that he loved being here this year, that he tried his best, and that he had a great time. He loved being on the beach, loved the two trips to the museum, survived tipping over into the water in his wheelchair, loves us all and wants to come back next year.
Peggy said, “I’m going to miss you all. I hope to see you soon! I’ll keep in touch with emails.”
Steve, our ambassador, thanked Mike for being a good camp director and Peter for being a good roommate. Then he promised to be on time to camp next year.
Will found it tough to arrive at camp just as we leapt into play mode, but was very appreciative of all the people who jumped in to help him out when he was stressed or overwhelmed. He looks forward to bringing all this greatness into the rest of the year and hopes to come on time to camp next year!
Ben said, “This was my first year. Going into it, I didn’t think I could handle it, but I’m glad I got to try. I’m grateful to all of you for making these three weeks so amazing.”
Meg said, “It’s really hard for me because this is the best part of the year for me. I have friends at home, but they don’t feel like true friends. You’re like my family and I thank you!”
Carley said, “I’m so happy I ended up at camp. I never want to leave. I love what I’ve been doing here. I haven’t had an artistic project to work on in years. I love that we’ve been doing yoga and music every day. I feel on fire here, so happy to share all these special passions with everyone here. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
Grace said she had fun at camp. She said the best part was the s’mores. She also liked kickball and would like to come back next year.
Katie said she had a great time at camp and she’ll miss all her friends. She will miss Peter’s God Bless America. She liked the concert, the play and the beach, and she appreciated the food here. She also wrote, and asked me to add, “My fav parts of the camp this year was having the cookout yesterday, having rest time, spending time with friends. One memorable thing is the concert and the play.”
AJ said he hoped to be cool and start with a quote from his lines in the play, but really, he just wanted to say that he loved camp, even (especially) the people who teased him. He feels lucky to be able to attend two camps and experience so many different things. He was glad to discover that he could survive without eating (much) meat. He appreciated his solid crew. He said, “Thanks to Will and Mike and Monik. Taking care of me every day is a lot of work. I loved the concert and singing with Bob Lehman. I love all of you guys – camp is special to me.”
Rebecca said, “I am happy. I enjoy camp, and to the pillows, I say ‘bum, bum, bum.'”
Candy said, “I liked the concert, the beach, seeing the fish and I’ll see you next year.”
Monik said, “I want to thank you all for how fun it was to teach music here. I got to know a lot of people this year because I bounced around a lot. I enjoyed doing the play and the concert. I’m so proud of all of us! Thanks!”
Billy started his goodbye by replaying all his lines from the play, which were programmed into the Minspeak. Then he used the Minspeak to tell us that he really loved the Boston Pops and the play!
Gabe thanked Peter and Steve for the time they all spent together. “It’s really tough to go back to reality – we’re all feeling that. I love you and hope to see you next year!”
Jamie thanked all the ladies in the suite. She said getting everyone to bed was really difficult, but, “I loved it; I’ll be thinking about camp all year and can’t wait for next year.”
Rachel said, “I love you guys so much and everyone’s worked so hard. It’s a beautiful group, you’ve been so patient and kind and wonderful. Thank you!”
Bob said, “Abuya, acha, abu. Yeah!” Then he brought Will up to the front with him and sang a good-bye blessing.
Talia said, “Thank you for another incredible summer. I had a lot of doubts because of our numbers. I’m just so impressed with everyone. I want to say a huge thank you to Bob and Cameron, and to Peanut – – you’ve had your best summer ever!”
Best John said, “This is my second summer spending a little time here – there is a magic here. It’s a wonderful family. You are so wonderful and gracious and I commend you all.”
Cameron came up with Talia and communicated with a few sounds that Talia said meant he loves us and will miss us. Talia said Cameron had a great year at camp and a great day today – he loved getting kicked out of yoga for making too much noise.
Joan came and ate dinner with us and said, “I am struck by how beautiful all the people are here. I am so lucky to get to be here. It’s the best and most beautiful thing that happens in the course of the year.
Jackie said that he liked seeing Gabe and Emily get married again. He said the more he comes to camp, the more Gabe feels like his brother. He thanked Gillian and reminded her that next year he would like to visit Martha’s Vineyard again.
Gillian said, “This year our numbers were unusual, so things were more like the old times, but people worked together in a wonderful way! I did doubt that the play would work out, but it did – – and one thing’s for sure, I never doubted these guys. They can do anything. They learned the words to “Hair” — as I knew they would!”
Ellen and Mike talked about throwing rocks into the water at the beach and how much she enjoyed the crash and “bonk” noises they made as they entered the water. Ellen said she loved camp and wants to come back next year!
Mike said, “Thank you so much for working so hard – everyone was really amazing! I genuinely love spending time with you; it’s a treat and a blessing. It was a hard year, and to get through it, we all had to be our best. AJ, I had a great time with you! Thanks for showing up, being present and being positive!”
Eleanor said, “Sometimes I think I should retire and just stay home and make pots and read books, but then I think about all the fun times I have here, and all the new things I learn here and I think I might have to come back next year, just to keep having a great time with you!”
On that note, we had a five-song dance party, packed and went to bed.
Monday, August 22
The last day. No one’s favorite. After so many days of blue skies, it poured in the early morning hours, so we sloshed through puddles as we loaded the vans. No one’s ever very hungry for breakfast on the last morning, so there was soggy cereal left in bowls, and many of our faces looked more than a bit soggy, too.
Billy and AJ flew home, Grace, Aiden, Peggy and Ellen got picked up here, and the rest of the gang went back to America via the fast ferry. (Another huge thank you to the Hyline for our fast ferry passenger tickets – – we took about 20 people over and 10 people back at no charge, thanks to their generosity! What a huge difference that makes to us!)
Tulgey Wood 2016 has been a remarkable, memorable and wonderful year! There are so many people to thank for their generosity and open arms! We will accumulate their names and add them to this blog, but for now, we all have a lot to do to take down all the bunk beds, pack up our belongings for storage, and clear out of here within 24 hours. Rather than risk an incomplete list, we’ll just send out a huge cheer and thank you – but more will follow!
P.S. In our last evening meeting, we discussed the fact that we have accomplished a lot in our first ten years, but we greatly need additional help in order to carry on. If you are someone who would like to contribute organizationally (or financially, of course!) please let us know. Big issues such as improving our transportation (we have an ancient van which received a terrible prognosis from our mechanic and we always have to scramble to have enough additional cars and trucks to use), help with organizing activities, help with fundraising, cooking, recruiting more volunteers to join us and to offer support to our friends with disabilities, help setting up and closing down, and here’s a biggie! – help with finding a permanent accessible home are at least some of what we need to be thinking about. We’d love to hear from you, and we invite you to share this blog with others who might want to jump in!
How do you get to Whereowhero Lane? “Practice, Practice, Practice” of course!
After yoga with Sally and a quick breakfast, a small group, including Alan, Mike, Steve, Bob, Harry and Aiden, slipped off for final boat trip while the rest of us practiced our songs for the play. We worked on some scenes and had lunch while Rachel, Candy, Rebecca, Cameron and Talia had their final boat trip of the summer. We are enormously appreciative of Chris Shannon at Madaket Marine for his generosity this summer! Thank you!!!
After lunch, the boaters told us about their outing. They had a wonderful time, and the weather was beautiful: blue waters under sunny and cloudless skies. Alan and Steve spent their whole trip peppering each other with insults (in fun and friendship!) Steve threatened to put Alan in a dog leash, and Alan told him if he did that, he (Alan) would have to bite him. Steve said he was done teasing and was ready to just be nice again. He said he would like to do something to make it up to him. He asked Alan, “What would you like for breakfast? It’s on you!” If Alan is lucky, he might just get coffee and a donut in bed — and not on him. When they joked about jumping off the boat and swimming to shore, Aiden pointed out that there could be sharks and it wouldn’t be safe.
After lunch, we skipped rest time in order to try a run-through with all of us present. It was hard, hot work! Luckily, we did it well enough to earn a trip to the beach. The water was cool and lovely and it was even hot enough for Peter to wear his shorts (yay, Peter!) and get some sun on his legs.
Just before dinner, a small group went to Don Allen Ford (the nice folks who loaned us a truck this summer!) to say hello while they were holding a special picnic. Peter and Steve were both happy to have seen old cars and a firetruck close-up, and Steve loved dancing to the live band playing there. Peggy saw her music teacher there and said she hopes to get together with her when camp is over. Ellen was able to show all her friends her new necklace, made with beads she made in pottery. She was excited to share the fact that the beads got cooked in our fire last night.
After dinner, Will told the story of the sinking of the swan. This beloved swan (an inner-tube we’ve loved for about a week now) set sail for her most ambitious trip to date, with Will as captain and Mike, Gracie and Steve as crew. They paddled and kicked for a few fathoms, and then, just like on the Essex, they realized they needed to jettison someone in order to survive. Mike threw Will off the swan, so Will, acting as captain of a doomed vessel, cursed it. The swan’s air slowly, but ever so surely, began to escape. Steve jumped ship, Mike followed suit, and finally, the only person clinging to the shrinking, thinning, flattening formerly grand swan was Gracie – – who gracefully swam to safety.
Our dress rehearsal went off without too many hitches, so it’s hi-ho and off to bed we go!
Oh – but first, here’s the promised view of the assembled and gorgeous pottery:
Saturday, August 20
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, (or, maybe just a few days ago!) Gabe wrote us a Star Wars musical production and found a way to include songs from “Hair” and “Aladdin” and even to include a brief encounter with Mary Poppins! Thanks to Gabe for clever writing and flexible directing, thanks to Mike who kept everything moving forward, thanks to Monik who did an amazing job with the music, and really, thanks to everyone here!! There had been plenty of room for doubt as to whether we could make it work, but because lots of people worked so hard, we learned lines and songs and had costumes, staging, props and just enough gorgeously painted scenery – – we pulled it together and put on a great play!
After the play, many of our lovely audience, from near and far, stayed to see our rooms and share refreshments with us. Thanks to Sarah, Gloria and Jenny, we had tons of cheese, crackers, veggies, cookies, brownies, and small cakes.
We basked in the happy feeling of accomplishment and completion for the rest of the evening. We had a cookout and re-lived moments from the show. Then, we had a truly special treat! As the twilight turned to night, with Peter officiating, Emily and Gabe got married all over again, right here on the lawn, in their full wedding paraphernalia!
When it was just too dark and chilly to sit outside any longer, we went into the Great Room and watched the show on video. It really did look good! Steve said his favorite part was the standing ovation; Katie liked all of it best, but especially the dancing! We’ll get a link up for you to see it for yourself just as soon as we can!
We started the day bright and early with yoga class with Sally. Quite a few of us have sore muscles, sore backs (not to mention a couple of sore throats – – yoga doesn’t help those!) so we are especially grateful to all of our yoga teachers for coming here to share their practice.
After breakfast, the focus was on the play. There were still a few scenes that no one had read through, and the play is in four days! Yikes! When people weren’t part of a scene or working on their lines, they were happy to join Elinor for some small print-making classes.
Today’s lunch makers Rachel and Anjay were well helped by Audrey, who added all the cheese to the pizza bagels. After lunch, Harry did a fashion show of unclaimed laundry — and now it’s mostly claimed! Before we went to nap time, we were sad to say goodbye to Audrey and Alycia. We hope they’ll stay longer next year!
We had hoped to try a new beach today, but Mike checked it out and it was not the right beach for us today, so we went back to Brant Point. We had an amazing day at the beach, and Alan took equally amazing photos, which are posted below!
Before dinner tonight, Grace gave the “evening reading” – she strummed a guitar and she and Jamie sang “Hair” all the way through.
Our good Whaling Museum friend Susan came to dinner tonight and gave us the full story of the “Essex.” She’s an awesome, incredible story teller, and we were completely captivated. It’s hard and upsetting to believe that it was real, but we know it was. Thank you, Susan!! (Carley said, If I get rich, I’m not going to get a television, I’m just going to invite story tellers!” Monik said, I felt like I was five years old again, sitting there with my mouth hanging open.”)
Afterwards, we used Studio Night to run through most of the parts of the play that we have practiced so far. It was quite a rough run-through, with lots of hilarity, lots of ad-libbing, especially when Aiden repeatedly zoomed around the group on stage during a scene that he wasn’t expected in. Sarah wowed us with her “boop boop boops” as R2D2; Grace, as Princess Leia had plenty of fight in her; Bob had his Chewbacca lines down pat; Katie led the dance chorus of “Dance Dance Dance” with energy; and Meg, Mike, Ben, Peter and Billy knew all their lines quite impressively.
Jamie, Rebecca, Rachel, Grace, Peanut, Mike, Steve and Monik serenaded us with a Rebecca Original song, created today while they were floating in the pretzel. “I’m stuck in a tube, oh my lord, I don’t want to drown, blub, blub, blub . . .”
Thursday, August 18
Everyone was very busy (as always!) all morning. We learned some new songs for the play and then had play practice until lunch. After lunch and rest, most of us had a rollicking good game of kickball. There was a very complicated system of scorekeeping, which no one used, and there are no teams, so it’s a whole different [kick]ball game! Lots of people kicked the ball and made it to home base! Katie ran very quickly to the bases and Gabe caught the ball with one hand (which was good, because his other hand was supporting Billy!) AJ pitched for part of the game, but said he doesn’t really understand the game. He just has fun! Mike said, “One thing that makes it fun is that we’re not that great at kicking, so there’s lots of chances to run from base to base. Occasionally, one of us blocks the person guarding the base to make sure a runner can be declared safe there.”
At the same time, a small group went on a special outing to see Ellen’s house. Gillian, Ellen, Jackie, harry, Jackie, Rebecca, Candy and Rachel all enjoyed seeing Ellen’s bedroom and the whole house, as well as the snack they shared there. Jackie said it was a very good group home. He especially liked the water with lemon slices in it. Candy said it was a big house. Rebecca reported on the snack. They also noticed pictures on Ellen’s walls of people they recognized: the Tulgey Wood group photo from 2015, Peggy, and Emily were all part of her decor.
More play practice followed. When some of us were off-stage, we got to watch Elinor firing the pots in the barbecue pit outside the house. It was amazing how quickly many of the pots were done. The temperature of the fire raised to 1100 degrees F within forty five minutes, and by applying some different metals and materials such as lemon skin and mango peels, different colors and textures were brought out in the pots. They’re spectacular — I think there will be some pictures of pots in the next blog.
Yoga with Marjory (Thank you, Marjory!) preceded dinner, and then we roasted marshmallows for s’mores on top of the pots that were being fired for longer. Aiden told us a new long story about the adventures of a hat. He is a master storyteller, employing different voices and gestures to illustrate as he talks. Peter said, “He’s a really good storyteller!”
We ran through the whole play before bedtime. We had a good time – – and, we have a lot to pull together in the next couple of days. Going to bed, Sarah asked if she could go up on Mike’s back, just like Candy goes up on Rachel’s back. Mike suggested they just hold hands, but the next thing I saw was Mike sitting down on the bottom step while Sarah climbed happily onto his back. On the way upstairs, Peggy noticed a cricket on the steps. Aiden took it outside safe and sound. Some people went straight to bed and some others took some time to write a note to send in Aurora’s suitcase – – she’s leaving for her big trip tomorrow!
Today was pretty much all about the concert, from morning ’till night. At breakfast, someone mentioned that it was hard to remember the words to our new concert song, “I have a hat.” Mike promptly sang a beautiful solo of the whole song, including the gestures and actions that accompany it! A singing prize to Mike!
We rehearsed at camp and then at church, practicing our songs and our staging with both Bob Lehman and David Crohan. Candy said the rehearsal in the church was good. Rebecca felt otherwise, as her head had been in an unfortunately close encounter with a very heavy lamp. Peter felt the morning was perfect and was quite pleased that he remembered the words to his solo.
After lunch, we had a long rest and plenty of time to beautify for the concert. The men gathered on the side porch for a shaving fest and the women gathered at a table to apply nail polish.
An enormous thank you for dinner to Maria at Pi Pizzeria! We feasted on delicious eggplant parmesan, baked ziti and salad. Such a treat – – and she donated the whole shebang! Thank you, Maria- from all of us, and especially from the cook who didn’t have to cook!
After all the rehearsals and preparation, we had a great time at the concert! It was well-attended and a lot of fun! The church didn’t start to fill up until a few minutes before seven, so it was a great relief to see so many friends arrive. David played a Broadway medley and then played some Brahms, and then Bob joined him on several more Broadway songs. And then, it was our turn. There were a couple of parts that could have gone better, but overall, it went really well and the audience gave us a standing ovation! Many thanks our friends at the to the Unitarian Meeting House, to the audience and to Bob and David for such a special evening.
Tuesday, August 16
This morning was pretty crazy! We were delightfully surprised when Sherry came to teach yoga, but since it had been left off the calendar by mistake, we weren’t ready. Mike rang the bell to wake everyone up. Then he split the group into several parts. Ellen, Ben, Cameron, Talia, Katie, Monik, Rachel, Bob, Sarah, Candy, Rebecca and Jan went to yoga in the great room, and Anjay, Billy, Jamie, Mike, Gabe, AJ, Gracie, Peggy, Peter and Steve ate breakfast quickly and jumped into vans to go to the Whaling Museum. Jackie and Harry had awakened before everyone else and grabbed coffee and yogurt parfaits and took them to the beach to enjoy the morning vibe there.
Candy, Rebecca, Rachel, Bob and Talia went to the Fog Island Cafe for breakfast to celebrate winning their room inspections. They reported that the food was very good (Candy recommends the cheese omelet) and the people at the cafe were very welcoming. After their breakfast, they did a bit of shopping. They found a consignment store where Rebecca scored some bright and glittery rings, which go well with her other fun jewelry.
David needed time to practice for his upcoming Martha’s Vineyard concert so we got to have a home concert for the group that remained here. He played the Brahms and Beethoven accompanied by a tape of the cello part. The music that filled the great room was worthy of a concert hall – – hardly a practice as we know it!
The group that went to the museum got even more out of this second visit than they did last week. They handled the artifacts again, including some whale’s teeth with scrimshaw, some baline and some plush toy representations of squid and plankton. Peggy was pleased that she could hand the artifacts on to the next person very carefully. Peter loved smelling the samples and sitting in the rowboat. He also loved going to the roof.
After lunch and a rest, we crossed our fingers that the predicted storm wouldn’t hit Nantucket after all, because we were ready to swim. We went to the ocean beach for the first time this year. The storm stayed away and the water was challenging but wonderful!
Candy said, “In the water, I had fun in the waves and I didn’t want to get out.” AJ said, “Today we went to the beach and I had a great time in the water. Mike kept asking me if I wanted to ride a wave. I thought sure, that will be so easy. Next thing I know, I’m under water.” Mike added, “We kind of rode the waves a little and we got pushed forward and then it washed all over AJ’s face.” AJ wrapped up with, “I got upset, and then I was laughing. There’s always a first time for everything, even an almost drowning.”
Rebecca said, “We went in the water but we couldn’t make it because there were a lot of waves. I got knocked over, believe it or not.” Rachel added, “Then the water took my flip-flops off your feet, and a nice person on the beach rescued them. Rebecca did great and she never let go of the pretzel tube.”
Peanut and Monik were bouncing up and down in the waves, but when they tried to get out, Peanut was running and the wave hit her. She said she laughed so hard she started to miss her mum.
Grace also got hit by a wave and it caught her in the face and filled her mouth with water.
Meg said, “I thought I’d just watch everyone and that was fun, but then Rachel and Talia came over and encouraged me to go in. It’s almost like we went surfing today, so if we don’t end up going surfing, it’s okay. Sometimes you have to push me to do things, but I’m glad I went in – it was totally awesome!”
Jackie stayed home from the beach to rest up and try to get over his cold quickly. He relaxed and watched Catholic TV and then called Allison at Chilmark Chocolates and had a good chat. He hopes to go to the Vineyard in October to see Mary Beth and Allison.
Peggy and Jamie also stayed home and had a restful afternoon. Perhaps they can nip the inevitable camp cold in the bud early.
Tonight at dinner we welcomed Aiden, Alycia and Audrey. Alycia and Jack’s joint recitation of “The Jabberwocky” as an evening reading would have made Hellcat proud.
Aiden acted out and dramatically told a long story about Curious George.
Lots of people told stories, which brought us straight to an early bedtime because tomorrow we have an early yoga class.
Today is the almost the halfway mark for us at camp this year. Here’s how our calendar looks so far – – we fill in the days as we go . . .
Kim arrived last night and became Ellen’s roommate for the weekend – although we already wish she could stay longer. Ellen, a light sleeper, awoke and dressed early when Kim got up. Kim is never one to waste any opportunity to get to know someone and see if she can help them communicate better, so she and Ellen grabbed coffees in the kitchen and sat down with Kim’s Minspeak tablet. Ellen had a lot to say, and the Minspeak was useful, but not perfect. After breakfast, Kim made Ellen a pacing board, a low-tech way to help us all slow down as we speak with Ellen so that what we say is more comprehensible, and to give Ellen a chance to be clear in her response.
We are going to be in such good shape for the concert! (Is it bad luck to say that?) We spent the morning doing pottery and working on the play, but we also squeezed in several music practices, two (two!) with Bob Lehman, our wonderful singing Nantucket friend who will be featured with David Crohan on Monday at the concert. We also had time to see and hear about camp so far as reported on this blog! Rachel read the whole blog to everyone who had some free time. Most people hadn’t seen it yet, but now maybe there will be more authors to help it happen.
While working on a scene for the play, (Warning: possible spoiler alert!) Meg, Candy and Rachel had to practice dying.
Almost everyone has really been getting into pottery! We only can work on new things for another couple of days and then it’s time to get them fired.
We were sad to say good-bye to Lily and Mady today, and excited to say hello to Cameron! We had hoped Mady would be able to stay almost until the end, but her knee had other plans. Get better soon, Mady, and come back next year! We knew Lily only had a one week vacation, but we miss her, too! Hopefully, she can come back next year, too! She wrote a sweet letter to Billy to say goodbye.
Because we were invited to go to the Boston Pops concert (The Event of the Summer on Nantucket!) we rearranged our day and had dinner in the afternoon and brought sandwiches to the beach in the evening. When Mike said there was time for a long rest and a shower following our afternoon dinner, we cheered. We squeezed in our second practice with Bob Lehman and piled into four vehicles to go to the Pops.
Sunday, August 14
The Pops concert was, according to everyone who offered a review, “Spectacular!” “Wonderful!” and “Awesome!” There were something like 6000 people there, so it’s like being surrounded by lots of parties, and there was lots to look at. Our seats were close to the stage, so we could see and hear everything really well. Sarah took a few people with her to go see where her mum was sitting, which was right on the high tide mark on the beach, with a little water lapping around the legs of her beach chair. Gillian remarked that it was really fun to be a part of this scene. Candy said it was really fun to sing along. Peggy and Candy knew the words to almost all of the songs.
We had hoped/planned to go surfing this morning, but we got a call late last night saying that the waves would be too rough and we have to postpone it until a safer time. Instead, we had a more leisurely breakfast and went to church.
At lunch, Grace spread a rumor to a few people that she and Mike were getting married. Mike asked Grace if she knew that Rachel is his girlfriend. Grace said, “That’s okay. He can have two!” Hmmm. When lunch was over, Sarah made the announcement to tell us about the afternoon: “Hey guys! Listen! Today we’re going to the beach. Okay? So, first we’re going to swim. Okay?” It was more than just okay. Today was beastly hot and even more humid and getting to the beach was a necessity!
Everyone had a great time at the beach, and almost everyone spent the whole time in the water. The pretzel was the popular water toy today; it was constantly in use by at least three people. We went to the Water Tower beach, which is farther from town than the Lighthouse beach or Children’s beach and much harder to get to because there’s a big, deep, sandy dune to walk up and down in order to reach the beach. Steve did an amazing job walking all the way there without anyone helping him, and then, after swimming, walking all the way back to the van. He said he was good and tired by the end of that!
After the beach, there was a practice with Bob Lehman and David Crohan, the talented pianist and long-time friend of camp who is the main ticket on tomorrow’s concert. It was a little bit of a rough practice, but Billy said it got better after some trouble spots got worked out.
We ate a bit later than usual, and went to bed a bit later than usual so we’ll be well rested for the concert. Here were some words from some people who were on their way to bed:
AJ said he loves the community here, and is so happy that he gets to come back each year. More tomorrow.
On the way to return a laundry basket to the suite, I overheard a long, gloating laugh coming from a nearby bedroom. I peeked in here was the scene. Billy was sitting in a chair and gleefully gloatingly giggling. Anjay was sitting on the floor, packing up the Connect-4 game. Anjay said that Billy had just beat him 5x in a row (5 times!) and therefore his self-esteem would be taking a vacation day. Billy did admit that at Zeno Mountain Farm Ski Camp, Robin beat him in the championship – – so he’s not completely unbeatable. Just hard to beat! Maybe the Collopy Cup is moving slowly because a good number of people aren’t ready to send their self-esteems on a vacation.
While waiting for her hair to dry so she could go to bed, Meg said when she first gets here, she gets kind of depressed because she’s used to doing everything for herself, and here, there’s no grab bar in the shower or by the toilet, so people have to help her do things she usually does independently and it is upsetting to rely on others. But then, she realizes that this is an unusually accessible inaccessible place. The mates make it accessible because they’re so helpful. She likes that everyone here comes out of the goodness of their heart. She said, “I come from a background where my parents have always pushed me to be as independent as possible. I don’t like to feel like a burden on people. I tend to be hard on myself, so I’m having to make some adjustments, which can be hard. I love the swimming and the singing and all the activities, really . But mostly it’s the friendships that I really enjoy. This camp is so much fun that I look forward to it all year long. It is so wonderful here that I wish my life at home were like this!” Me, too!
Note: Maddy has been doing an amazing job with our pictures, but her knee has kept her in the doctor’s office for basically all of the past two days. She’s doing well on crutches, but we’re limping through adding pictures and hopefully captions little by little – – sorry!
After breakfast, we had an update on the Callopy Cup: We’ve played exactly . . . 0 matches in the tourney so far! Today we’ll try to get started for real – – later. Meanwhile, we spent a great morning in music class and then doing pottery and working on the play. “Hair” sounds much better already (“Oh, say can you see my eyes, if you can then my hair’s too short!”), but some of the lyrics are pretty tricky to sing quickly.
After lunch, we went straight to the beach – no rest – and almost everyone spent the entire time in the water. We’ve heard it’s dreadfully hot everywhere, and here it was far better, but it still felt much better to be in the water than in the air. Sarah was especially pleased with the fact that she had pushed Talia in the water.Rebecca had a great time floating in a big tube. Suddenly, Harry appeared next to her in a giant inflated pretzel and a giant inflated swan!(Harry says, “Next time give me some mustard for the pretzel, Rebecca!”) Thanks for the new water toys, Harry.
Peter was willing to wear his bathing suit today. His plan was to put his toes into the water. When he ended up being the first person at camp ever to flip over a beach wheelchair (picture something with the most enormous inflated wheels ever!) he also ended up taking his first swim of the summer. He was excited to report that even though it was unplanned, he loved being in the water.
Mady spent her day at the doctor’s office – – not so fun, and, though she’s being an amazing sport, her knee still hurts a ton.
Meg spent her day at camp, resting her knee (which also got bumped hard yesterday) and listening to Gillian read “In the Heart of the Sea.” They report it to be quite a good book, once you start getting into it. Meg found a poem in the book to read to us after dinner. By coincidence, one of our guests at dinner, Susan from the Nantucket Whaling Museum, had turned that same poem into a song, which she sang to us!
After dinner, Susan led a wonderful sing along, which we all loved! We all sang along to many sea shanties and songs of whalers’ homecoming, as well as traditional songs such as “This Land is Your Land” and “Country Roads.” A few people danced, especially Katie, who also conducted, and Bob and Sarah. To say “thank you” to Susan, for a really fun evening, we sang our Justin Timberlake song, which Gillian had pronounced “grand.”
The windy, grey morning began with our final yoga class with Ruby, who, we’re sad to say, has to head home today. How we’ll miss her!! She and Steve danced a goodbye dance to the first song they ever heard together, more than ten years ago at a camp in Florida: “I need you, more than anything, darlin’ . . .”)
Peter had to go to the doctor today to get ear medicine, and then Mady had to go back to the doctor, so Harry spent his whole morning driving to and hanging out at doctor’s offices. Meanwhile, after the rest of us ate breakfast, some of us went out on a boat trip with Chris Shannon of Madaket, some of us had pottery class and some of us worked on the play. A few of us skipped off to see our neighbor Jack’s electric vehicle, which was eerily silent, even when it’s turned on. His house is fully solar powered, so it’s fitting that his car is, too!
Shower news: Ellen got a prize for doing such a great job taking a shower and rinsing her hair super well, and Peter was pleased to use the shower chair for the first time this year.
In the afternoon, after rest period, we played a very lively game of kickball. Some of us needed some reminders about the rules (What do you mean, go out in the field?) and others of us kept running bases even after we were declared “out”, so, of course, it was a great game! Bob got to see what it’s like to have a ball slam into his head, but he and the ball-kicker had a good talk about it and hugged, so all’s well that ends well. Steve made a heroic reach for the ball with his crutches extended over his head – – and then slowly fell straight backward. Unfazed, he got up quickly after and continued to play.
We had more music practice time before dinner. AJ hit his harmony line for “Seasons of Love” right on the mark. The long-held word “love” is beginning to sound sweeter, too.
Just before dinner, someone new came to join us. His name is Anjay and he’s known Sarah since he was seven. We are immensely delighted to welcome him, as we do need some extra helping hands and ready story-tellers. Our old friend Kim arrived just after dinner. She’ll spend the weekend here and hopes to get lots of time working with Jack and Billy on Minspeak.
After dinner, Peter told us how much he enjoyed the boat trip today. He said he could feel his parents and relations looking down from heaven at him, and that gave him joy. He concluded with, “I enjoyed God-#$@ed all of it!” (Sorry – – we do tend to be more casual with our language around here!)
Grace also went on the boat today, and spent much of her time holding her hands out over the sea, using her Percy-Jackson-type-special powers to control the water. She said that Percy Jackson also went to camp and that ours is as cool as his.
Meg noticed someone windsurfing today when she was on the boat. She would love to try windsurfing with Access Sports if she can.
Candy shared her delight about going out for iced coffee with Meg, Rebecca, Rachel, Mike and AJ.
Peggy’s mom came to dinner and told us how proud she is of Peggy, who has learned to read, is learning to count money, and has become a whiz on the computer. Many of us have seen emails from Peggy throughout the year and are happy that there’s an easy way to stay in touch.
Today Ben, Jack and Gillian gave us our first room inspection. Overall, the upstairs rooms ranked much higher than the downstairs room. Someone expressed concern that Ben and Jack wouldn’t be objective, but when Ben said the room he and Jack share had badly made up beds, a messy bathroom and an unkempt closet, we knew that they were fair judges. In fact, they were very picky and thorough judges – – they even looked into the under-the-bed storage boxes and rated those! Talia and Bob took the gold, Rebecca and Candy and Rachel took the silver and Billy and Lily took a proud bronze.I won’t mention whose room got the big “NO” from Jack and the “dreadful” from Gillian.
We decided we weren’t quite ready for a studio tonight after all, so we’re watching the end of Star Wars.That’s it for now!