Trip into town=peanut-y goodness!

I had always thought of myself as a bit of an athlete and considered myself somewhat fit. I had taken millions of dance classes as a kid and kept it up as a university student and even as a young adult. I used to run cross country and do gymnastics in high school. Of course having three kids in just under 4 years had definitely, completely, totally, wholly and unalterably changed my life. As in, I had no life that even remotely resembled my previous life. Add onto that taking a master’s degree part time and it was no wonder that I had not considered adding any form of an exercise routine to my life! No wonder I was in such sad shape. Hiking these hills, stomping up the stairs, and climbing out of the water and onto the wind surfing board with my son had revealed to me that I was not in any great shape anymore. Camp, it turned out, was pretty physically demanding. Huh. Who knew?

I considered all this with a small degree of depression as I stumbled up the stairs to the cottage sundeck. Again, my muscles disapproved. I got to the top, took a couple of deep breaths (OK, maybe a couple of dozen!) and tapped on the glass sliding door.

“Come on in!” Barb called from inside.

Bill and Barb housed their family in the director’s cottage each summer. It used to be a small Catholic church, but had been refashioned into a truly darling bright, little (and by that I mean cramped and austere) residence. I stepped inside the doors into a kitchen area which was likely the altar in days gone by. A small oak kitchen table had coloring books and crayons spread out over it. There was a small vase filled with Milkweeds that grew in abundance along the side of the road. The fragrant aroma of the wild flowers filled the small cottage. To my right was a high kitchen counter with a couple of bar stools. Along the wall to my right was a sink, full of drying dishes, with cabinets above and below. A window above the kitchen sink, with red gingham curtains gently blowing in the breeze, looked out over the upper field, the camp road and the beach to the right. Ahead of me was a sunken family room with a well loved (butt ugly 60’s brown and yellow floral) couch, a (worn out) recliner chair, a coffee table (circa 1950) and a tiny TV/VCR (that only got two channels). Beyond the family room was two small bedrooms and a set up stairs up to a loft. The loft was where the organ once was housed for a choir. Now it was an open-concept master bedroom. Barb poked her head out of a hallway on the right of the cottage.

“Just have to put in a load of laundry here and we will be ready to go!” Barb said as she waved. “Come on in.”

I stepped further into the cottage and glanced down the short hallway. At the far end behind sliding doors was a washer and dryer that looked brand new. I felt a prickle of envy. To the right was a bathroom and from where I stood I could see a bathtub! Covetousness now enveloped me.
“Wow! A tub!” I said with a whistle.
“Oh ya,” said Barb dismissing it with a wave of her hand. “We hardly ever use it. Why bother when the kids just get completely filthy again the next day? Besides, they spend the majority of the day in the lake anyways!” 

I had to agree. A tub would be fantastic for getting the kids ready for bed and for scrubbing their smelly, filthy, little feet! But why bother? In this environment they would just get filthy again the next day. Might as well wait until we got back to civilization where people actually cared about that type of thing! But, it would be nice for me to take a long lovely soak!

Barb closed the washer, turned it on and then closed the sliding doors. She turned and entered the kitchen and grabbed her purse off the recliner.

“Let’s go!” she said as she picked up the car keys off the kitchen counter top. “Thanks for joining me,”  Barb said as we trudged down the steps to her little Honda. “It’s always nice to have some company.”
“I am always happy to help out when it comes to shopping!” I quipped. “What town are we going to anyways?”
“Just into Rosseau. It is about a 15 minute drive from here. I have to go to the post office to pick up camper mail and some supplies I ordered from an art supply store in the city.”
I had not heard of the town. I wondered how big it would be. I was hoping it had some sort of pharmacy, as I could think of a few things that I could pick up for the Health Office. 
As we drove along, Barb told me a bit about herself. At 30-something, she worked part-time in the city at an art exhibit and taught some pottery classes on the weekends. She had a couple of pottery wheels in the basement of her house. She had enjoyed being the director of arts and crafts at the camp last summer and was attempting to expand the program this summer. In the spring they had installed a kiln under her direction and three pottery wheels in the arts and crafts building at camp. The supplies we were to pick up in town were pottery paints. She was pretty excited for this new development.

“You will have to come to the open studio night next week. I am planning it for the counselors and staff. A nice evening of relaxing and throwing a pot or painting!”

That sounded like fun! I had never thrown a pot before and visions of Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze came to mind. I started humming “Unchained Melody”. Barb laughed.

“How is it living at camp all summer with your family?” I asked, curious.

“Well, the kids have become excellent swimmers, they are busy all day with fun activities and they fall into bed completely exhausted every night. So, as summers go, it is a great place to be if you are a kid. As a couple, it is difficult though. Bill spends almost the entire day at the main house. Most nights he doesn’t get back to the cottage until after 11 and then he falls into bed exhausted too!” She told me as she drove the little Honda around the hairpin turns. “We decided this summer that Bill would try to leave the office for two hours every afternoon and spend it with us. We have had some success with it, and it is nice for us to see him. But he usually gets interrupted with phone calls. We are still trying to train the counselors to respect the two hour rule!”

Barb also explained that they had planned breaks during the summer when she would take the kids home for week or so. This allowed them to visit friends, get the mail, water the plants, and fill out paperwork for the upcoming school year. Oh and clean up too! We commiserated on the issue of permadirt and discussed how it was possible for feet to stink even in sandals. Neither of us had easy solutions to these challenging issues.

“Here we are!” Barb said as the town sign came into view. 

Turned out Roseton was pretty much just two intersections. There was a general store, an ice cream store, a beer/liquor store, a restaurant, three antique stores, a real estate office, a used book store, a coffee and donut shop, and a craft/knick-knack store. We headed towards the general store first.

The general store was built in 1874. The ancient wooden floor was well worn and creaked beneath my feet as I wandered along the aisles of the store. Products were neatly stocked on wooden shelves. They had a little bit of everything! Fresh fruit and veggies, a meat counter, baked goods, pop, magazines, worms for fishing, water toys, toilet plungers, cleaning products and a large selection of candy. Barb went to get the mail while I grabbed a new magazine, some more ear plugs, a tube of Benadryl cream, a bag of apples, and some fishing hooks. As I passed by the candy display my mouth watered at the thought of candy with peanuts! I grabbed the most peanut-y chocolate bar I could find and then found a half dozen other candies without “may contain” on the packaging. I paid for all of my purchases and then stepped outside the store and rummaged through the bag until I found it. A Neilsen’s Crispy Crunch! I tore open the package and pretty much inhaled the contents. I thoroughly enjoyed all three seconds of it! 



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