I get another tip.

I munched on the remainder of my campfire as I enjoyed the kids’ gentle snores. Then I cleaned up our campfire area. I bent the corner of the page in the Nancy Drew book and placed the book on the bedside cubby. I gently gathered up Patrick in my arms. He scarcely opened his eyes as I walked him back into our room and placed him onto the lower bunk. I pulled his sleep bag over him and kissed him on the top of his head.

“Good night happy camper.” I whispered into his damp curls as I took in a deep breath of his shampooed hair.

“Mum?” Patrick’s eyes popped open.

“Yes little bear.”

“Can we sleep in a tent at camp? I really want to.”

“I don’t know. We can surely ask. If anyone will have a tent to sleep in, it would be Camp Acorn. Let’s ask Barb in the morning. Now go to sleep.” I told him but didn’t really need to, as I watched him slip back into a deep sleep.

I looked at my watch. It was 6:45 PM. I did a little bootie shake and a twirl. Three kids, clean, relatively happy and asleep and we had avoided maiming or mutilation. What to do? What to do?

I decided I would do some organization in our bedrooms and in the office and then if I had some extra time I might try reading a book! Like a real book. I thought of the book shelf at the end of the hall. It had been years since I had read a book for pure pleasure.

I made quick work of my bedroom, folding clothes and tucking toys away. I closed the door to room with Patrick still asleep. I then snuck into the girls’ room. I hung damp bathing suits up to dry and folded their clothes, picking up crafts and rocks and placing them on the window sill, all in the partial darkness. I silently closed the door to their room and made my way down the hall to the book shelf.

I stood in front of it and carefully surveyed the contents. I felt a little like I was back at the book mobile all those years ago. I pulled out a few and glanced at the synopsis on the back covers. Nothing sounded too overly interesting. My hand paused at the spine of the Harlequin romance novel and I pulled it out. The synopsis sounded ridiculous. Besides, the front cover was rather embarrassing. I would have to fashion a paper bag book cover if I wanted to read it on the beach! I continued to search the spines and stopped at a very thick novel titled, “Outlander”. It was described as an absorbing and heartwarming story of a World War II nurse who travels through time. Sounded intriguing. I have always been fascinated by the bravery of the men and women who served in war times and it was about a nurse, so that piqued my interest too. Plus the cover sported a crown and a thistle, so nothing too mortifying. I nodded and tucked it under my arm as I started down towards the health office.

I opened the office, flicked on the light and took a look around. I left the book on the desk. I had mopped the floor and wiped down the counter and cupboards just recently, so maybe I would turn my attention to the refrigerator. I filled the sink with hot soapy water and busied myself with wiping down the outside of the little bar fridge. I opened it up and started to suds up the insides. I removed the shelves, taking them over to the sink to give them a good scrub down. I could hear the goings-on in the dining hall below me through the second story window. Happy voices, laughter, dishes and cutlery clinking. Dinner smells wafted up. Hamburgers most likely were on the menu from what I gathered. I was surprised that I was not hungry. Seems the pretzels were enough.

I turned my attention to the freezer. There was a fair amount of ice build up that needed to be tackled so I decided I would clear out the freezer first and then attempt to hack away at the ice build up. I cracked open the door and saw a mess of ice cube trays and ziplock bags. I sat down on the floor in front of the fridge and I pulled out the trays and placed them on the top of the fridge and then I pulled out three zip lock bags. Two of them were filled with ice for ice packs. I placed them on the top of the fridge too. The third one had ice and a paper towel inside that was wrapped into a ball. I opened the bag up to take a closer look. The ice cubes were well stuck to the paper towel and I had to tear the paper towel back to see what was inside. I pulled on the towel, ripping it apart and that’s when I saw it. I shrieked.

“Mary and the saints above!” I cried out as I dropped the bag on my lap. Al’s devolved fingertip rolled out of the bag and onto my thigh.


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