What I Did This Summer

I just returned from five days and four nights of camping in the rain. It was a little overwhelming, but we just couldn’t stay away as it was the week of our favorite music festival on an island north of Seattle. For five days everything felt damp, even if it wasn’t actually wet – my pillow, my book, my skin, my shoes, my children… EVERYthing.

This afternoon as I unpacked my bag to do laundry I experienced post traumatic stress from the musty smell, and ended up washing everything even if I never wore it. All trace of damp memories needed to be eradicated.

During the one non-raining afternoon I was stung on the ankle by a wasp, and through this experience I discovered who my true friends are (or aren’t) as they laughed at my screaming and leg shaking. They sat mocking me from the craft tent, claiming they thought I was scared of a slug. Granted, these Orcas Island varieties of slugs are no less than five inches long and an inch thick, but they are not that scary.

For the record, I think I was stung by this. I remember thinking – in the delirium of my experience – that I had never seen a black wasp before, and that this was the biggest f*#@ing wasp I had ever seen in my life. My ankle is now inflamed, red, and itchy, and I’m trying to not scratch the skin raw.

How are you feeling NOW about your laughter? Yeah, YOU know who you are.

The rainy weather changed the vibe of the week for me. Usually we spend hours listening to music while the kids run around, but this year (our fifth) I felt more introverted and isolated, choosing instead to hide under a tarp most of the time and read a book or visit with a friend. Bryan kept asking me if I was having fun, and I didn’t know how to answer. I felt like I was supposed to be having fun, because we have always had fun at this festival, and Bryan is on this stupid kick about having a positive attitude. But camping is a lot of work, and camping in the rain is a hell of a lot of work, and sometimes it just doesn’t seem like a vacation to me.

In reality, I know I had fun. There was too much laughter and revelry at 2am to claim I did not have fun. But I think I was mourning that it felt different than all the other years. I like tradition, and this trip is a yearly tradition. There are certain things that I expect from this vacation every year, and when those things didn’t happen they way they always have I think it threw me off a little.

Anyway… yes, Bryan, I had fun. It was just different fun, and I’m okay with that.

I apologize that I did not warn you dear readers that I would be absent from this space, but I make it a point to never tell the Internet when my house will be dark and unoccupied and filled with all sorts of valuables for the taking.

We will now return to our regular, albeit spotty blogging routine.

2 thoughts on “What I Did This Summer”

  1. I am so, so sorry. Both for laughing then, and for laughing again as I read this. 🙂 I still have images of the slug dance in my head.

    But I AM sorry that your ankle still hurts. That sucks.

  2. I ran across a picture you posted on flickr and I recognized your daughter from last year’s Woodsong.
    We too have gone to Woodsong the last four years. But this May we moved to Denver and couldn’t make the trip. It’s one in a list of things we had to let go. But one that doesn’t go easily.
    We love our family tradition of going to Woodsong each summer. This last year especially we felt the community, so comfy and relaxed hanging out on the island, visiting with the friends we’ve made there, working on crafts, etc. I’ve cried more than once about missing it this year. I hope we can go back next summer.
    Imagine my delight at missing the rain. Though I’m sure the festival would have been anyway.
    What was my point anyway? I guess that it was fun to find you and get a glimpse of the festival even though we weren’t able to go.
    (you’re welcome to visit my website – you’ll find fun pictures of woodsong’s past there too if you dig into the scrapbook/photo album.)

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