Monday, June 16, 2008

Out of the Car

June 16, 2008

Today is my Mother's Birthday. Luckily, I live next door to her and don't have to make heroic efforts to see her, spend time with her, or ask favors from her. The favor today? Will you join me for lunch?

Happy Birthday Mom!

I'm positive lunch will go well. . .if I can unfold myself to walk into the restaurant. For all I know, I'm permanently set in the position I have assumed for most of the last week: knees bent at a 110 degree angle, waist bent in the opposite direction at about the same angle, both arms extended in front of me shoulder high. Here's what it looks like (the model below is simulating my posture):

With Erin at Mo Ranch, I definitely have the opportunity to get out of the car. We delivered her yesterday, and how can I say this politely? She nudged us out of the dorm after just one goodbye hug and ran off to make a name necklace with her new best friends. Be gone my worries over whether she is the right age and/or independent enough for overnight camp.

She and I had chatted (a lot) about what camp would be like--the food, the campers, the counselors, the activities. One of the last topics I had visited was her hair. What would she do if the IV Rhino caused more hair loss than the oral version she had last cycle? What would she do if her hair started falling out at camp? She reassured me. If it started thinning, she'd just wear a ponytail and a hat. If it came out in noticeable amounts, she would just invite the other campers outside for a "hair-pulling party," so they wouldn't make a mess in the cabin.

I think there is still time to get a birthday card there by Friday:

Erin Buenger

c/o Mo Ranch Summer Camp
2229 FM 1340
Hunt, TX 78024-3037

But if you are a procrastinator, you can send her an e-mail greeting by addressing it to:

With the SUBJECT line: Erin Buenger

In a bow to the modern parent, camps like Mo Ranch have set up the camp equivalent to NannyCam. No we can't watch camp like its a reality show, but the staff does post photos everyday to show that the children are having fun and are not starving. Erin showed up in a few of the first day photos. Here's one where you can actually tell that it is her. The rest showed various children that might be her embedded in a group of fifteen kids wearing white t-shirts, backs to the camera, taking part in some energizer or group game. If you want to play the game "Where's Erin?" you can go to, click on Login [username: summer08 & password: session2].

I do have quite a bit of catching up to do after last week, including a set of essays to grade and a boatload of email and phone messages to answer, but I wanted to leave you with something on the drive west that made me say hmmm, twice.

We stopped for gas and a bathroom break in Johnson City (birthplace of President Lyndon Johnson, and named Johnson City for someone or another in his family, long before he ever became famous). Anyway, while I sat baking in the summer sun, waiting for Walter and Erin, a noticed a hitchhiker standing roadside opposite me, wearing a big, white cowboy hat AND holding an even bigger, white cowboy hat. That made me say hmmm to myself and wander a bit to my right to get a better gawk. I still couldn't figure out why a guy would need two cowboy hats. Then, I looked back to my left and said hmmm a second time. A couple of guys on my side of the road had set up a tripod and an official-sized (not tourista-sized) camera and had the two-hat guy in their sight.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for listing the camp address again - I just addressed a card and will drop it in the mail tomorrow - hope it gets there.
    What a spunky little gal you've got there. She's got a contingency plan for everything. She's obviously well-suited for her future presidency. Hans astounded Dr. Russell as he sat inpatient pulling out his remaining hairs and collecting them in a RMH coffee cup - they are pretty itchy and scratchy in the clothes and the bed - so his hair pulling party was of 1. I think somehow it'd be more fun at camp. I hope her new friends are gentle!