Tag Archives: bear spring camps

Getting back into the groove

Greetings, readers. When vacation is over it is true that I do like to come home and get the year in between camp started. However, it seems to take me a long time to get out of what I call camp mode. That is, simply, not watching TV at night, looking at a YouTube video of a bonfire, or listening to a recording of crickets. It is a simpler way of life up there and I love it. Granted, I do pack my computer bag and go into town for coffee and internet at least once during the vacation week.

With fresh writing ideas in my mind, I’ve been jotting down notes and will soon be ready to begin one of two writing projects. I have two strong candidates but I’ve not narrowed it down yet. I take phone calls for a company part-time and that brings in a little bit of money. I don’t work very many hours yet but at least it is something. I’ll probably have to get a second job somewhere down the line. The more income for next year’s camp, the better.

On to a different topic, I just reached for my water bottle and the proverbial sword went into my shoulder. I cannot wait until September 4th; for those of you who didn’t read the last blog entry, I am having an arthroscopic procedure done to get rid of bone chips and “shave” the area around the bones of the shoulder. Thank goodness my rotator cuff is fine. You see, readers, I am allergic to pain and I think if my rotator cuff was torn, I would be screaming right now. I’m getting queasy just thinking about it. Prayers please for September 4th and beyond. There will be rehab needed.

Lastly, the building next door is growing by leaps and bounds. I have lost some of the view of the nearby Days Inn and the new apartment building is nowhere near finished. I’ve been told by two people now that it is also going to have a tower on the roof (reason unknown) so next July 4th I’ll be watching my fireworks from the parking garage across the street. Boo hiss.

As I close, prayers go out to all who were effected yesterday by all the violent storms, and for those in Pennsylvania, batten down the hatches for we are expected to get storms today.

I’m not certain if I will put up a Sunday blog entry or not, so we will say until next Wednesday, take care, have a great week, love to all, and happy reading.

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Bear Spring Camps 2019 was a smashing success

Greeting, readers. I know it is before August 21st, but I just had to tell you about the wonderful experience I had this week. From Saturday the 3rd until early Thursday morning of my vacation, central Maine enjoyed what I would consider perfect weather. Hot days with lower humidity (warm enough for swimming) and evenings in the mid-50s. That’s what I call perfect weather. The family and I enjoyed bonfires and story swapping. Let’s get into some of the details of the trip.

My rental car was a Hyundai Santa Fe. It was a gorgeous buggy. As I say every year, I loved it so much I could have married it. Yes, the cost was a bit extravagant (I could have saved money with a mid-sized Sedan), but I made good use of all of the space in the way-back. My arthritic right shoulder made the trip a wee bit less comfortable than usual; thank goodness for Aleve, it certainly does the trick. On a side note, I’ll be having an arthroscopic procedure on that shoulder on September 4th which should alleviate most or all of the pain.

Driving into camp that first day is always a pleasurable experience. “I made it again, good for me,” I said to myself. 612 miles up and 612 miles back; quite a feat for someone who has probably driven 50 miles or less the whole rest of the year.

After unloading the car I found my digital camera bag and started taking pictures. I already had photos from Casco Bay near Portland on my camera, including one with the swing bridge. Here are a couple of them.

 

 

Bunch of boat in Casco Bay 2019

 

More coming in the next blog entry.

Lastly let me tell you about the fantastic fishing day we had. The Monday morning I was there, the family and I went out and happened to stop the pontoon boat over a gigantic school of white perch. I am not making this up, we caught 70 fish. We kept 12 in the basket and the rest of the morning was catch and release. It was the best day of fishing I have ever experienced. Nephew Cole even caught a pike.

 

More camp goings on in the blog entry next Wednesday. Until then, have a great week, take care of each other, and as always, happy reading.

From Rebecca: Short note while Joe is away

I had a different subject picked out for a blog entry while Joe is away at Bear Spring Camps, but it has been a long day and all I have energy for is a quick update.

Joe is having a good time at camp, after having a couple of mishaps on the way there. Those of you who follow him on Facebook already know he got into a couple of traffic jams, and had a back spasm on the morning before he arrived at camp. The joys of Wifi in restaurants let him communicate in almost real time, before entering a sparse internet zone at camp.

I was with Joe’s cat, Princess Josie, today and she is doing well. She snuggled against me a few times during my visit and I got to pet her a bit. She didn’t shed as much as Keekee used to every year while Joe was away, but Josie did shed a little more than usual. My theory is that Joe’s daily interactions with his cat just naturally thins her coat and it builds up when he is gone. Anyway, we spent some time together and it was good.

I’m not sure if the next blog entry will be next week or the week after that. Until then, as Joe would say, have a good week, take care of yourself and your loved ones, and happy reading.

T – 1 day

Greetings, readers. Here’s a quick blog entry just to let you know that Rebecca and I are still breathing. I am leaving for my annual trek to Bear Spring Camps tomorrow morning. I don’t know if she will post a new entry while I am gone or not, I shall leave that up to her.

Yesterday was my kitty cat Princess Josie’s second birthday. That post got many likes on Facebook. I have a rather cute picture of me and Josie when she was a small kitten, approximately a week after I got her. I can’t believe she is two already. How time flies.

Joe and his new cat Princess Josie

I’ve been running around like a chicken with a head cut off trying to get ready for camp. I hope to be out of here and on the road between 7:30 and 8:00 tomorrow morning. I had been leaving at 10am, but that got me to the Danbury, Connecticut rush hour on interstate 84, and I do not wish to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic again. I will be stopping at Southington, CT, slightly past Hartford, for the fifth straight year. It’s a nice Motel 6 with a Denny’s right next door and a gas station. How’s that for convenience.

Already I’ve been in a blind panic trying to figure out how much money I need to save in the bank account to cover the final expense of the rental car. As most of you know, rental agencies put a ‘hold’ on the car, but don’t charge you the amount until you bring it back. God forbid you get into a horrible accident and have to pay for the car. I am knocking on wood as we speak. Lol.

Again, I’ll leave a From Rebecca option up to her and we will resume regular Wednesday entries on August 21st … which just happens to be my mother’s birthday.

Until soonest, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

P.S. Construction update. I have already lost half my gorgeous view. 😦

So much to do for camp next month

Greetings, readers. Today I will make my lists for what to take with me for Bear Spring Camps. In exactly one month I will be in Maine and I have so many things to do before I leave! This is going to be a short blog entry so that I can get started. You might ask why I am taking a month to do this. I am the least organized person I know. If you ever met me, you would know why I need to take this long. Sometimes my planning is way better than my follow through.

We still haven’t had our weekly accounting meeting, but after that I need to find my lists, check them off, so I know how much money to take and what addresses to program into the Garmin.

Let the countdown begin! Leaving day will be here before I know it.

Tomorrow is the 4th of July. Happy 4th of July to everybody in the USA. Please be careful with your fireworks and take care driving on the highways. I plan to try to watch our fireworks display from my living room window, I just have to hope that the thunderstorms hold off. If it is pouring down rain they will have to cancel or postpone it. That will be awful, for this will be the last year I will be able to watch the fireworks unimpeded by the new building next door.

A new blog entry will be up either this Saturday or Sunday. Until then, have a great week, take care, and happy reading.

Already in ‘camp mode’ & still having computer glitches

Greetings, readers. This will be another difficult entry for me to create, for my Dragon Speech Recognition software is currently not functioning. ☹ I have no clue what’s wrong. As well, other desktop icons aren’t working either; the anti-virus program to top the list. So, I can’t even check to see what’s wrong. Grr.

Well…, what is camp mode, you might ask? It is what I call my vacation before my vacation. Thanks to YouTube, I enjoy such videos as a daylight view of a rippling lake, a cozy campfire, and rain and thunder. It’s just enough to put me in the frame of mind to where if I close my eyes, I can picture myself at Bear Spring Camps.

My favorite real-life escape is to choose the campfire and listen to crickets, other insects, the fire, and my favorite, the occasional loon call. The loon is my favorite bird, and Great Pond has lots of them. I enjoy sitting on the porch in the evening, watching the lake and listening for loons.

Through videos, I can actually recreate 75% of the camp experience. Of course, I can’t recreate the people, and it’s the people who really make the place special. August 3rd, I shall be there…, and I can’t wait!

Until Wednesday morning, when Rebecca is back with us, have a great day, love everybody, and as always, happy reading.

 

Bear Spring Camps opening and other goings on

Greetings, readers. I pretty much stuck to my to-do list this past week, but I had one miserable failure. I was supposed to work on two chapters on the new camp book. I actually sat down many times but either the phone rang, nature called, or someone knocked on the door. I know interruptions should not be an excuse, but for someone who has slight brain damage from seizures and concussions, it is an excuse. I’m bound and determined to get this last camp book published, but I doubt it will be before I go to camp this August.

Speaking of camp, Bear Spring Camps either opened this past Saturday or it will open soon. I always enjoy knowing my favorite place in the entire world is open for business. It is a short season but that is probably dictated by weather and the fishing season. I still have my video tapes from Maine from many years ago, hidden away somewhere in my walk-in closet. Once in a while I’ll stumble upon one, take it out, and watch it. Even those that were taken in the mid-1980s still have excellent picture and sound quality.

On to another topic now. I wrote a Facebook post just the other day after learning that actresses Peggy Lipton and Doris Day had passed away. I made mention in said post that famous people seem to pass away in threes. Wouldn’t you know it, the next day, the wonderful Tim Conway went to his eternal resting place. It is strange how that works, but it happens a lot. I shouldn’t be surprised though, with me in my early 50s, all the wonderful actors and actresses I knew as a kid are either old or have died. It is a fact of life.

Before closing, I will mention the weather, simply because it is so gorgeous out today. A rarity for State College, Pennsylvania. It is a sunny day, a few puffy clouds, with warming temperatures and a light breeze. I would like to order a few more days like this, gift wrapped, please. At my estimation it has been a cool breezy spring and I can’t wait for the warmth of summer. Do I want a 100 degree plus heat wave? No, for I am not a kid anymore and cannot run and play. I might only be 53 years old, but sometimes these legs and hips just don’t want to move. Most mornings, readers, I will use my walker, and I am not too proud to say that, for I would rather use it than lose my balance and fall.

Prayers for the families of the great entertainers we lost recently, the Lipton family, Doris Day’s family, and of course the family of the great Tim Conway. Also, prayers to anyone who needs them.

I’m going to put up this weekend’s blog entry either late Saturday or Monday morning. I have an unusually hectic Sunday planned. So, until then, I bid you a wonderful few days, take care, and as always, happy reading.

Oops. sorry about that, and belated Happy Easter

Greetings, readers. I was completely embarrassed when Rebecca texted me informing me that I had forgotten to put up the weekend blog. I said a few minor expletives, apologized to her and asked if she could put up a short blog entry on Monday. She, of course, said sure. I just knew that one of these weekends it was going to slip my mind. If it was going to happen, it was logical that Easter weekend would be it. Sunday morning I went to church, came home, went out with friends for a buffet dinner, and after all that food and two desserts, I came home and slept like a log. My “nap” lasted until 10pm. Needless to say I didn’t sleep much the rest of the night. I hope your Easter was as good as mine, with many blessings and a wonderful day spent with family.

Topic number two. The apartment cleaning. Yes, April 22nd came and went and as promised to myself, I began work on the kitchen. Ready for your funny of the day? A person starts a major cleanup project with one new trash bag in the box and no disinfectant wipes. Sure, I’m prepared. Lol. I must say, it looks a lot better. Then I walk into the living room and I see just how much I have to do. Slow and steady wins the race.

I can’t believe that Bear Spring Camps opens in less than a month. I’m already getting into my camp routine. My TV cable has Music Choice, channels dedicated to playing different genres of music. I enjoy listening to their easy listening music station, and having about an hour or so of what I call wind down time right before bed, which may include listening to crickets, loons, or a thunderstorm on Spotify. Between Music Choice, Spotify, and YouTube, I can find almost any background “white noise” choice I desire. When I am actually at camp, and I’m by myself, I like to lock the screen door and have the wooden door open, turn off the lights, and sit on my sofa, while I watch the twilight disappear into darkness. The easy listening radio station in that area of Maine disappeared long ago. So I will either listen to nature or a cassette tape on low volume. Trust me, when you spend an entire day in the sun, the breeze, as well as eating three wonderful meals a day and expending energy, you are more than ready around 9pm to wind down and call it a day.

Finally, prayers go out to the injured and families of victims from the church bombings in Sri Lanka. I said it before and I will say it again, we need to stop the madness. People must learn to get along with one another and to treat others as you would wish to be treated.

Until this weekend … I hope … have a great few days, do take care, and as always, happy reading.

Top ten list of blessings in my life

Greetings, readers. Today I thought I would go upbeat with the blog entry. Recently I’ve been telling you about all the things that have been bothering me in my life, and today I thought I would go cheery. I am grateful for many, many things, even though sometimes I don’t always show it. So here is my top ten list of things for which I am grateful.

#10. My late kitty cat Keekee. [Not too long after I moved into Addison Court, I’d say less than a year, a friend of mine was moving out. She could not take the two cats she had with her and asked me if I wanted one for free. I’m glad I decided to try it, allergies notwithstanding. She was my buddy for one week short of 12 years.]

#9. Princess Josie. [This cat is completely different in demeanor than Keekee. I love her to pieces, but she is a little more rambunctious than my former furry feline.]

#8. Meals on Wheels. [Although they are not always dishes which I would consider my favorites, I do eat most of them and feel blessed to have them at such an economical price.]

#7. A place over my head. [No, it’s not the family house that we used to own, but it is two nice-sized rooms with fully functional kitchen and I enjoyed the great view from the top floor for 13 years. With the new building going up next door though, I’m going to lose most of that view.]

#6. Sentimental items from my parent’s home. [When I moved to this apartment 13 years ago or so, I vowed to take as many paintings as I could get. It gives the apartment a hint of my former home. For that I am extremely grateful. I also have my mom’s desk and a bookcase of which we make good use.]

#5. Good neighbors and friends in the building. [As in any community, there are good neighbors and neighbors you’d like to run over with your car. I’m very happy to say that I have most pleasant neighbors, with only a few exceptions. I’m a very easygoing man and can usually work around any people who cause conflict. I’m glad that so many of my neighbors are folks I am happy to call friends.]

#4. Rebecca. [Every book I’ve ever done would not be published without Rebecca. Not only is she a good friend, she is a fantastic typist and an awesome editor. In her role as personal assistant, she has kept me from missing numerous appointment. Kudos to Rebecca.]

#3. Working technology. [Yes, I do like my Steam games, and to watch movies on Netflix. Sometimes I lose myself in a fantasy world of baseball, or I’ll spend and entire evening watching James Bond pictures. I’m happy for the technology to do so, i.e. my computer and gaming system to watch Netflix and YouTube on my TV.]

#2. A great bus system. [As chance would have it, my apartment is steps away from a bus stop, where many of the buses I take stop at. Though, during the summer time, when the buses run on reduced service, I find myself having to walk downtown a few blocks to catch buses at the main stop, called the College Ave, and Allen St stop. Sure, I’d love to have my own vehicle, but this is the next best thing.]

#1. And yes, it is in order, is that at least for now, I can still go to Bear Spring Camps. [I might have to stop after this year or perhaps after next, but I am going to milk it for all it is worth. Bear Spring Camps, and those people I have known all my life, are my truest blessings.]

There is today’s top ten list, on this cheery topic. I hope everyone enjoys it. Please pray for everyone who needs it, and if you are inclined to and can, please consider donating to a fund to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. Such a tragic loss. I plan to donate some money myself.

Until this weekend, have a fantastic few days, take care of your family, enjoy good weather if you have it, and as always, happy reading.

My spring cleaning begins a week from tomorrow

Greetings, readers. Yes, I have set my date of April 22nd, to begin my spring cleaning. I’m going to take this week to do lots of writing on my two projects. Work begins promptly at 9 AM tomorrow. I’ll also spend this week tweaking my spring and summer schedule, which not only includes the aforementioned, but also making plans for my trip to Maine in August.

We’ll begin with the trip to Maine. I began going to Bear Spring Camps in 1970, and have only missed three years. Unfortunately, I’m afraid this year… perhaps next, will be my last. As my monetary means run dry, I’m saving up for one last extraordinary vacation. I want it to be a cruise, but recently I’ve seen some articles about cruise ships that are making me think twice. When the time feels right, and the right deal pops up, I’m certain that the dream vacation on the sea will be a go!

With the sunrise earlier and earlier, I think it’s time that I begin getting out of bed before 6 AM. I used to wake up at 3:45 every morning, but that got a bit taxing on my body. So, I pushed it up to six. With the construction people working next door, if I worked from 4:30 until they began working at six, I could have an hour and a half of quiet and solitude for writing. Even though the jack hammers aren’t making noise anymore, trucks and concrete mixers make their own bothersome sounds. When I used to type my material, I would listen to music from the Star Wars albums. Those were quite inspirational to me, but quite impractical when using the speech recognition program. I’m certain I’ll find that happy medium.

Now for the big task! As mentioned earlier, April 22nd, will be the big day that this swamp I call my apartment gets cleaned out. Will this task be completed in one day? No way! I’m looking at a two or three-week task. You see, I can’t clean eight hours a day. With my delicate system, I have to clean for perhaps only an hour at a time, before either taking a break or stopping for the day. First up… the kitchen. That’s not in bad shape at all. I expect I can get that done in an hour or so. When it comes time to go through the mounds of junk on my two broken recliners, a.k.a. dead red and dead blue, I’ll have to have plenty of trash bags and a dust mask. The two areas of the apartment I’m dreading most are the bedroom and the walk-in closet. The back-left corner of the bedroom is one ‘storage area’, while the walk-in closet houses a lifetime of videotapes and DVDs, as well as a plethora of miscellaneous junk. I’m going to need a hand with the closet. Fear not, I shall get it done.

There is today’s blog entry. Continued prayers go out to all who need it. I bid everyone a fantastic few days. Rebecca will be back on Wednesday, and will have a new entry up by 1 PM.

Until then, do take care, love one another, be safe, and as always, happy reading.