Tag Archives: camp book

Bear Spring Camps 2 is ahead of schedule

Greetings, readers. It is a lovely warm day here in State College, PA., and I’ve got some good news to share. My writing assistant, Rebecca, and I have been working feverishly the last couple of weeks, and now seem to be slightly ahead of schedule for the release of Bear Spring Camps book 2. It is set to titled Tales from North Bay and Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories. I had figured to have it out this coming September at the earliest. Now, unless we hit a snag, July or August is not out of the realm of possibility.

Camp book 2, as I call it, is going to have a slightly different format than the first. It shall be comprised of five longer anchor stories along with many shorter stories in 4 categories, which we call basketfuls. We are having just as much fun creating this book as we did the first, and I’m sure that my camp friends and family will enjoy it.

Small update about book 1, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories. We now have it for sale in one of our local stores, Appalachian Outdoors as previously blogged, with a second store possibly to follow. Everybody, please cross you fingers. I shall keep you posted. It is still available on Amazon, from your local bookseller, or from my e-store https://www.createspace.com/3625476.

If you are having sunny warm weather where you are, enjoy. If not, chin up, better weather shall arrive quickly. Take care, and until soon …


Sad day today

Greetings, readers. Yes, it is a sad day today for me. Yesterday evening I learned that a very dear friend of mine passed away. As some of you may know, I wrote one book about Bear Spring Camps in Central Maine, and am in the process of writing the second. Mrs. Mosher was the owner’s mother, who I had known since I was five years old.

I can’t ever remember seeing Mrs. Mosher without a smile on her face. She greeted people in the camp dining room with warm hugs and conversation about their day. Having lost both of my parents recently, I can imagine how Peg (Mosher) Churchill and her family must feel.

It’s ironic that I have been debating making this summer my last at Bear Spring Camps after almost 40 years, because of finances. Times change and many things are just not what they used to be. I used to go with my mom and stayed in the same cabin she had since I was a child. This year I will probably have to go by bus again; not fun. I am also still trying to make my current cabin feel like my second home.

Since learning of her death last evening, I have been in what I can only describe as a funk. I am depressed, feeling older, and wondering if I’m going to be able to do all the things I want to do before I die. I sat in my recliner chair late last night with a PS3 baseball game on in the background, trying to make plans for what I was going to accomplish before I died. Am I starting to get that morbid feeling again? Oh, yes.

At about 5 am, I figured I had to get at least a few hours of sleep because I was going to work later in the day, and I didn’t want to be a complete zombie. My conclusions were that we all just have to try to do the best we can at what we attempt. If we reach our goals, that’s great. If we don’t, that’s life. But not to set goals is not living. It’s existing. Right before I switched off the lights, I decided to make a few short-term and long-term goals. One of my short-term goals is to finish camp book 2 and dedicate it to Mrs. Mosher. One of my long-term goals is to write either a novel or a series of children’s books with good, strong, loving characters that will stand the test of time.

Lastly, I am still waiting to hear from cousin Wino (pronounced Wee-no) in Holland for the final puzzle piece that will let me complete my father’s blog entry. Until very soon, take care and have a good day.

5 Star, gold banner day!!!

Greetings readers. Today is an exceptional day for me. My first book, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories, which my writing assistant Rebecca and I worked so hard on for almost a year, is now officially in a local store here in State College, Pennsylvania. They are going to be sold on consignment at Appalachian Outdoors. We took ten copies with us expecting them to take perhaps one or two, but OMG, they took all ten!

This makes it a 5 star, gold banner day for Rebecca and me. We worked so very hard on that book and we are both proud of it. To now have it in a store is awesome.

The book is a print-on-demand product at CreateSpace.com and this is the link to my CreateSpace e-store page for those who want to see the book cover and read a description of it.

So, if you are in downtown State College, check out Appalachian Outdoors and ask to peruse my book. For my out-of-town readers, the link is in the previous paragraph. As always, comments are welcome. Until next time, take care.

Time for spring cleaning is almost here

Here in State College, Pennsylvania, it is mid February and the winter is half over. I have always been a spring and summer person, but along with the warmer temperatures comes an annual event; spring cleaning. I live in an apartment and everything I own is crammed into two small rooms and a walk-in closet. This means that it usually doesn’t take much to make the place look like a cyclone has hit it.

In about two weeks I am going to undertake this late winter chore. This means that quite a bit of stuff is going to be thrown away. I do not part with my treasured belongings easily, but it is necessary for me to weed out all unused items and clothes. The dining room/living room area is not that bad, and has already been partially worked on. It’s the bedroom that is the disaster area. Most of my time will be spent in there trying to determine which clothes still fit, which boxes can have their contents combined and what records can be given away.

My apartment building has a community room where tenants can put their unwanted items on a table for swap. Already I have parted with my cherished baritone horn, also known as a mini-tuba. My mother got that for me when I was in grade school and I had kept it all these years. Simply, it was taking up too much space; it just didn’t make the cut this year. Also, an old record player was taken down there and was snatched up within an hour.

I think most people here in the apartment building do this spring cleaning chore because the rooms are so small. One has to keep up with the amount of crap brought in throughout the year. For me, it is a whole different set of circumstances. Since 2003, I have lived in four different dwellings, including my current apartment. I have accumulated possessions not only from my two previous apartments, but also from my parents’ big house.

What will not make the cut? Old Playstation games. If I’ve not used them in more than a year, they will be put on the swap table. Also, old record albums I’ve not listened to in 20 years will be placed there for others to enjoy. Blankets, old coats, and my toaster I’ve never used can probably be parted with as well. The biggest thing is garbage, such as old medicine bottles that somehow I think I just have to keep around. Heck, I have the phone number for the pharmacy in my speed dial. I don’t have to read it off the label.

Now, what will make the cut? Mostly treasured items from my parents’ house. Paintings, lamps, an old TV, my mother’s credenza. Also, some of my father’s classical music albums I will never part with; they have sentimental meaning to me.

When all is said and done and everything is spic and span, I can have maintenance come in and make some small repairs that have been waiting for a few months, such as the bedroom closet door not being on its hinge. Also, Keekee, my kitty cat, thinks that the door frame is her personal scratch post. That shall have to be repaired and/or painted.

About my writing, fear not, for even though I will be engrossed in this laborious task of apartment cleaning, writing shall continue. Blog posts will be upcoming and my writing assistant and I shall also be editing my second book, which I hope to have published no later than this coming September. Please feel free to drop a comment or a question and if it is something I can reply to, I shall make every effort to do so.

My next blog entry will be about my father, Professor Joseph John Kockelmans. It should be up on my blog page within a few days. I’m going to need some time to write a first draft because I want it to be just so. Until then, my readers, take care and have a good day.

Sharing a story from my first book with you

As many of you may know, last year I published a book with CreateSpace.com, called Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories. Now that I have been blogging for a few weeks, I have decided to share one of the stories from the book. This is my favorite story of all of them.

Bear Spring Camps is a vacation spot located in Central Maine. I’ve been going there every year since 1970 and have accumulated many, many fun and intriguing stories. I shall share the link with you to this book and also let you know that Camp Book 2 is in the works. Just follow the link from the book title above for a better look.

Bear Spring Camps Tribute to My Mother

My mother, Dorothy Kockelmans, passed away on June 15, 2003. We were due to go to Bear Spring Camps in August – just two months away. I had never undertaken the arrangements for the Maine vacation before in my life. I was scared and very nearly called it off. But I said no, Mother would have wanted me to go. Not thinking that I could drive the 612 mile journey myself, I got on the computer and booked a cheap round trip airline ticket and a rental car.

When the time came, I flew into Bangor, Maine, picked up the car at the airport, drove an hour southbound on I-95, and arrived in Waterville at the same time my mother and I normally would have when we drove the whole way up from Pennsylvania. Next stop, Bear Spring Camps.

Continue reading Sharing a story from my first book with you

A night of insomnia : (

Good morning. It’s 7:05 and I’ve had approximately 1 hour or sleep. Grrr. I hate insomnia. Don’t you? Well, later today I’ll be working on new stories and editing camp book 2. My Assistant, Rebecca and I shall try to type something that makes sense this afternoon. I’m not quite sure how alert I’ll be. I’m off soon for a nap so as to have some energy at least.

Update to readers: My hope is to have the second camp book released sometime between late summer and mid fall.