Tag Archives: remembering

Virtual Bear Spring Camps

Greetings, readers. A few years ago, when I had the proper video equipment, I took all of my Bear Spring Camps VHS tapes that I had recorded over the years, and made myself something special. I called it Bear Spring Camps: The Day. Some of the highlights are an early morning video of the lake, seeing people in the dining room at a meal, an afternoon boat ride, and even a full ride in the car down to Belgrade Lakes and back. Back in the days that I had less to do with my time, when I was back home, I would sometimes put on these videos at the appropriate time of day and it would really make me feel like I was at Bear Spring Camps.

I made these videos from 1984 through 1987. I brought my camcorder with me every summer and would record, record, record. This is the same period of time when I sat down with Cy Greco and recorded conversations with him; those of you who read my first book, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camp Stories, might remember what I wrote about these fireside chats. Obviously not everything I filmed made it into Bear Spring Camps: The Day. But a good chunk of it did. My favorite part is one early evening inside the cabin when I rested the camcorder on the table next to my favorite chair. The radio was on in the background and I happened to record about 30 minutes of a country radio station. It completely recreated that after-supper-time-to-relax feeling and it did it very well. I’ve watched this part over and over again ever since and enjoyed all those songs. I found and added to my playlist for my last show “Do You Love Me (Just Say Yes)”, performed by Highway 101.

Could I mass produce these tapes and sell them? I think I have an idea here, if I had the right equipment or the money to get it. The virtual vacation. Sure there are videos on YouTube of sunsets, waterfalls, and rain on a canvas tent, but I’ve never seen a video that would take you through an entire day at camp. Maybe I could use GoFundMe.com to finance my idea. That will require some thought.

I know that this is the second Bear Spring Camps entry within two weeks, but I am still very excited about camp opening, the warmer weather in general, and my upcoming August trip. I will probably be making plans and reservations tomorrow, or next week at the latest. Drop me a note, here or on Facebook, if you think my idea of the virtual vacation is a good one. I might pursue it.

Until tomorrow, take care, have a wonderful day, and as always happy reading.


A birthday wish and settling into my new routine

Greetings, readers. Today would have been my mom’s 92nd birthday. I miss her tremendously and think about her everyday. This morning I turned on Spotify music and played one of her favorite songs, “Theme from A Summer Place, by Percy Faith. I must admit, a tear came down my face, which usually happens in the opening moments of the song as I remember my mother. So today, on August 21st, I say happy birthday to my Mom.

As far as my new routine goes, it’s not quite set in stone but I’m making strides to find a morning time to be creative. Whether that means writing, taking notes, reading, or studying, it is the time for me to get to work and save my games and simulations for evening time. You know the old expression, work before pleasure.

A part of my evening routine is an attempt to have a very quiet evening after 9:00. Instead of watching 10 episodes of Reba on YouTube, or an old classic football game, I turn off the TV and put on some soothing music, just like I would do in my cabin at Bear Spring Camps. Last night, it worked perfectly. I was sleepy, and ready for light’s out at 10 p.m. That’s probably why I woke up at 4:30. Kitty cat Keekee raised her head as if to say, ‘what the heck are you doing, it’s dark outside,’ put her head back down and closed her eyes. I, too, clicked off the light, flipped over, and went back to sleep.

The big thing I am going to work on this year is my diet. I don’t get enough vegetables, I eat way too much ice cream and sweets, and as most people know, that is an invitation to walk down the road to diabetes. That ran in my family, so I do have to be careful. A few weeks before camp I already took the first step, by having a friend with a car take me grocery shopping, so I could stock up on healthy things to eat. If that could become a pattern every two or three weeks, it would certainly help. Point blank, I’m tired of eating junk food.

Rebecca got a small surprise the first day back to work. On my computer, I created a daily things-to-do list. This will help keep me organized, motivated, and allow me to get more things done each day. Although I’ve only used it for a few days, it seems to be working already. Yay for organization!

Before we go, our heat and humidity wave was washed away by a doozy of a heavy rain storm yesterday, which caused local flooding in some areas. Today is beautiful and much cooler. I hope the weather is, at the very least, bearable where you are.

Next week, either Wednesday or Friday, you can look forward to a new top ten list. I bid you a good weekend, take care, and as always, happy reading.

:-) #200!!! :-)…… and more

Greetings, readers. Today is a very happy day for me for it is the 200th blog entry.  Many good entries and one book have come out of this project so far. Rebecca and I have had a lot of fun coming up with our ideas for the different posts.

At this time, I would like to offer heartfelt condolences to families and friends who lost loved ones on 9/11/01.  Basically because I forgot to look at my computer’s calendar, I failed to see that today, Wednesday – our blog day – was indeed the anniversary of the attack.

Before I go into the ‘and more’ section of today’s blog entry, I’m going to let Rebecca chime in with anything she would like to say on this milestone blog occasion.

{From Rebecca: I am so proud of Joe for writing so much on this blog so consistently. I know that most people who start blogs run out of material and commitment before the first year mark. Joe is approaching his two-year anniversary of this blog and he is still going strong. Congratulations, Joe, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with in the next hundred posts.}

It came to my attention the other night from my ex-wife that two million motorcyclists (2 Million Bikers) are coming from California to Washington D.C. today for a peaceful drive-through in support of those affected by the 9/11 attacks and to protest another group’s event set to take place in Washington. She asked me to write a specific blog entry about their cause. I agree with my ex-wife that this is a topic worthy of its own blog post. The fact that I am taking a few personal days will delay this entry. It will appear as our next entry, Wednesday or Thursday. I’m going to be researching all angles so that I can make an intelligent informed report.

Very briefly, I am going to share with you why I’m taking these two personal days. Much has been on my mind in regards to my health. That’s point #1. Point #2 is that my depression seems to have returned. Two days ago I absolutely could not leave my apartment, and yesterday I had to force myself to get my day started hours later than I wanted. I have experienced these problems before and they are temporary. I know the steps I need to take to rectify them.

So until ASAP, enjoy your week and weekend, take care, and happy reading. And again, thank you readers. #201 and beyond is coming.