Saturday, July 18, 2009

No Camp, Vespers, and Reading a Good Book.

Friday morning Athanasia drove Anselm Samuel and I to Camp Chesebrough in the Santa Cruz Mountains for a two night Cub Scout camp. She dropped us off,we signed in, and and Anselm started playing a game with some other scouts while we were waiting for the opening ceremonies. The game was one I hadn't seen in more than 30 years. Boards were set in the ground to form a rectangle. Bisecting the rectangle was another board so that there were two 3 yard squares. The bisecting board had a slot cut in it to that a puck could be passed under the board. In each square stood a scout with a 4 foot long stick. I was never clear on what the rules were, and I'm not sure the scouts were either, but they had fun taking turns, and cheering when it wasn't their turn.

The opening ceremony consisted of four Webelos hoisting the flag and all of us pledging allegiance to it, and reciting the Cub Scout Motto and the Law of the Pack.

Then the Camp Director began introducing his staff. Just as he introduced the nurse Anselm sat down. I thought, "we haven't even been standing here 20 minutes. This isn't like him." I said, "Stand up, Anselm." He said, "I don't feel good." I looked at his face, uh oh - pale with dark shadows under his eyes. I felt his forehead - fire. I walked up to the nurse and said, "You're needed. A scout has a fever." So, to the nurses office we went. About three hours later, after his fever had broken (Tylenol helped), and after a snack, lots of water, and a short nap on the nurses bed, she cleared Anselm to return to the activities.

He made a walking stick with a leather handle. He learned the basics of rock climbing and climbed the easy and medium walls. The nurse met us at the climbing wall and took his temperature again. All clear. Then we walked to our camp site and started putting up our tent and arranging the camp site. I noticed Anselm was moving kind of slowly and I had to keep telling him to hurry so we wouldn't be late for the air rifle range. Then, just as we got the tent up he laid downon the ground and said, "I'm sick". Back down to the nurses office. Fever was back: 101 F. This time the nurse said he could not stay. So, I telephoned Athanasia and asked her to come get us, left Anselm at the nurses office and marched back up the hill to take down our tent and pack up all the gear. When I got back to the nurses office Anselm's fever was gone, but the nurse still said we had to leave because of a fear of swine flu.

Anselm was so sad. But just for showing up at camp and completing one activity he earned the Summer Cub Scout Camp patch, and the Camp Director said he can come back for day camps in August or October to attempt his archery and air-rifle belt loops. So that cheered him up a little.

Later, in the middle night his fever returned with vengence. I had to strip the bed clothes off of him and sponge him down with cool water while the fan blew on him. His whimpering and shivering was heartbreaking. But it had to be done. It took a long time but his temperature eventually came down.

Today, Saturday was pretty hot, though as I write this it feels like it is only 70 degrees outside. I went to the store and bought coffee, Bacon, and eggs. (By happy coincidence, my favorite egggs are also the least expensive.) When I got home from the market Athanasia cooked the bacon with potatoes and shallots. And she scrambled the eggs. We drank iced tea with it. It was a very good breakfast.

All day today Athanasia and the boys sat in the house with the blinds closed while the fans blew on them. Athanasia spent her time knitting Christmas presents, the boys mostly watched movies on the computer. (Sponge Bob seems to be their current fave.)

I did take Anselm to Nickle City to play video games and ski-ball for a little while. He won 355 tickets with which he bought two sets of orange vampire fangs (one set for him, one set for Basil), 5 rubber balls, and 35 Jolly Rancher candies.

I dropped Anselm off at home then went to visit my newest and niece. She was born a couple of days ago to my nephew Aaron's wife. The beautiful little girl has been named Roxy.

When I got home I had a big drink of water, checked on Athanasia and the boys, who all looked like wilted vegetables, and then set off to the dry cleaners to pick up the clothes I dropped off earlier in the week. They were closed. I won't be able to get my clothes until Monday.

From there I went on to vespers at St. Stephen's in Campbell. I got there about 35 minutes before the service was scheduled to start so I went around the corner to the Dairy Queen. It is nice to smell real hamburgers (as opposed to fast food hamburgers) on a grill, but it was too hot to eat. I only bought a large Pepsi. The service was vespers for the Sunday of the Fourth Ecumenical Council and had many excellent hymns and readings.

When I got home from vespers Athanasia told me Anselm's fever had returned. Also Basil was sad because he wanted to go to Vespers with me. Athanasia suggested I read to them. I asked "The Wind in the Willows?" Anselm chose two chapters, the one in which Mole goes into the Wild Wood to meet Badger, and the one in which Mole, Toad, Rat, and Badger retake Toad's ancestral home from the weasels and stoats. That cheered them up and then they went off to bed, which is what I shall do in just a moment.

1 comment:

DebD said...

Its too bad Anselm couldn't make it for the whole camp experience. I'm glad he got to enjoy a little bit though. Hope he's feeling better today.