Thursday, April 01, 2010

"The clues will get you there"

“Gregg- Please don’t tell me you slept in your clothes AGAIN!” Gregg’s dad scolded. “I don’t think Miss Monday wants her campers wrinkled on the very first day!”

“Oh, Dad, she doesn’t care what we look like just as long as we ARE there!” Gregg hopped out of bed and raced for the door.

“Just a minute young man,” said his dad, this time smiling. “How about you empty those pockets, first?”

Gregg noticed his dad's I'm not kidding voice. He wished he hadn't loaded his pockets with so many treasures yesterday. “Oh, Dad, Do I have to?”

“Now, son, you know Camp Redbird only takes children. Show and tells have to nap the whole day in a nap box. Better leave them home so they won’t get lost.”

Gregg began pulling out matchbox cars, legos, popsicle sticks, and a space war figure from his overstuffed pockets.

When Gregg and his Dad headed to breakfast- they left behind a small mountain of toys that would miss the first day of camp.

Gregg’s twin sister, Katherine, slept right through this early morning commotion. On his way to the kitchen, Gregg banged on her door and yelled ”Let’s go, latey Katie!”

She rolled out of the bottom bunk. Her sleepy feet dragged into the bathroom and she splashed some cold water on her face. The cold made her shake her face like a wet dog. When she looked in the mirror, she saw a fuzzy blonde creature with no front teeth.

She put her glasses on and the fuzzy creature lost it’s fuzzy look. She was staring at herself. She noticed the empty space where two shiny front teeth used to live. Her tongue peeked through the opening and waved .. She closed her eyes and wished she had never played mechanic with Gregg . She remembered how the toy power car had jerked and hit her in the mouth, causing her teeth to drop right out onto the sidewalk. .

Katie looked at her reflection in the mirror and said to herself, “ It didn’t even hurt.”

She opened the medicine cabinet and looked at the crisp dollar bill that lay on the bottom shelf. “I guess the tooth fairy leaves a little more for the unexpected fall outs.”

Katie yelled downstairs, “ I’m getting dressed. I’ll be ready in a minute! Could somebody grab me an apple to eat on the way?”

Gregg sat at the breakfast nook. He wolfed down his oatmeal , grabbed an apple for his sister Katherine, and pulled out his wrinkled directions to camp.

As the three of them headed for the car, he said, “Here Dad, read this. It’s a puzzle. We’ve got to figure out how to get to camp.”

His dad unfolded the crumpled sheet and looked over his glasses at the strange markings on it.

Katie said,” You do the driving, and we’ll give you the clues, Okay Dad?!” They buckled up and backed out of the driveway, being careful not to run over the garbage cans like they did yesterday.

Clue 1: Find the place that has the highest swings and the train travels around it morning 'til dark.

“Hey, that’s Pullen Park, dad and we just passed it!” Gregg’s dad pulled over and read the next clue:

Clue 2: Follow the hawk to the swimming hole that hides in a cave.

Just at that moment a red tailed hawk swooped over the trees and headed for the indoor pool that stood next to the playground at the park.

Kate chimed, “Okay, dad, but what about the next clue? “

Clue 3: Miss Monday's address is the same as Sesame Street, 123.

Final Clue 4 : Camp Redbird looks like Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s house. It is made for fun! There are 2 front doors and lots of pictures on the windows that children have made. It's a big old friendly house that has a smiling front porch and a secret garden hiding out back.

“Well, son, I’m really stumped. I don’t know of a house that smiles, but we’ll keep driving a little farther.”

All of a sudden, Gregg yelled, “Dad! Here it is!! I can see the Camp Redbird flag flying out front! There’s Jeff with some other kids!!” Gregg’s dad stopped in front of an old house that fit the description in the clues. There were several children sitting on the porch swings, singing. Two children were standing on the front steps, and it looked like they were drawing on them! As they got closer, Gregg could see that the children were using chalk. There were scribble scrabbles of hands and feet and stick people all over the sidewalk in front of Ms. Monday's house. Gregg was antsy to join the crowd.

When Gregg's dad opened the car door to help the twins out, he chuckled to himself. " I just wish I was going with you today”.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chapter II "First day of camp worries"

John had never been away from home before. He was too busy helping his mom tend to his baby sister. Yes- his mom was pretty lucky to have him around and she knew it too- She was always telling him what a big help he was -getting the bottle out of the refrigerator or pushing the stroller on afternoon walks. (He hardly ever bumped into the curb anymore, and most of the time managed to stay clear of puddles and bumps, too) .

His favorite job was choosing the cereal on grocery trips. It took a special talent to narrow all those choices to 1 or 2 and he had to do that every week!

John was a little worried over leaving his family this week. Even though Camp Redbird was only a few hours each day- he was wondering if his mom would be able to manage alone. Watching his little sister, Lanie, was a tricky job at times. He hopped out of bed, grabbed the clothes and shoes he wore yesterday off the floor and tiptoed into his mom’s room.
John peeked into his mom's dark room. He saw that she was sleeping, and from the look on her face, she was in the middle of a very good dream. He wondered if she was dreaming of swimming upside down in the neighborhood pool. Pool dreams were John's favorites, but it always seemed like he woke up wet.

John’s mom was dreaming of sitting in the stroller while John and his little sister strolled her down the aisle at the grocery. In her lap were all her favorite cookies, then the check out girl came over and looked closely at her and said, “Mom can you help me?” The girl spoke so loudly that John’s mom woke up.

When she opened her eyes John said again, “Can you help me?” and he plopped his clothes right down on the bed beside her.
“Ahhhhh” sighed his mom when she saw that it was her son John and not the check out person from her dream. She laughed out loud and gave her son a big morning hug. “Well, good morning, John, you are up early- excited about Camp Redbird?” She looked at the clock by her bed and saw that it was 5 o’clock in the morning!

John shook his curly brown hair and said, “Well, yes, but I was thinking if we go early, then maybe I can come home early and take care of you and Lanie- Can you help me get dressed?”

John’s mom yawned and scratched her head, “Well, the thing is that Miss Monday won’t be there until the sun is up, so why don’t we snuggle until my alarm goes off?” John smiled and hopped into the big four poster bed- he fell asleep in an instant and dreamed of being at camp with about a million people he didn’t know- marching all day in the hot sun and having no fun at all.

When the alarm, (which looked and sounded a lot like his noisy sister Lanie) went off, it was 7:30 and the sun was shining.

Mom helped John get dressed and gave him a bowl of cereal. John ate his breakfast quietly while she got Lanie ready. He was having second thoughts about going to camp. When his mom said it was time to go, his head was hanging low and his feet were dragging and his funny tummy feelings weren’t feeling very funny.

John’s mom leaned down and looked him right in the eyes. “A kiss on the cheek, ‘cause you’re so sweet” she said as she planted a smack right on his cheek. “Bet you’ll have fun with out even trying today.”
They climbed into the car and were off.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Camp Redbird Goes to Cowboy Creek Chapter 1

"A grumpy start"…….

“Well, I’m not going!” grumbled Jeff from under the comforter.
His mom opened the blinds in his room and said, “Don’t want to be late on the very first day of camp!" She pulled out a pair of denim shorts and an old tee from the dresser and tossed them on the squirming comforter.
He stayed hidden while he heard her footsteps in the hall and down the stairs. His jet blue eyes peeked out from the covers, followed by an arm that- fast as a crab in sand, grabbed the clothes and yanked them under the covers. There was some groaning and squirming ,then the covers came flying up and over to reveal a blonde headed, blue eyed, Jeff- still muttering to himself.
“You can’t make me get up. Six year olds are almost grown ups.”
He looked over his pajamas and tilted his head. "She just washed them a few weeks ago." He mumbled. Jeff balled up the pj's and tossed them into the hamper under his window. "Two points for a basket! " He gave himself a thumbs up, then squatted down and reached as far as he could under his bed. After a few huffs and puffs, he pulled out a pair of dirty laces that were holding his favorite shoes together and slid into his sneakers. He stomped down the stairs, stopping at the hall mirror to see how his undercover dressing job had turned out. His shorts were a little twisted, and his tee was on backwards, but he smiled anyway at his accomplishment and headed toward the kitchen to continue the debate.
A strong and delicious aroma was calling to him as he walked down the steps and around the corner . He followed his nose with a hungry grin . Even before he saw the plate full of French toast, with lots of bacon and fresh OJ , he knew that his mom had made his favorite breakfast His stomach rumbled as he sat down and began gobbling.
Jeff’s mom sat down too, and sipped her coffee.
He began feeling a renewed energy and jumped back into the morning argument with his mom. “AND why do I have to wear these OLD clothes, anyway?”
Jeff’s mom looked up from her cup and said, “Well, Miss Monday said to be sure to wear destructible clothes- so I got out your oldest and grubbiest.” She shook her head and said, "Miss Monday made sure the parents knew that all of her time with you would be spent having fun. She doesn’t want to spend a moment worrying over spills or stains or mis-matched socks- Oh, look at the time- We’d better hurry or we’ll miss the Name tag game!"
Jeff’s dad called from upstairs, “Did I hear Name tag game? Remember what happened the last time Jeff went to camp and played that game? He came home covered with those crazy name tag things!”
Jeff sat across from his mom staring into his empty plate. He was wondering what kind of fun Miss Monday had in mind for him and his friends. A smile began creeping across his face when he heard his mother’s urgent call- and he rushed out the door-