Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Roughing it


Tomorrow begins my summer vacation. My family and I will be spending the next two months in Camp Dora Golding in East Stroudsburg, PA. You may have heard that Dora Golding has a beautiful campus with lovely accommodations. This is very true. The bunkhouses are air-conditioned. The families live in new houses. The grounds are covered in lush, green grass and the whole campus is surrounded by the beautiful Poconos.

There is one tiny exception to this general rule. It's a structure known as the "family house". In truth, house is too generous a term to bestow on this particular structure. Perhaps it used to be a house in a different lifetime, eons ago. Now, it is a... structure... made of warped wooden planks that were painted red in that other lifetime. But structure is such an awkward term and so I capitulate and will refer to it as the Family House, henceforth FH.

The FH is to be my home this summer. Dovid (who is working in camp as a learning rebbe first half and will give staff shiur second half) and I went on Sunday to bring a vanload of our stuff and begin to settle in. We weren't quite prepared for the FH. Even Dovid was shocked. For those of you who don't know Dovid personally, that says alot. When we opened the door to the FH, the stench of stale urine mixed with mildew hit us in the face. Actually, only I smelled it because Dovid's nasal passages were blessedly congested that day. We'll be staying on the second floor, at the top of a long set of creaky stairs. The actual apartment was filthy. A fellow learning rebbe's wife was kind enough to lend us her vacuum cleaner and some cleaning supplies. We got to work. A while later, the room that is to be the kids' room was (sort of) clear of cobwebs and the floor was decent. Apparently the people who had stayed there before us had taken pretty good care of the place. They had put down large industrial-type rugs which is a big improvement over the carpet that is underneath. Our bedroom is yuckier. The beds are at a distinct slant. We came to the conclusion that the whole room is slanted. I left the bathroom to deal with later. Too overwhelming.

Our next stop was Walmart. Not just any Walmart - a Walmart Supercenter. I was afraid I would get lost and was quite thankful to feel my cellphone snug in it's case at my waist. After the cleaning supplies aisle, I got soaps, shampoos, deoderant and the like. Plus I got rolls of shelving paper in a nice light blue and yellow plaid. Nothing of mine - and I mean, nothing - is touching a shelf in that FH without a layer of shelving paper. By the end of the day, I began to recover somewhat from the experience. By now, I've managed to come to terms with the reality that this is where we'll be and I'll just have to deal with it. I think we're going to be spending a lot of time outdoors and make friends with the families that live in real houses very quickly.

As for internet access, something tells me the FH is not a Wifi hot spot. I guess I'll have to make friends with the office guy, too. If that doesn't work, you might not hear from me for a while :( . Well, I'd best be getting to bed - I've got a lot of socializing to do tomorrow!

12 comments:

Ezzie said...

You could always try living in that Walmart... I was just there a week ago on the way to Toronto. It's HUGE!!!

LittleBirdies said...

Lucky you! That's serious and sarcastic. You're lucky you're off for the summer (unlike the rest of us out there), but I don't envy the accomodations. Have a great summer--we'll miss you.

Ayelet said...

Ezzie: lol! That's a thought...

BigBird: It's going to be great. It's all about attitude, right? Have a good summer, too and, believe me, I'll miss this place too.

Anonymous said...

ATTITUDE is correct.
Please become friends with the office guy since i will be on withdrawal not hearing from our favorite blog authoress.
Have a wonderful and safe summer and buy noseplugs..
Love, mema

Ayelet said...

Noseplugs...hmmm, why didn't I think of that :) We'll miss our favorite Zayde and Mema! Maybe you could get a blogger account over the summer. Just a thought....

Rebecca said...

have fun, we'll miss you! Remember our playdate when you get back!

LittleBirdies said...

I hope you somehow find internet access, because I will miss your blog.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Have fun cute comic!

Anonymous said...

Hey AYelet,
Enjoy your summer being off and not having to cook. I din't know you were going to Dora Golding. Enjoy. Also no one answers the phone at the May household i was trying to reach rena for days so please let someone know that i called to talk to her. If you went to sternberg then your accomadations sound pretty good and im sure youll make it all nice.
LW

princessoctober said...

Sounds like a nightmare for a clean freak like me..LOL. All I have to say is enjoy the summer, make a lot of memerotires and keep the bleach handy..LOL.

Elie said...

Sey hi to my son Ben! He's the night activies counselor. We may be there visiting him this Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Ayelet,
I've been home only a few days, my apartment is not 100% settled yet, but I made time to check out some of your blog. You truly amaze me with all that you do!
You certainly gave a detailed description of the Family House. Let's hope Alex doesn't read it. (on the other hand, maybe it wouldn't hurt if he did :))
I plan to come back and read some more.
Esther G.