While Katie is at Camp- Ozark Life 2015- An Inviting Cabin

cabin 5 On yet another rainy Ozark day, my cabin-mate had gone to town for a while, so I was swimming. Swimming in the rain always reminds me of summer vacations as a child when I would try to spend every possible minute in water. Breaking through the pool’s surface to have raindrops fall on my face is a magical feeling, as if I am in the spray of a waterfall or frolicking in the sea. Paddling along I couldn’t tell which water was warm and which was cool, the drops made the pool bubbly and vacant, my own private sanctum. After hearing thunder in the distance I decided to return to our room. I gathered my belongings and hauled them up the flight of concrete steps. Cabin number five is located directly above the swimming pool, which gives us a lovely view of pool and lake. There is only one level of stairs between our cabin and the pool, in past years I have been the farthest cabin from the pool and the stair climbing was a work-out in itself, especially if I was down at the lake instead of the pool. I placed the floats outside our door. Deposited my weights, goggles, and cap on a dry towel in a chair, then showered, dressed, and snuggled in my bed to read as the rain pelted outside my window.

A chapter later the rain had stopped, a blue sky was speckled with puffy white clouds and the sun was shining. I had just finished texting with my cabin-mate, who I thought was still in town when I heard my door knob rattle and the door to the cabin open. I couldn’t imagine how my cabin-mate could have returned home so quickly. Next, determined footsteps were heard striding across the cabin’s main room and a voice shouted out, “just coming in to use the bathroom!”

I hopped off the bed and presented myself in my bedroom doorway where I found a slight figure with a cotton hoodie over her bikini top and white yoga pants. Gray hair was topped with a large brimmed visor under which was a very startled, confused face which looked me up and down. The intruder inquired with befuddlement, “this isn’t the Johnson’s?” as she took two more steps toward the bathroom. I said, “No, it isn’t.” She took two more steps toward the bathroom and explained, “I was coming up from the lake and didn’t want to go all the way up to go to the bathroom, I tried over there (points to the cabin to the east) and couldn’t figure out why the Jordan’s would have their door locked, so I decided to come in and use the Johnson’s bathroom” two more steps closer to the bathroom. Two more steps would have her inside the bathroom, so I swept my arm in the direction of the bathroom and said, “Please, feel free to use ours.” In she strode and thanked me on her way out as she stated that she must be a building over. I explained that I knew what a hike it was to go from lake to balcony room, she nodded in agreement and went on her way.

A short time later my cabin-mate returned and I inquired as to if there were any valuables in the bathroom that would have been worth stealing before telling the absurd story of our bathroom intruder. I said she was probably casing the joint…on Hart to Hart it was always the dotty old woman who nobody would suspect to be a jewel thief! Fortunately, we had no jewels to steal, but things would have gotten nasty if she had gone for the licorice or salt water taffy on the table!

The next afternoon found us lounging on the swimming dock between rain showers. The dock creaked as someone stepped onto the opposite end, then soft footsteps fell on the wood as the woman walked the length of the boat slips and stopped in front of us to introduce herself. I recognized the visor topped gray head as my bathroom intruder from the day before. Carolyn told us that every three years her children and their families come together from their homes in Florida, Ohio, California, and Texas to spend a week with her at the Golden Horseshoe Resort. As she spoke she motioned to the resort’s other dock which was filled with her children and grandchildren. They totaled 26 and filled the boat slips with a racing boat, two ski boats, 6 stand up paddle boards, multiple large blow up tubes, full coolers, and lots of towels. We rose to walk with her as we returned to our cabin and met a few of her family members along the way. They thanked us and shook their heads in bemusement at the matriarch’s mistake of the day before. We chuckled and warned that she better not try it again tomorrow as we would be gone and the next folks might not be as accommodating, but told her the rest of the day she was welcome to our bathroom. Our meeting gave me a chance to tell her about Wonderland Camp, she was interested in hearing about it, two of the grandchildren have needs which would make looking into a camp a good idea for them. Later that night our new friends invited us to attend a turtle race.

Without having heard it from Yeats, I  have always lived by his phrase:

There are no strangers, only friends we have not yet met.

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Show Me The Show Me State

I had all the car windows open and the radio blaring as I was approaching the Bagnell Dam Bridge. My hands began pounding the steering wheel as I shouted, yes, I SHOUTED, “omg! Omg! OMG! I’m here, I’m here, I’m HERE! Alone!” The fact that I was approaching the Bagnell Dam Bridge is probably totally irrelevant. I could have been approaching any place other than home and I would have had the same visceral excitement engulf me.

I had just dropped my daughter and our two friends off at a camp in Missouri that devotes an entire week to people with Prader-Willi Syndrome.  PWS is a condition which requires constant vigilance on the part of the responsible party in the household. Twenty-four hour supervision is needed with policing of any morsels of food in the house. Sure, the cabinets and refrigerator are locked, but for the brief moments that they are unlocked during meal preparation,  items can quickly and stealthily go missing, so I sleep with an ear to the door listening for mid-night raids of hidden stashes of goodies. All this being told to you to explain my exuberance at having some much-needed and long overdue “me” time.

As soon as the plan to take her to camp and to stay nearby for the week formulated in my head I began researching resorts on the Lake of the Ozarks. Price, of course, is always my most determining factor with second on the list being a decent swimming pool. Even though I would be on a lake I wanted a pool so I could swim laps. I had a resort picked out simply due to price and pool and thought it looked very wild which did not appeal to me. I was looking for serenity and restorative peace. I came upon a place that featured a nice looking rectangular pool at a reasonable rate, including a month of June discount, I phoned and spoke to the proprietress telling  her that I had been reading other advertisements that showed lots of activities, bars, and restaurants all on site. She stated that if I was looking for that type of activity hers was not the place for me to stay. That statement cemented my decision that I had found the perfect resort at which to stay.  I had an adorable little one bedroom unit with a kitchen. The balcony had a bistro table which overlooked the pool, docks and lake.

My first Ozark morning after a winter of not swimming laps,( just water ex classes) started  in the pool (well, AFTER a cranberry scone and a cup of decaf Gevalia coffee turned into a mocha with the addition of cream and Russell Stover chocolate!) and am quite impressed with myself.
20 stop=20
30 stop=50
40 stop=90
50 stop=140
I swam sets in increasing increments with a 45 second rest in between and stopped at 140
thinking that was a decent workout, then followed it up with 1/2 hour of ai’ chi.
I returned to my balcony for breakfast round two, a bowl of luscious berries, almonds and creamy Greek yogurt. The proprietor walked by so I inquired about the length of the pool and found that it is 12 yards which means that 146 laps is a mile, my instinct had me at just 6 short of that, not bad.
Anyway, my plan was to write this while eating breakfast round two, but my computer battery was dying, so I carried  the laptop and camera inside.  As I stepped inside,  I received a phone call.I didn’t want to sit on any furniture in a wet  2013-06-16 001 a 2013-06-16 004 2013-06-16 005 2013-06-16 009 suit so I shimmied out of it and just then realized I had forgotten breakfast round two on the balcony…..I knew I SHOULDN’T be naked to go out and get it, but was unable to get dressed without the use of both hands and my conversation was taking priority, so I left it for later. After we hung up, I threw on a long shirt and went out for my food….but a squirrel had beaten me to it!! There is a sign on the inside of my unit door that says “Please don’t feed the ducks”, I think they targeted the wrong critter.  If a squirrel eating my breakfast is the biggest stress of the day, I will happily feed him daily. Come back for more Ozark Observations. The pool is again beckoning.