The Pain of Golfing – Recycled Sundays

I spotted a T-shirt the other day that read, “Those who can, golf. Those who can’t, golf anyway.” I imagine many of us can identify with that. I certainly can. I have golfed less than a dozen times, but last year I moved up a rank. Not because of a better score – I still reached the counting limits at most of the holes – because I now have my own clubs.

I’m hoping the close proximity of this athletic equipment might soak some awareness into my subconsciousness. So far, all I know is that the fat club is for teeing off, the putter is for the green near the hole, and some club in the middle is for everything else.

I’m always amazed at how serious people take a sport that is so charming. Basically, it’s one level up from schoolyard marbles. And how many other sports do you know that involves puppets? Oh, I know, the pros don’t call them that. Professionals say the little sockies over the clubs are supposed to protect them from banging against each other. In my case, that seems a little redundant. It’s okay to whack balls, tees, clumps of earth, and the occasional tree, but I mustn’t let them bang against each other.

I’ve seen these club socks come in various shapes and sizes. One woman had the entire Muppet set, I swear. I think perhaps they should worry more about the puppets banging together. What if they reproduce? Soon, there won’t be enough room in the bag for all the clubs, balls, tees, drinks, bug spray, sunscreen, tissues, rag, coin purse, sunglasses, scarf, and car keys. I can envision Animal and Piggy tossing things out at the bag every time a golfer turns her back.

Actually, I view the club socks as one more thing to lose. I can imagine myself retracing my steps, asking people if they’d seen my Lambchop or Grover. I often lose my tees, more often than my ball, and I swear the hole keeps moving.

How come, with one swing of my club, I can drive the tee inches into the ground, but after a dozen swings with a hammer, I still can’t drive a nail? I play most of the game as a “teetotaler.” If I’m more than a little out of whack that day, a bruise will start forming on the palm of my hand from slamming the ground instead of the ball. I know it’s cheating, but I’ve started to use the tee on most of my strokes. I figure the greens-keeper appreciates it. Better a few more dozen broken tees than divots.

An acquaintance once told me I could improve if I used the seven iron near the green and choked up on. By that point, I not only want to choke it, but hang, draw, and quarter it as well.

Occasionally I do have a decent game. Inevitably, then, the gods laugh and send thunder and lightning to celebrate. I’ve never considered a par four worth dying for or even having my belt buckle permanently fused to my belly button. But there are those who would play through if Noah started building an ark on the sixth hole. I prefer the safety of the club house where I discovered there are more golf magazines printed than bridal or homemaker issues combined. Unfortunately, my hands were too sore to turn the pages.

The Chronicle-Journal /regional Newspaper

May 2, 1993

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

Celebrity Writers – Do We Need Them?

Most of the books reviewed for the next couple of weeks are written by celebrities. This is my theme for July I was interested to see if celebrity written picture books were better because they could afford great editors and illustrators or worse because they were resting on their reputations.

The celebrities I have included are: Sarah Ferguson the Duchess of York, Jerry Seinfeld, Jamie Lee Curtis, Julie Andrews, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, John Lithgow, and Will Smith. Some of the styles were entirely predictable, such as Jerry Seinfeld’s foray into Halloween memoir and Steve Martin’s zany alphabet. John Lithgow’s work was odd, not unexpected. Will Smith and Billy Crystal were sentimental and genuine. Julie Andrews wrote old-fashioned fantastical work. Jamie Lee Curtis was clever and deep. Sarah Ferguson was the most unpredictable after her little helicopter book was such a disaster. I think you’ll find some good reads and some books to avoid.

I was surprised there weren’t more in my public library as I felt as though we were being inundated with celebrity writing. Once I began researching, I realized most of them are written for adults and a lot are memoir. Perhaps this is a testament to the incredible difficulty of writing a good quality picture book.

I must admit I am not up-to-date on celebrities. I don’t read celebrity magazines. I seldom click on websites about the beautiful and famous. I don’t watch television shows where the rich and adored interview each other. So I googled who were the most famous people of 2016. There were a surprising number in the top 50 that I did not recognize. It will be interesting to see if any of these foray into writing. It seems to be a quick and easy way to make a buck, especially if you’re writing a tell-all. The sad thing is, the market is already glutted with more writers than readers and struggling authors have little chance of competing with brand names. Just how much of the pie do the ultra rich need to feel complete? Will Smith, for example, has been the highest or one of the highest-paid actors several years in a row. Does he really need the money from a picture book, one that could have been created by someone whose entire focus is writing?

How do you feel about celebrity authors? Do you think they are crowding the market and making it more difficult for beginning writers to be recognized? Do you feel their writing stands out in any way? I’d love to hear your opinions.

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

Haunted by a Bad Review

(There will not be a recycled humor column today.)

There are a lot of articles out there on how to handle bad book reviews. Generally authors will give three to six points but they almost always include “Don’t respond.” I have stuck to that premise faithfully.

The only time I ever responded was when I realized my book must have been garbled by Caliber when I turned it into an EPUB format. I sent it to the reviewer by email. The unfortunate reviewer thought English was my second language. LOL. I asked her if she would look again at the book in a different format and she agreed. She changed the review to four stars after reading the properly formatted one. I appreciated her kindness.

However, one review has haunted me and another writer has told me I should have responded to the review. I didn’t feel she would be open to what I was trying to say and I didn’t want it to become a flame and bring other people on board. Fat shaming is a volatile subject these days. Perhaps, now that a lot of time is past, she might be more open.

I will explain how this came about and would appreciate your opinion.

I wrote a book called Leya in which a girl was being bullied for her weight by another girl and her sidekick. The bullied girl had friends who stood up for her, in fact one girl almost killed the bully trying to teach her a lesson. The bully never changed and evolved into a truly evil character. I thought my message was stand up for your friends but don’t do it in foolish and dangerous ways. I also thought when this character became super evil it would be totally believable because she was such an awful person as to say mean things about someone’s weight. If she was that horrible as a teen who knows what she would be when she grew up.

Unfortunately, the reviewer took this as an assault on bigger girls. First, let me say, I am no Twiggy. Neither are several members of my family and friends. I would sooner cut out my tongue than belittle someone for their appearance. I was bullied as a child and would never condone, support, or participate in any type of bullying through my writing. Perhaps if this person had read my picture books she would have had a better understanding of who I am.

Maybe I didn’t write it clearly enough. Maybe she had recently been bullied and was feeling overly sensitive. Maybe using verbal bullying as a prediction of future evil was not a good idea. I know that no other reviewer or reader who spoke or wrote to me saw the scene the way she did. A member of my family who has struggled with weight problems her whole life read the book and loved it. When I was invited to a book club of a dozen women, they responded favorably. They understood that I was trying to paint this girl, the bully, as a diehard nasty piece of work as well as emphasize that bystanders need to support the victims of bullies.

Now, if the reviewer had just written this to me in a private message, I would have responded with an apology for perhaps not making my intentions clearly understood. But to put that as a reply to her review would be opening a whole can of worms. However, the review still stands on Goodreads and Amazon and I suspect influences people negatively towards my work and especially toward buying it.

So here’s my question? Should I let sleeping dogs lie? Should I write a private message to her? Should I reply to the review? Should I put a link to this article? What’s your opinion?

My Videos for Kids, Parents and Teachers on Youtube Bonnie0904

https://www.youtube.com/user/Bonnie0904

Preschool to Kindergarten – counting to 5 for teachers and parents- Counting to 3 on the Cheap

Preschool to Kindergarten – counting to 5 for teachers and parents – Counting to 5 on the Cheap

Preschool to Grade 1 – counting for children – Sing to Ten and Down Again

Preschool to Grade 1 – counting, number recognition ideas for teachers and parents- Play and Learn with Number Mats

Preschool to Grade 1 – physical activity & more for children – Come On. Let’s Play.

Kindergarten – numbers, shapes, counting for children- Do You Believe in Fairies (not narrated)

Preschool to Grade 2 – classification of animals & more for teachers and parents – Educational Play with Animal Puzzle Mats

Kindergarten to Grade 3 – animal rescue, fractured folktale for children – The Gingerbread Man

Kindergarten to Grade 3 – (book read aloud) – focussing on the task at  hand, nutrition for children – Never Send Callie

Grade 1 to 3 – sound, a balanced life, problem solving – Too Quiet, Too Noisy 

Grade 1 – mixing paint colours – Mixing Colours

Grade 1 to 3 – human body for children – The Fascinating Sense of Taste

Grade 1 to 3 – human body for children – The Sense of Smell

(The other senses will be coming soon.)

Grade 1 to 2 – opposites for children – Opposites #1

Grade 1 to 2 – opposites for children – Opposites #2

Grade 1 to 3 – animal rescue, fractured folktale for children – Three Little Pigs are Rescued

Grade 1 to 3 – (book read aloud) worrying – Then the Tooth Fairy Won’t Come

Grade 1 to 3 – traditional fairytale with legos & graphics for children – The Snow Queen

Grade 2 to 4 -(book read aloud) gratitude brings happiness – Rayne Shines

Grade 2 to 4 – fractured fairytale told in rhyme with fashion dolls for children – The Real Princess (The Princess and the Pea)

If you would like me to create a video on a specific topic for children aged 1- 10, please leave a comment.

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

So Close It Hurt – Recycled Sundays

 

If I counted the hours I’ve spent filling out entries for sweepstakes and draws and multiplied it by minimum wage, then added in money I’ve spent on tickets, I could probably pay for my dream holiday: a cross-country balloon ride.

But the lure of winning some thing still draws me like a gape- mouthed, bug-eyed bass waiting to be clubbed. The chance to win an unusual prize is irresistible. It’s pretty senseless, considering that even when I win, I lose.

The first competition I remember winning was an environmental poster contest in grade 4. Mine illustrated the damage caused by litter to wildlife. I won a set of fishing lures, which I never dared use because I might actually catch a gape-mouthed, bug-eyed bass and have to club him on the head.

A month before my wedding, I correctly guessed the weight of a gold brick and won two enormous blue glass ashtrays. Not only do neither my husband nor I smoke, but our home is a no smoking zone. We used the ashtrays as candy dishes for a few years before selling them for $.25 at a garage sale.

My children seem to have better luck. My daughter won a poster contest which provided her with more chocolate than I like to see her eat in a month. Then, in a final round, she won her 85th stuffed toy, a four-foot-high Peter Rabbit which continues to trip me to this day.

My children have won books, small toys, and theater tickets over the years. This inspires me to keep trying for the big prize: air fare to Toronto for a weekend of theater, or a train ride through the Rockies, or the primitive thrill balloon ride which has fired my imagination since I first read Around the World in 80 Days. At least it did until Canada Day, 1990, a date that lives in infamy.

We attended the anniversary celebration at Chippewa Park. With Anne of Green Gables style enthusiasm, I entered my name for a draw. Not just an ordinary draw. The draw of a lifetime. Four lucky winners would be picked to go for balloon ride. Not up and down on a rope, but across country, riding on the wind. Unfettered, free, gloriously at one with the elements.

“Would you like to enter?” The woman behind the table asked my children.

“Sure,” they replied.

A week later, I received a telephone call. My daughter’s name had been drawn for the balloon ride.

“The handwriting looks like a child’s,” said the young man.

“She’s 11,” I responded.

“I thought so,” he said. “Sorry, but she’s disqualified. She has to be 18.”

I explained how she had come to fill out the ticket. That was too bad. I offered to take her place. No substitutions allowed. I offered to pretend to be her. Sorry he had already selected another name. Why then had he phoned? He thought we should know.

Of course. Just like we should know that french fries have too much cholesterol, taxes have not reduce the national debt, and areas the size of France have been clear-cut in British Columbia. I live for the joy of acquiring this kind of knowledge.

I still haven’t given up on contests. Charitable draws and lottery tickets still find their way into my pockets. I figure after such a cruel twist of luck, the fates owe me. Now if I could just suppress the need to pop every stupid balloon I see.

November 10, 1991.

Happy Birthday Canada and me too.

Today Canada turned 150 years old. Yesterday I turned 64. Tomorrow is Sunday, when I always run a recycled column from my years with the newspaper. I thought this one was appropriate and rather ironic considering how much I would love to be 40 again. Forgive me for running it a day early.

From the Chronicle-Journal, Sunday, July 11, 1993

The day before Canada turned 126, I turned 40 I think we’re both starting to show our maturity.

I was a little depressed at the thought of hitting the first milestone. I told my family I didn’t want any black balloons, no cards with the number 40 on it, no telling friends and neighbors, and no gifts that draw attention to my age. At different times, I consider dying my hair blonde, getting it cut ultra short, plastic surgery, or getting a tattoo, but I felt too old for all of them.

I mentioned after a young looking coworker turned 50 that I, too, would be having a milestone birthday. Someone asked if that meant the half-century as well. I started to be clearer after that. Better everyone knows that I’m 40 then guesses that I’m 50.

Besides, I don’t really mind everyone knowing my age. I just don’t want to know it myself.

When I was a teenager, I felt like every birthday opened new door. Fourteen opened the door to dating. Sixteen opened the door to driving. Eighteen opened the door to university. Nineteen opened the door tonight clubs. Then the doors seemed to get further and further apart. Marriage, graduation, career, motherhood. When I hit 35, I had a disquieting image of doors shutting.

They weren’t as clear, mind you. Just because the door to one opportunity seem to shut for me, did not mean it shut for someone else. It all became very confusing. We’re doors really shutting or was I simply pulling them shut?

Continuing education, science, modern medicine, and societal attitude keep doors open longer than ever. That doesn’t really make things any easier. What’s worse – having a door shut for everyone at the same time, or having my door shut before anyone else’s because I feel limited and they don’t?

My older sister has never paid much attention to doors. Her nick-name was Hot Stuff, from the little devil cartoon. She lives the way she wants to live and still seems 21 at heart. She knew exactly what to do to break me out of my melancholy.

When two of our neighbors had birthdays,  one 50 and one 65, pink flamingos appeared on one lawn and a flashing sign on the other. I warned my husband I did not want anything like that in my front yard. He agreed. He even phoned my sister in case she had ideas of her own. She responded characteristically, “Bullshit!”

Sure enough, the morning of June 30, I open the curtains to see balloons, streamers, toilet paper and a handmade sign on the front lawn announcing the date to the world.

I knew it was her as soon as I saw the sign. “Honk, Bonnie’s 40” on one side and “Lordy look who’s 40” on the other. The apostrophes had originally been left off and then were added onto the sign on a small piece of paper that stuck out from the edge.

Later that day she confessed she had led the midnight assault but a friend had actually made the sign. I was stunned to learn that as I lay in bed reading, and uncomfortably aware of the ticking clock on its way to midnight, my sister and five of her friends drove up from Red Rock in a tiny little four-seat car and trashed my front lawn. I had assumed the occasional bump and voice belonged to a neighbor. One may have, since my sister ran short of toilet paper and sent her friend off with three dollars to buy some from our neighbour whose light was still on.

I told her this extravagant act may have saved me from getting a tattoo. I had seriously been considering a small white dove on my ankle.

“Oh don’t do that,” said my sister.

“I probably would have chickened out,” I admitted. Neither of us was fond of needles. “I think it would hurt.”

“Especially so close to the bone,” said my sister. “That really hurts.”

My eyes narrowed. “How do you know?” I asked.

She just grinned and pulled up her pant leg. Hot Stuff the little devil smiled up at us. I heard the sound of a door opening.

In retrospect, my 50th year turned out to be a bigger deal than my 40th. Around that time I cut my hair supershort, dyed it blonde, and got a tattoo. (I honestly keep forgetting I have one because it’s on my upper right back. I know so many people who’ve gone back and back and back get more tattoos but the experience was fulfilling enough for me the one time, thank you very much.)

Yes, more doors closed for me when I started my 50s, but others opened as well. I finalized my divorce, met my new husband, bought a house, and started living the life I’ve always wanted.

Now that I’m heading for the big 65, the doors are getting stiffer and harder to open but every now and then one surprises me. The best one was the door to becoming a grandparent. It was unexpected and glorious. I’m sure there will be other doors that open to new and rewarding paths. Because I have Parkinson’s, they may not be the ones I was expecting but I am sure they will have their own challenges and rewards.

Just like my beautiful country, strong and growing and aiming for the best it can be, I hope to age with grace.

Happy Birthday Canada

and may the next 150 be

glorious and free.

Canada Day – 150 Years

 

If you are not Canadian, you may not know that this Canada Day, July 1, 2017, is a special anniversary. It has been 150 years since Confederation.

I remember the excitement of our Centennial celebration in 1967. I was 14 years old and 100 years seemed an imaginatively long time. Looking back, the 50 years since seem to have flown by. However, our culture has matured and developed in ways that make me happy to say I am Canadian. We are more inclusive and respectful of differences. Our concern for the welfare of all citizens has grown and taken root in our actions and policies. We strive to protect our earth and to develop new forms of energy. We cherish our children and are working toward a sustainable future for them. This is not to say that we still don’t have a long way to go. But I am ever hopeful for our future.

We are a multicultural country. That means we recommend you learn English or French but respect your need to speak your own language as well. You’re welcome to keep your traditions, religion, and clothing styles as long as they do not break any of our laws or create dangerous situations for citizens. Myself, I am grateful for this attitude as I otherwise would never have found a Shin Buddhist Sect to join 30 years ago. Thunder Bay would not have developed from a pizza and doughnuts dominated city to a pizza and doughnuts dominated city with a lot of cool little ethnic restaurants as well.

Every year we have a Folklore Festival where people share their traditional food, dance, music, and dress. Thousands of people attend and it is not unusual to see a person of Scottish descent participating in a Japanese fan dance or and East Indian child devouring pierogies and Jamaican jerk chicken. With both deep regret and profound respect, we will watch the First Nations dancers and drummers perform on stage, their elaborate regalia testament to their strength, courage, and determination to survive in spite of the atrocities committed against them especially in residential schools.

If you live in Toronto or Montréal, you may not have the same view of Canada as those of us who live in small towns or cities in the north surrounded by forest. To us, Canada means you are 20 minutes away from wild spaces filled with trees, wildflowers, animals, rushing streams and sparkling lakes. This is the Canada I love, irreplaceable, fragile, and in need of our protection.

Without getting into politics, I have to say that I am dismayed that the POTUS to the south does share the same sentiment with regard to protection of wild spaces, clean air and water, and all species of animals. This is not to say that our track record is perfect. Canada has made some major mistakes as well. But in our hearts, I believe each of us understands the profound beauty and eco-diversity we need to cherish and shield. Although we may not agree on the methods by which to achieve this.

Most of the books for the rest of this month are about our beautiful nation. You will undoubtedly notice how dominant natural spaces are in our national psyche. I believe it is essential that every child, urban or rural, spends regular time surrounded by our bountiful boreal forest. Nothing calms your mind, refuels your energy, stimulates your creativity, and strengthens your gratitude then connecting with the earth in its purest state.

On Canada Day, we will be attending the city celebrations with loud music, and overindulgence of food, dancing and singing, and noisy a spectacular fireworks. But, in a truly Canadian way. Our celebration will be held at the local marina where sailboats and waterfowl glide past, the waves of the majestic Lake Superior splash up and over the breakwater, and the Sleeping Giant (Nanbijou) dominates the harbour reminding us that all Canadians need to be included in our policies, practices, and dreams for the next fifty years.

HAPPY CANADA DAY!

 Like this shirt, the pictures above  (and more) are available in my Cafe Press shop.

 

Princess Crazy

Princesses and little girls who want to be them  – like or dislike? You may love the idea of little girls in fancy gowns and tiaras or you may hate  it. I don’t see it as a simple either/or. Princess Diana did a lot of charity work. She also helped to reduce the stigma against aids and leprosy patients by publicly touching them. I would love for little girls to want to emulate her compassion.

As long as we tell fairy tales, little girls will imagine themselves as Cinderella who was not spoiled. She falls into a grey area… disinherited, worked hard, kind, forgiving, and gutsy. There are definitely some princesses who fall deeply into the SPOILED TOO MUCH category. The Princess and the Pea (also called The Real Princess) tells the story of an ultra diva.

Way back when I was a teacher librarian, I had great fun working with some students on a rap/chant about this fussy royalty. Recently, I made that poem into a video 3 1/2 minute video. I’m sharing the script here with you to use with your daughters and granddaughters, brownies, students, club members, etc. It’s a lot of fun to perform. Please send a picture if you use it.

The video: https://youtu.be/G2-hdRxq5sA

The script:

THE REAL PRINCESS

or

The Princess and the Pea

by Westmount School Primary Young Authors

Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

and Bonnie Ferrante Teacher-Librarian (B. Blake)

April, 1995.

Once upon a time a queen was truly sad.

Where was a real princess to marry her lad?

They searched in Asia, Africa and Japan,

The North Pole, the South Pole, they drove in a van.

They couldn’t find a wife for him anywhere.

They learned a real princess was quite rare.

A real princess. Rare as a jewel.

A real princess. Goes to private school.

 

One looked like a frog. One ate like a pig.

One had rotten teeth and a weird purple wig.

So they gave up searching. They both went home.

To their comfy castle, no more to roam.

Then the lightning flashed, and the thunder roared.

A knock came loudly as the raindrops poured.

It was a wet, ragged girl with knots in her hair.

“I’m a real princess. I was chased by a bear.”

A real princess. Rare as a jewel.

A real princess. Wow! So cool!

 

They invited her in, gave her dry clothes and food.

“I demand a fresh bed,” said the princess. How rude.

The queen piled mattresses, ten, fifteen, twenty.

Slid a pea underneath, and said, “That is plenty.”

The princess tossed and turned. She just couldn’t sleep.

She woke up in the morning and started to weep.

“I have bruises on my back, and I hate that bed.”

“You’re a real princess!” the joyful queen said.

A real princess. Rare as a jewel.

A real princess. One you can’t fool.

 

The princess and the prince were married in June.

The prince found out, she was snobby, by noon.

She complained about dinner. She complained about the ring.

She was never satisfied about a dog-gone thing.

So there’s a lesson to be learned in our story today.

To wed a real princess just doesn’t pay.

A real princess. Rare as a jewel.

A real princess. Throw her in the pool.

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

Click on the covers for more information about the books.

Another Cruel Invention: Personal Hygiene and Camping. Recycled Sundays.

tent-camping

Now that the weather is warmer, I see some of my neighbours cleaning out and preparing their campers. I’ve never had one, just a tent. I have fond memories of Sleeping Giant Park and, although it was enjoyable, one thing I disliked about tenting was the struggle for personal hygiene. Going for a shower was a challenge equivalent to hiking The Chimney.

In the evening, enough sand had been tracked in by campers to start a new beach in the comfort station. Little creatures had set up residence. But, it was drier than in the morning because the cleaners were very thorough in washing every tile, bench, shelf and hook. Unfortunately, they were not similarly thorough about drying. I couldn’t sit on the wet bench to dress or undress. There was no place to set my clothes. (By afternoon, other campers had dried off the seat and racks with their towels and clothes.) I carried everything in a plastic bag and dressed in the flamingo position.

I can’t keep up with technology. Only a sadistic individual could have invented the electric eyes or beams or whatever you call them. I think of them as the shower genies. Getting them to work right was as likely as getting a wish granted from a Budweiser bottle on the beach.

If you’ve never had the joy of showering in a comfort station which uses these, let me explain. There are no faucets in the shower stall. Instead, at about shoulder level, is a glass circle the size, appropriately, of a loonie. There are no instructions as to how to work this.

I turned on the water in the bathroom sinks. The slapped the top faucet ran for only five seconds. The electric eye took three or four tries to work but ran the water for a full twenty seconds. I rescued a few bewildered tourists standing in front of the electric eye, slapping the top of the faucet, with their mouths full of toothpaste. But, the shower was beyond my capabilities.

I waved my hand over the shower eye, slowly, quickly, up, down, back and forth. Nothing happened. With all the strategy of Napoleon, I plotted my approach. I tried waving it close to the wall. Far from the wall. Approaching from the left. From the right. I slapped it gently, firmly. I positioned my body as far from the beam as possible. After 67 varieties, the water gushed from the shower head. I leapt in, ignoring the slug making its way up the corner of the tiles. At that point, it would have taken a plague of leeches to budge me.

Just as I poured the shampoo on my hair, the water stopped. I searched the recesses of my camping dulled mind. What was the magic movement that triggered the water? I tried, again, and again. The cold air seeped under the door. My skin resembled the plastic bubble sheets used for packing fragile items. The shampoo solidified on my hair. I considered wrapping it in a towel and rinsing it out in the bathroom sink. The one with the slap the top faucet. Naw! It would probably be in use and then I’d be stuck with the one with the electric eye.

I slapped and waved a few more times, adding a chant. Suddenly the water came on. I shampooed and rinsed at a furious pace. I got the shower back on two more times, enabling me to wash off the layers of sunblock, insect repellent, dirt, insect repellent, campfire smoke, insect repellent, cooking grease, insect repellent, mosquito guts, insect repellent, calamine lotion, insect repellent, sweat, and insect repellent. I wondered if I was creating a new toxic blob in the harbour.

After drying and dressing, while balancing on one foot, I realized I had forgotten my shampoo in the shower stall. As I reached for it, the electric eye was triggered, the water shot out, drenching me. My suspicions were confirmed. The electric beam only worked on the first try when I was fully dressed.

Now that I am older, and a little less sturdy, I restrict my experiences at provincial parks to only day visits. I have always enjoyed and have been deeply grateful for the luxury of a hot shower. So much more so at the end of a day at the beach, in my own bathroom.

Published Sunday, March 30, 2010 in the Chronicle-Journal/Times-News.

Click on the image for more information about the camping product.

 

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages