Party Time at Camp Dorothy

family, birthday, Camp Dorothy, grandmaHey-ho, Camp Dorothy fans. This is your friendly camp activities director here with the promised update about the camp namesake’s 87th birthday party. First off, the camp activities director wants to give credit where credit is due. So readers should know that the birthday bash was not the brainchild of the camp activities director. Rather, the event was planned and executed to perfection by the camp director’s older sister.

Speaking of older sisters, the above photo catches older sister Dorothy and her younger sister Donna in a rare display of affection. As in they are actually touching. Only a side hug, to be sure, but still a big deal because we are not a family to engage willy-nilly in any sort of touchy-feelyness.

So the photo is quite a coup. Though the photographer had plenty of time to prepare for taking the picture. Because the sisters, one with her walker and the other on the arm of her nephew, evoked memories of Tim Conway’ Little Old Man routine as they moved into side hug range.

The camp director digresses. Back to the party, held on Labor Day Sunday, which was a rousing success. 30 people, including the camp’s namesake, four generations of family, and several friends, were in attendance. The birthday girl was the oldest party goer at age 87. The youngest was her great-grandson 5 months of age. She enjoyed an afternoon filled with conversation and, as far as the camp director could see, never stopped smiling.

Once the party was over much of the crowd–including Camp Dorothy’s namesake–went to her son and daughter-in-law’s house for supper. The birthday girl made a beeline for her favorite chair at their house, sat down, and made full use of her “queen for the day” status, expecting her children and grandchildren to wait on her hand and foot. Though we drew the line at cutting her toenails.

Queen Dorothy was worn out when her daughters took her to Vintage Hills and tucked her in bed for the night. The next morning she was smiling and ready to go when her oldest daughter picked her up for breakfast at her son and daughter-in-law’s house. She stayed through lunch, playing countless games of Uno and several rousing rounds of Catch Phrase.

Finally, smiling and sleepy, she called it a day. The camp director visited her a couple days later and found her still smiling. Then the camp director pulled out a package of thank you cards and announced it was time to get to work. Another Camp Dorothy update will be forthcoming when the cards are done, and she starts smiling again. Don’t hold your breathe. It could be a while.

Three Thoughts for Thursday


  1. Repotting and bringing in geraniums for winter led to thoughts of holidays at Grandma’s house, her flowers on every windowsill and plant stand, and rooms crowded with aunts, uncles, and cousins. Good times. Good memories.
  2. After posting this laundry “receipt” last week, I’ve had a strange urge to kiss our washing machine whenever I throw a load in the wash.
  3. Which one do you think is the bigger media frenzy? The ebola panic or the pumpkin spice craze?

Leave your choice in the comment box.

Photo Credit

Three Food Number Thoughts for Thursday

For the past few weeks, I’ve been cooking for family events. The amount of food prepared and consumed led to these three thoughts for Thursday:

  1. At our Labor Day reunion, 17 people ate 3 watermelons, 2 quarts of salsa, and 2 bags of chips in 7 hours. (And those were just the side dishes.) I keep forgetting how much a gathering of Hesses can eat when 8 family members are in their twenties.
  2. However, 1 1/2 bags of marshmallows, 2 boxes of graham crackers, and 12 chocolate bars are more than enough for 2 nights of s’mores around the campfire.
  3. In the past three weeks, I’ve prepared and frozen 11 meals for the parents-to-be. Which makes me wonder if the mother-to-be nesting tendency extends to grandmothers-to-be, also. Have any grandparents out there experienced the same phenomenon? What kind of nesting did you do?


Three My-Favorite-Season-Is-Spring Thoughts for Thursday

For the past week, the weather has been perfect along our gravel road. The daisies, phlox, and peonies are blooming, the trees are in full leaf, and the grass in the ditches is a rich, luxurious green. Maybe that’s why these three thoughts for Thursday are mostly about my favorite season – spring.

  1. Mom had her springtime doctor’s appointment in Des Moines the same day Mitt Romney spoke a few blocks away. What a relief to not see the fella and tell him in person that I can’t be his running mate in the fall. I’m not sure he would understand that being a first time grandma leaves no time for politics.
  2. Apparently, there’s a blue jay convention in our town this week. They are everywhere. Talk about noisy, uncouth, overbearing tourists!
  3. My teacher friends are trying to motivate kids to learn their multiplication facts, study the three branches of government, and conjugate Spanish verbs on this beautiful spring day. The thought makes me want to bake cookies for them.

Who would you bake cookies for on this fine spring day? Leave a comment.