Friday, March 16, 2018

It was a bad day...

We all have them. Bad days. Times when things don't go right. And then we have even worst days. Yesterday was that day for me.  (Sorry if I go off of the normal camp script...sometimes I talk about personal stuff)

The last few month have been kind of rough. I could talk about my mom being in the hospital. She is out now, and my sisters and I are working so hard to make sure she is comfortable and cared for. She is getting better, but it's a long road.

But we all are getting older. (my family and I) And getting older is not all it's cracked up to be. As Mr. Bossard told me last week..." Well, your at that age when you go to more funerals than weddings" . Seeing your family members getting older isn't easy.

Then of course I could talk about my car. When I traveled the 3 1/2 hours (one way) to see my mom in the hospital, my car decided to remind me that it had over 185K miles on it, and it was on it's last legs. On the way home from my last visit with my mom, the transmission decided that it needed a union coffee break at the intersection, of course right in front of a State Trooper. ( the trooper was cool about it...he just waved me on as I limped along with my 4-ways on). Fortunately through sheer luck and tenacity I was able to limp it to the service station, and finally get it back home. I know that it is now parked forever.

Did I mention that just two weeks ago the brakes on the truck blew out. I'm glad we had that one day that was in the 50's, because I was able to crawl under and replaced the line. What I saw while I was under there? Well, it wasn't pretty. But that truck is what we use to call  a "winter beater" or a "farm truck". I never expected it to be anything else than a truck to move stuff around camp and to get lumber from Stevenson's Lumber, which is less than a mile from camp.  It isn't what you would call reliable transportation.

I could talk about the stresses of trying to get a small camp off the ground. There are bills to pay, the lease to worry about, staff to hire and campers to get, and that is a major undertaking. And if I could just get people to understand that I am better at working with young people rather than I am at writing with good grammar, well that would help. But it all is a lot of stuff...

But I have become accustom to juggling lots of stuff. That's what camp directors do. We juggle and wade through the chaos...never letting it show that it bothers us.Because we can. Because we have to. Because we love what we do, and what we do is important to the children that we work with.

And then...

Last week my oldest dog Shadow, who has been ill and dealing with getting old, stopped eating. She had a injury on one of her back feet early January that didn't seem to want to heal. I did everything, and finally it seemed to get better, Then, and I don't know  how, she got a sore on the other back foot, that also did not want to heal. It made it hard for her to walk. Then both feet started hurting her.  I started to have to carry her in and out of the house

She had been having issues before this, but it was compounded by the injuries. Her eyes were having issues, and I could tell she was having a hard time seeing. Her health was declining,and she slept most of the time. I was in constant contact with a friend of mine who is a vet, and we both knew that it was close to her time.

Shadow and I have been together since the fall of 2005. My older dog Samantha needed a friend, and we found Shadow at a rescue shelter. I will go more into Shadow's story in another blog, but needless to say she was an awesome camp dog.

puppy shadow- fall of 2005
Yesterday, my companion, my friend, my dog passed away. I was here for her in her final moments. And I hope I helped her to make that transition. I don't know.

I know that it was her time. And I know that she wasn't well. A friend tried to console me by saying "She is in a better place..."

Well, I disagree. There is no better place than sitting in the sun in the summer at camp, under the spruce tree while a camper is petting you and a bunch of kids are laughing and playing . This was the best place for her.

Sorry, I have tears in my eyes as I type this. She was there for me in the best of time, and the hard times. She loved being outside at camp, and hanging out on the porch.

I miss her already.

But I have to think about my Mom, the girls (Gwen and Gabby), camp, my car and all the other stuff. And I have to keep juggling. 

So, yes. It was a bad day.... Tomorrow may may get better, but for now I need a moment from juggling...


  1. Sorry to hear this Jim. I've lost a few canine friends. Our dogs remind us of who we really want to be like. They are so often our better angels.

  2. My dear friend Jim, that’s A LOT of juggling you’ve had to do. My heart goes out to you, and my prayers go with you tonight and in the days to come. I feel SO far away from you in distance, but close in friendship. Know that I treasure our friendship and will keep you in my prayers.

  3. My dear brother Jim and my friend, you in my thoughts and prayers. You are loved so much, you make a difference. There are no words to tell you how I feel in my heart. I'm so proud of all you do and who you are. Your in my prayers. xoxoxox

  4. I lost a dear cat of 14 years 3 years ago and we had to make the tough decision. She had an eye infection that would not go away, due to another underlying illness, FIV. So I know it can be bad, try to look on the bright side, when the time is right you can make new friends (now I have 2 new cats !! One is a giant Maine Coon!). See you this summer with my daughter- a 3rd generation camper/waterfront staffer, Yvonne B. 1984-1987