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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Last Day in Stroudsburg

Day 19, Saturday, June 27

Last night the campground was really lively. There's a large group of families here from India, all having such a wonderful time camping together. I found out that they're software engineers who have been brought to the a states by various banks and large corporations. They've been here long enough that they speak English quite well, though heavily accented. I've had several conversations with some of them. 

Their group camping expedition reminded me of the days when we did the same thing. When we lived in Boulder City, Nevada, and our kids were in the 5-15 age group, we belonged to a church that had a lot of young families. One of the dads was very enthusiastic, and a born organizer. Every few months he'd find a wonderful place to camp and would reserve 15-20 campsites. We would round up all the young families we could and would spend the weekend camping together. Each family was in charge of their own breakfasts and lunches, but we all pooled our food resources for dinner each night. I don't know who had the most fun...the kids or the adults. Camping can be a lot of work, but when we went as a group like that, it all seemed so much easier. In the afternoons, there were always adults who volunteered to lead special interest groups for the, hiking, swimming, crafts, etc., and that allowed the parents with infants and very young children to stay in their tents or trailers for afternoon naps. And in a group,that size, if someone forgot some essential piece of camping gear, another family was sure to have an extra. What great memories that made for all of us!

Curt and I started the day this morning with our gourmet breakfasts. For Curt, an egg and his pork fried rice from yesterday's lunch, and for me, a banana and blueberry omelet. Both taste much better than they sound, especially with the appetite that comes from living outdoors!

I don't think I've mentioned that I have an automatic dishwasher in our camping kit. It's the top-of-the-line model. It starts its cycle the moment the meal is gathers the plates, conveys them into the tent where the sink is, heats the water, washes, dries and even puts the dishes away. There aren't many models like this, and I'm so thankful I've got one!

Here it is in action:

Cycle completed!

Once the dishwasher was finished, Curt and I headed out in the country to visit his friend from childhood, Bob Stofflet and his wife Shirley. We spent a couple of hours reminiscing about life and people they knew 60 years ago... What fun!

Then back into Stroudsburg where we located the house Curt's grandmother used to live in. it was right next door to the fire station, and Curt remembers that on Friday nights the firemen would give all the neighborhood kids rides on the hook and ladder truck. That probably doesn't happen too often nowadays!
When Curt visited his grandmother as a child, he slept in that upstairs bedroom right next to the firehouse. The alarm was on the wall right outside his window. When it went off at night, 20 feet from his head, it scared the poor little guy so much that he wet the bed! (Don't tell him I told you that!)

Lunch at an outdoor cafe, then back to the campground for another swim and shower. 
At the pool Curt and I both got involved in long, interesting conversations. I visited with a woman about my age who is originally from India. She and her family are devout Hare Krishna followers. We both shared why we believed as we did... And neither of us converted the other! I must say, I'm so thankful for the freedom we enjoy in Jesus Christ, rather than the strict vows they have to keep. She said the total adherence to vegetarianism is difficult, but the hardest rule to keep is the 3 hours a day, every day, that she has to spend chanting. They have a type of rosary of 24 beads. With each bead they need to chant, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Then they can push that bead aside and move on to the next. They have to chant the entire   set of 24 beads 16 times each day. Whew! Makes me hoarse just thinking about it! 

Curt had a long visit with a Russian physician...and they covered the ground from parenting to traveling to politics, to GPS's (the physician couldn't fathom why Curt refuses to use one!) Curt would much rather be temporarily misplaced and have to use his map skills, observational skills, and sense of direction than have a canned voice tell him where to go...and his new friend just couldn't imagine it!

Tonight is the last night we'll be camping for about 2 weeks. Tomorrow we'll drive to Massachusetts to stay with Curt's eldest brother, Ross, and his wife, Lorna. We'll be there about a week, and then on to Lubec, Maine, where I'll attend a week-long mandolin camp at SummerKeys. From that point on, we have absolutely no agenda. So what we do and where we go will be just as much a surprise to us as it will be to you!

See you a couple of. States away, northeast of here!
Karen and Curt

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