Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Creation 08

I'm home alone. Clint is working late. Max is at a friend's house and Drew is with his cousin. No one to cook supper for. No one to drive anywhere.
Is this what being old feels like?
A little bit lonely?
It's raining, meaning it's perfect indoor weather.
Might as well blog. Can't find my glasses (all 14 pairs) so reading is not an option. And I haven't a clue how to turn on my new 42 inch plasma screen TV, so here I am. In my living room, on my favorite chair, reliving the fun that is Creation.
This year was bound to be different. Our reserved "group" site last year had 101 bodies on it, with 50 of those bodies belonging to young men between the ages of 13 and 23. This year? Only 32 of us camped together. And most of us were (and still are) females. So that impacted our Creation experience. And so did this little guy:

Meet Johnny.
At 9 months of age, he was our youngest rocker.
Some of us are grandmas. (Shudder)
And have grandsons.
This is Shelly's grandson, and Oh My Goodness did he ever set the bar high as far as babies-at-Creationfest are concerned. That child did not cry. Or act strange amongst a sea of strangers. Or get fussy when his first tooth broke through.
He was awesome. A complete joy. So much fun to hold and snuggle and hug and feed and photograph. When we (those of us who camped together) think back on Creation experiences, this will be remembered as The Year We Had a Baby Along. And It Was Good.
Creation is a conglomeration of three separate environments; the campsite, the river and the festival. Each location is unique and brings out different aspects of 'community'.
Take the campsite, for example.
In the background you see my Barbie Camper. Attached to it is a creatively quilted mesh-like tarp that is attached to my motorhome, Glen's camper and Marj's trailer.

The guys worked together tying that puppy to each of our sleeping units with a combination of nautical knots, macrame rope and sheer ingenuity. It was like an intricate coreographed dance move, watching those guys hoist that thing. It brought out the caveman in them... providing shelter for the women and children.

In fact, my favorite part about camping together like this, and we were SO camping together, closely together, was watching the men be men. When Rick's camper started tipping over because of a mishap involving Sandra and the jack, those guys ran to help. And on our last night, when it was time to start taking down our homestead? Those guys were all over helping the Stelts get their camper back onto the truck. It was a beautiful thing.

No really, it was.

I think that's what 'community' should look like. Those Amish may be on to something.

Drew asked Sandra if she would wash his face for him. She gladly gave him a mini-facial.
Know what else was cool? All of the guys cooked. Not sure if Drew noticed that, but somewhere his subconscience must've noticed and that's a good thing. I loved that there was an abundance of good role models around for him to observe. Not that he did. But maybe someday, when he's a dad and ends up at Creation, he'll instinctively know that providing shelter and preparing food are things a man does for those he loves.
Our space was tight, but that was OK. We did alot of visiting.And we all know how I love me some good conversations.
Drew, Mark and Derrick spent a whole lotta time in the back of this pick up truck. (Insert male grunting noise here.)

Brian in his oh-so-very-not-cool glasses not caring at all.
Drew, Markie and I left Langley shortly after 7 pm and met our travelling buddies at the Burger King in Blaine. We stopped a few times after that for coffee, pee breaks, help-I'm-tired breaks and arrived at the Gorge at 1 am. (Can I say here that I got all teary-eyed driving in that convoy? Rick led the way, with Al behind him. I was third and Brian had my back. We all had walkie talkies and kept each other informed as to our break needs. I can't say why exactly I felt so secure and safe and loved and cared for and accepted but I just did. It was a good feeling. I felt like I belonged. These people are gifts from God to me and I'm so thankful they're in my life.) We waited to be 'processed' and ended up in our campsite at 2:00 or so.
After much discussion, a layout was decided upon and parking, levelling, setting up, and disconnecting ensued. By 3:30 just as most everyone went to catch a few hours sleep, Glen and Monica pulled in. They're newbies, so I helped them see the vision we had for our group site...
After they had settled into their spot, I climbed into my newly made up bed, complete with cotton sheets, 4 downfilled pillows and my down comforter. Drew, Mark, Garrett and Derrick decided to stay up all night and visit right (RIGHT) beside my open window. I was in the process of drifting off when Shelly, Sue and Marj pulled in with their van, pick up, and trailer at 5 am.
I got up to say hi (Sue's a newbie, and I wanted to make her feel welcome). Glen then did the most amazing job of manouvering their trailer using jack knife moves, into the tight spot behind my motorhome. It was a work of art. I went back to bed and fell asleep knowing that those travelling through the night were safe and settled.
Drew refused to sleep. He was not tired.
However, later that afternoon, when I went into the motorhome to prepare supper, this is what greeted me:
The second Creation environment that I love is the Vantage State Park on the Columbia River. Getting there is too much fun. Sandra drove us in Rick's pick up which has a bitchin' sound system. The sub woofer was so big he had to raise his back seat to accomodate it. Drew and Markie's bums vibrated from the booming coming out from under them.

No air conditioning, so we drove with the windows open, our hair whipping our faces, and Lincoln Park blaring through the speakers. I felt like I was 18. A fat and wrinkled 18 year old, but still.
And at the river?

We suntanned. Ate. Played with Johnny. Talked. Fell asleep. Posed for pictures. Floated. Swam. Splashed. Smiled. And talked some more.

Michelle and her little boy.


Left to Right: Mark, Garrett, Drew, Derrick, Luke.
Drew, flipping. Over and over and over.
Our spot at the park:

Photo shoot with breathtakingly beautiful girls. Fun.

Emo Drew.

And this? This was the best part. Here we are, inflating our inflatables. On my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days was "float on an air mattress on a river". My 1001 days are up in Feb 2009, so if I don't float this summer, I'm likely not going to be able to check that item off. It was very important to Sandra that I complete this task, so she took it upon herself to make sure the experience not only happened, but that I would enjoy it.
My floaty was a 15 year old single-wide air mattress.
She took it from me and gave me her princess bed with it's inflated head rest, foot bath area and cup holder. Then she tied me to the bouy and attached herself to me so that I wouldn't float away or even worry about floating away. "Why are you taking such good care of me?" I asked. "You're fulfilling my need for a grandchild" she replied.
In the end, Sue and Marj tied themselves up to us as well, and we all fell asleep on the water, gently rolling with the waves, baking in the sun, feeling totally at peace.

The "Summer Friends" ... Drew and Markie's families have cabins at Cultus and Sophie is Mark's cousin.
The boys took a turn looking after Johnny:
Cross family lovin. Johnny with his aunt and grandma:
Lookit these boys being all touchy feely: Johnny massaging Drew's head. Derrick massaging Drew's back, Mark rubbing Johnny's back.

And the third Creation enviroment?
The festival site, where the concerts take place.
I LOVE how we all sit together. (Well, most of us. Drew and Derrick only graced us with their presence for an hour on the last night. Which was sad for me. I am SO used to there being dozens of teen boys sitting on the blankets right in front of us.) There's something about worshipping, dancing, singing, listening, praying, crying together that makes my soul burst with joy.

It was a great Creationfest. Absolutely wonderful from beginning to end.
Three things I'm thankful for?
1. Friends who shared the fun with me.
2. Friends who brought along their families and shared them with me.
3. Friends.


Karyn said...

you just said...bitchin...

Tricia said...

You're back! You're back! And yes, when you are left alone in the house with no kids, it gets lonely and boring.