In the storm, Part One

I’m feeling old tonight, like telling a rambling story instead of writing something short and to the point! Blame it on me being around elderly folks a majority of my work week. Plus it’s August, the time of year when the camp season is winding down… time to reflect! I have been spending at least part of my summers at Camp Machasay since 2003, so that rhythm is very much ingrained.

Until this year, we’ve never had too bad of a storm at camp when campers were there. I can remember plenty of times watching ugly clouds approach within a few miles, and then go around us. Once we even had storm troopers (wow I must be more tired than I thought) storm chasers zoom by. But thankfully, when the kiddos are there, we tend to just get rain, nothing worse.

In the early years of camp, we’d spend plenty of time every summer cleaning out the crypt storm cellar, located in the basement of the main farmhouse/fellowship hall. Some strange stuff may have happened in that dark, echoey box… including me playing my violin while people danced around wearing masks. Why, I can’t recall. Those were the crazy days!

One night a group of us staff girls were watching a movie in the barn loft… which is the best way ever to watch a movie:

  1.  Carry mattresses from the bunkhouse up to the barn loft OR if you are feeling lazy (and we usually were), get the golf cart and make someone help you stack mattresses on top of it and drive them over.
  2. In the kitchen, prepare some camp food staples like chili cheese fritos (emphasis on the cheese), cheese and crackers, root beer floats, and whatever other leftovers look good. Carefully hold the food and ride in the golf cart over to the barn. We love our trusty golf cart and use it whenever possible.
  3. Then, pick out a good movie from the camper.. usually a “chickadee flick” which as we knew from her facebook profile was Val’s favorite kind.
  4. Try to remember how to hook up the projector and dvd player and work the sound system…….
  5. Eat and relax and watch the movie!!!
  6. Oh, that’s so nice… the gentle sound of rain on the metal roof, high above…
  7. Actually, that storm looks pretty bad, and we’re getting calls from people who are looking at the radar… we’d better head to the storm cellar.
Which resulted in the combination of 5 or 6 girls, 2 dogs, and who knows how many spiders in the clammy cement cellar, oh and did I mention one of those girls is a screamer and is scared of storms, the dark, enclosed spaces, spiders, anything that maybe looks like a spider, and dogs??? That could be why we cut the shelter time short and headed back for the barn loft as soon as the rain let up a little…
..storm’s over, right? Right!
… hopping across in flip flops, trying to avoid puddles in the dark… starting up the barn deck stairs… and WOW, yep that was the closest I’ve ever been to a lightning strike! It hit out in the pasture beyond the barn, I felt and heard and smelled it, amazing!
Finish the movie, finish the night… zoom to the camper in the damp golf cart.. dash through more puddles to the bathroom, or if you are AB, just brush your teeth with water from a cup in the camper, then to bed.. a quiet camper, dark empty camp, lone yard light plus one noisy bug zapper, surrounded on all sides by fields soaking in the rain. [Never complain about moisture.]
The storms may come and go.
I know the greatness of the Lord—
      that our Lord is greater than any other god.
 The Lord does whatever pleases him
      throughout all heaven and earth,
      and on the seas and in their depths.
He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth.
      He sends the lightning with the rain
      and releases the wind from his storehouses.. [Ps. 135:5-7]

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