Flies, Camp and August

First the flies. We have had a lot of them. They are all over the kitchen. The mixture of heat and organic refuse leads to a frequently stinky garbage bin, which we constantly clean. The flies hang on the wall. At least the ones who are winding down to their last breath. And something new: maggots on the kitchen floor. But with the internet comes the force of accessible knowledge. A few google searches and walah, an answer to how to get rid of them. The solution: boric acid. I have not used boric acid since my days of living in a cockroach infested apartment in Astoria, Queens, which was located over a grocery store. With the calculated spreading of the powder in the various corners of the kitchen, my problem was solved in a few days. I am hoping that the flies will go the same way.

With the frequent juicing, and the slanting our diet away from processed food, this is the downside of a more organic diet. Hopefully, we can put a compost bin in the kitchen come Fall and reduce the poundage of our trash. It is morning now and I have just purveyed the kitchen and see all the flies are gone. It seems that our tactic has worked.

So it is off to camp this morning. There is no meditation on this for me. Only my son could tell you the extreme excitement he feels at being away from us for a week. In leading up to this day, the wish to go to camp began to well up in me as well. I asked Noah if I could go with him in some capacity. Maybe I could apply as a councilor. He said NO. That this was a week for him and his friends to be able to have fun without parents around. Oh the pain of independance.

This has been a tough summer. Debt ceilings and credit rating downgrades. Heat waves and clients going into holding patterns with jobs. Flies in the kitchen, undisciplined car horns and the constant state of sweat in my armpits. It is a miracle I can get myself to the keyboard and write something.

Also, competition for use of the computer has been intense. Noah has gotten addicted to MindCraft. I think a few weeks away will do him good. I will miss him, but he needs this experience. In my childhood, I never went to camp. Neither sleep away or day camp. In the baby boom years, there were always kids around during summer. We played freeze tag into the late hours on the street where I grew up in Bayside, Queens. Our parents would be outside on lawn chairs. No one stayed in to watch TV in air conditioned rooms. People socialized. We communed. There would be at least 15 children of all ages out on the street and they were all included in the game which was an evolved version of Hide-n-seek. Running through pitch dark backyards or hiding in trees or behind bushes. Laying on front lawns to stare at the stars ( we could still see them then.) Ice cream trucks would appear in the early evening and children would scatter to con change out of their parents for an unhealthy treat. It was hot and muggy, but we made do. Air conditioning was reserved for those really bad nights. Otherwise, we stayed outdoors.

A photo from last year Camp Wa Wa Segowa

Camp for me was at the gymnasium of the local Public school. The city would allocate the gyms as activity centers. These were overseen by teachers who were getting overtime pay for working in the summer. The activities included organized chess tournaments, billiards, ping pong and best of all, War Ball (basically Dodge ball with a few variations.) It was during these summers that I became acquainted with the kids who did not attend the same school as I. Boys from the local Catholic school, St Roberts, would also mingle here. And sometimes it was a clash. Other times we got along famously. But I will say it was the first time I encountered anti-semitic sentiment. But other than the occasional “Christ killer” accusation, it was fun. I would go back almost every day. We had an open offer to use the swimming pool at Bayside High School. I would ride my bike over there every Thursday for a 2 hour swim. At the terms’ end, there would be a Track and Field tournament with all the schools in the borough. This was when I first began to be interested in girls. These were my “Wonder Years.”

For my son, there are less outdoor options. He has one friend on the street whom he can freely cross over to visit on a whim. Everyone else keeps their children sequestered away in controlled activity. We see some local neighbors boys wave to him with a look of yearning for interaction. But modern life has created an atmosphere where parents seek to control every aspect of their children’s lives. No longer is spontaneous play an option.

He has seen his friends from school over the summer, but they all live at commuter distance, so getting together is not all that convenient. So his opportunity to get away is much anticipated. Finally a week in the country. We have not been able to afford a get away this summer. Last summer there were non stop vacation opportunities. This year is a little different.

After that, he is off to Atlanta, and we will be away for a week ourselves. I have one week here without a child and then the blog will go quiet for a few weeks. But not just yet. With some cooler breezes coming in the window, I might just have a few contemplations to share. Until then.

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