Finally a decent night sleep. After breakfast I sneak off to see my friend BB again. We are both watercolorist, although admittedly she is better than me.She known as "The queen of washes" and trust me, this is a watercolor technique few master. We noodle around with her paints and chat. Once again I'm struck by the relaxed atmosphere and the silence. Two hundred people make a lot of noise.
The weather turned cool and cloudy and if I had been a camper anticipating the retreat I would probably be pissed at the change. But I'm not so I'm not. The campers enjoy a full day of swimming canoeing, making tie dye t-shirts etc. Never a dull moment. After dark there is an open air concert at the chapel pavilion. I don't bother to walk down to it because I can hear it from my tent while I read a book. My feet are ssore and I'm dead tired from the long and intense dinner detail. I can't imagine people doing that sort of work full time.
Later I hike down to the lake one last time to hang out with the gang of volunteers. No moon tonight with the overcast sky but the mellow company makes up for it.
The campers gather in a big circle on the lawn near the lodge and are invited to say what they liked most about camp. They all loved the atmosphere, the friendships and most of all the chance to just be who they are without judgement or staring from "normal " people. I never realized there was so much judging from society but then I don't pay attention. One of the perks of Asperger's -sort of- is being oblivious to others. The best thing for me was sleeping and I mean it. The week was long, hard working but rewarding. I not used to spending a lot of time with large groups of people- even autistic ones so I'm ready to go home.
Camp is over and I spend considerable time packing instead of canoeing as I planned. I should have gone canoeing. It takes forever to clean up the kitchen, disassemble the camp, pack up the supplies and stow our gear in the cars. By late afternoon I'm exhausted and ready to snap. Just as the last of the campers leave, it begins to rain. I'm told this frequently happens; rain starts after camp or stops before it. Magic timing, man.
At last the organizers and crew head for Florence for debriefing and a well deserved dinner made by someone else. I enjoy the shrimp ceviche.
Eugene is warm and dry when I get home around sunset. I'm just happy to be home and sleep in my own bed.
Will I come back next year I'm asked. God only knows and she'll tell me, I'm sure.