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We awoke late on Saturday morning … after 10 AM! Wow! We must have needed a rest. One by one we stumbled out of the tent and made our way to the rest rooms. Once we were all back to the camp site, I asked if anyone wanted a peanut butter and banana bagel and everyone grunted a general “yes”. So, I smeared peanut butter on the mini wheat bagels and sliced banana over that and … ta da! Breakfast! Have I mentioned I’m not much of a cook??
After breakfast, the sun started to warm us up and we decided to pull our bedroll mats out under the shade trees to read and relax. Frankenbutt and the Beast both found Harry Potter books to read in the camp book exchange; I caught up on world news via my Blackberry. I also sent out emails to the tracks we are hoping to visit and I’m wondering if my B-berry is malfunctioning … not one response yet from the ABA tracks or Louisville. Hmm.
Around lunch time, the Beast announced that she’d like to get an ice cream cone. My first instinct was to say no; don’t ruin your lunch by eating dessert first. Then, I thought about it and said, “sure”. She’s such a good kid and has ridden long hours on this trip. She deserves a treat and what’s the big deal any way? Eating dessert first never ruined my appetite. She skipped off to the office with dollar in hand and returned with a chocolate custard cone and a smile.
We read a while longer and then the Beast said she was going to check if there were canoes for rent; she was getting bored. She went to see Sally in the office and returned with an inner tube instead. Sally said a camper had left it behind saying it didn’t hold air. Sally re-inflated it and it seemed to work fine so the Beast took the tube and got into the canal. She found a long branch and used that to push off from the side. Frankenbutt and I enjoyed watching her figure out how to maneuver it from one side of the canal to the other. She stayed on the water quite a while and then returned to the dock area where she played in the mud. I love that she still loves kid stuff and getting dirty.
Eventually, I made some tuna fish on bagels. I had picked up enough mayo packets at Walmart’s deli counter so that we didn’t need to buy and refrigerate a jar of mayo. It’s a bit of tedious work opening and squishing 10 packets of mayo into a family pack of tuna, but it works well for camping on the go. And, it was pretty yummy! I think tuna fish is a comfort food for many of us.
Following lunch, we lounged again and it was quite peaceful along the canal with the big shade trees. Frankenbutt suggested that we go up to the office and pay for another night of camping so that we can stay until Monday and get 2 full days off the bikes. I liked the idea and we wandered up to find Sally and her husband, Gene, lounging on the patio outside of the office. They invited us to sit in the horseshoe of chairs on the patio and I made a beeline for the Adirondack style of chair. Ahhhh, it was so nice to sit down with back support! We actually go days, sometimes weeks, without sitting in a real chair because campground and BMX tracks typically have picnic tables or bleachers.
I was expressing my love of the back supported chair to Sally when she told us to please take two of the folded camp chairs, leaning against the building, back to our site to use. I was so glad she offered them … they’ll really add to our relaxation time off the bikes. This little campground is turning out to be one of my favorites! She reminded us that there would be Bingo @ 7:30pm this evening and I told her we’d be there.
Around 7:15, we put Coco on her leash, put away our electronics and books and started heading up the hill towards the pavilion where the Bingo was to be held. Sally intercepted us and gave us a ride up on her golf cart. Nice! We each bought a card for $1 and picked up our Bingo tokens and found a seat at the tables. Many of the seasonal campers knew one another and joked about prior Bingo games, etc. and it was warm and relaxing to hang out with them.
I had turned my phone to vibrate only so that it wouldn’t disturb anyone while I waited to hear back from my older daughter, the Editor. During the 2nd game, I was surprised to hear the Beast yell “Bingo!” She had a straight line on her card and won the pot for that game, which was $5! She was smiling ear to ear! I was happy she won. I think it made the evening that much more fun for her.
A few games later, my cell phone vibrated and I checked it. It was my daughter and while I read her text, I noticed that there were also a few updates on Facebook. While the Bingo caller checked the winner’s card, I checked the latest FB messages. I found myself near tears as I read Amanda Burdin’s post saying that her mom, Sue, passed away this evening after coping with Cancer since this past November. Sue was one of the first BMX moms I met once we started travelling to national races with the Beast. She was a wonderful mom who drove her son, David, and daughter, Amanda, all around the country on her own. She laughed at all of her son’s crazy antics and was ever supportive of her daughter’s endeavors. She had a great laugh and a wry smile that made you think she had a “Mona Lisa” kind of secret. She was only 54 years old and leaves behind her husband and 2 children who are only in their early 20’s.
I had the pleasure of hanging out with her when the Editor raced her daughter, Amanda, and we stayed in touch via email updates about the kids and funny email forwards in the last few years. She never mentioned her illness and I only found out about it when I saw a pic of her and her daughter on Facebook. I asked Amanda about her mom and she told me that her mom discovered a lump on her head, went to the dr. and found out that she had a brain tumor that had cracked through her skull. Upon further tests, they found she had tumors in her chest and other places as well. She endured at least two rounds of debilitating chemotherapy, which only mildly reduced the tumors. By the time I learned this, Sue was not really able to take phone calls and had been prescribed morphine. She was a fabulous woman and neither she nor her family deserved this awful ending to her life. I will miss her.
I spent the rest of the evening in a sad fog. I cannot imagine how overwhelmed and sad her children, husband and extended family must be. I hope I find a fitting way to be of help to them.