My sweet, darling parents stopped by this evening. They are on their way to California for the memorial service of a dear friend. When they came in the house, my mom was wearing a "Camp Natoma" sweatshirt. Within 5 minutes, she had pulled a matching sweatshirt out of a bag for me!
Camp Natoma is the summer camp for Camp Fire Girls that my mom and her sister went to for years. It's in the foothills of central California. I also went to Camp Natoma for a week or more every summer from the time I was 6 years old until I was 14. Sometimes I still dream that I am there at Camp Natoma. It holds a lot of wonderful memories for me.
The sweatshirt I am wearing came from my mom's sister, my Aunt Mary Anne. She passed away last spring, and this month my cousin sent a few of her mementos to family members. My new Camp Natoma sweatshirt will not only remind me of my childhood summer camp experiences, but of my sweet aunt, who was kind to me my whole life.
My parents have special memories of Camp Natoma, because my mom was a summer camp counselor there the year that my dad decided he simply could not live without her for another minute. While my mother--the young, sweet Nancy Holman--was at camp, my dad went to her parents' home and asked if he could marry their daughter. My dad, my grandparents, and my uncle all drove up to Camp Natoma that very evening. Poor mom! She had no idea they were coming, and when they all showed up, she thought she was in big trouble! Haha! She didn't know what to do when her sweetheart proposed. She loved him very much, but she also loved being up at Camp Natoma!
They were married the next week. They were young and poor. My dad was still in college, so they lived in a small trailer parked in my grandparents' back yard, and then in student housing. Mom finished high school, and my brother and I were born a few years later, after my dad was drafted into the army during the Korean War.
Mom said we should have another photo, with Dad in the middle, because he was "The Disruptor" of Camp Natoma. That made us laugh. It was so wonderful to have a couple of hours with them this evening!