Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This is how I know it's summer.

This year, like every year since 1992, I have attended an Ultimate Frisbee tournament that coincides with a small town festival in a farming community here in Ohio.  (We did miss a year when we lived in Kansas, but only one year, even though we lived in KS for three years.  Yes, that means we drove to OH to go to this tournament!)  This may not sound like anything unusual.  Frisbees flying, points being calculated and tracked, teams being placed into A,B and C brackets based on wins vs. losses, carnival rides to ride, fried and fatty carnival food to consume.  Oh, and of course, some good times at playing Bingo in the bingo tent.  This is how I know we have officially hit summer.
The unusual part is that we camp in the city park.  All 1500+ Ultimate players from all over the country pitch tents and hunker down for the weekend with all the camping needs, including coolers and lots of alcohol. I am not an outdoorsman, unless it involves a beach or pool and some adult beverages.  I don't like traditional camping.  However, this past weekend is truly one of my favorite weekends of the year.  Probably because we are in a city park, with showers, toilets and a swimming pool within a stone's throw.  So you see, it's not really camping.  It's just us, sleeping in a tent.  I love sleeping in a tent.  I love that every year, in the middle of the night, it rains on our tent.  I love waking up at 3:00 in the morning, before or after the rain, hearing a bunch of drunks playing guitars, singing songs, throwing frisbees.  I love, that after a gzillion years of going to this tournament with most of the same people, our team adults are now out numbered.  There are officially more kids in our camping area than adults.  All three of our kids go along with the majority of everyone else's.  It's so fun and the kids get to roam the park freely on their bikes, scooters, pogo sticks and even the golf cart that one team member brought, while the adults are playing Ultimate, drinking beer or in my case, sitting in the shade reading a book.

I can't overlook the Cool Hand Luke hard boiled egg eating contest.  Sous Chef was one of the counters.  I can't even go watch.  Between seeing several guys literally choke down boiled eggs while trying not to puke after about the first ten, being in a park shelter that adds about 100 degrees to the already 85 degree hot/humid weather, and the smell of all those nasty boiled eggs, I can't be there because I start my own version of wretching and heaving and it is not pretty.

Big E is now playing on MG's team, so Sous Chef, CJ and I rode our bikes into town to the local dive for breakfast.  It's called the Sweet Shop.  Really, can you think of a better name for a little bakery and restaurant in an agricultural town with about 2,000 residents?  We then stayed in town for the Poultry Days parade.  I got a little too loud and excited when the local pro-life group tried to give my kids their anti-choice propoganda.  I got a lot of stares that said "who is that horrific big city girl making that commotion?" as I made my kid throw down the bumper sticker they gave him and when I refused to take the flyer they wanted to give me. 

As for that bike riding I mentioned above, it takes me a while to get the hang of it.  I know they say you never forget how to ride a bike, but my balance is such that each time I take off, I wobble in a way that most people probably think I am just learning.  More than once, I crashed into a another kid on a bike or a pedestrian.  Yes, it's a little embarrassing. 
Saturday night, we had to hide out in the Bingo tent while storms raged on around us, along with tornado warnings in outer areas.  This happens more years than not, but this year we decided to bail and drove 45 minutes to my parent's house.  Thankfully, our tent was dry and in place the next morning!  This happened not too far from our tent.
I'm pretty sure that happened while we were playing Bingo and the crack of the lightning hitting the tree and the thunder that followed was so loud everyone screamed and ducked a little.

Honestly, though, if it was not for this Poultry Days Festival weekend, I cannot be sure it's summer.


  1. Look! People in shorts! Camping outdoors! It's still chilly over here in Paris. Le sigh. Enjoy your "real" summer.

    La Mom
    An American Mom in Paris

  2. Sounds like a really good time to me! Happy Summer!