Summer camps and Loretta Lynn

Because last summer was a fairly boring affair for Miss Veeka, I’ve endeavored to make this one as

Veeka piggybacks atop a camp counselor named Bethany.

Veeka piggybacks atop a camp counselor named Bethany.

entertaining as possible. Yes, she got to accompany me on two trips to serpent-handling churches in east Tennessee and northeast Alabama, but she’s also had her fill of camps and entertainment. Soon after we got back from Vacation No. 1 than she jumped into a week of vacation Bible school (courtesy of one of the large Southern Baptist churches in town), a music camp courtesy of the Methodists and gymnastic camp, but she also got a three days away from me at Lakeshore, a Methodist camp in Eva, Tenn., about an hour east of us. Yes, I thought It Was Time that she got to enjoy some nights in a cabin with lots of other girls, marshmallows around the fire, that sort of thing. And so I found a place that seemed to fit and lo and behold, she made it through the three days without too many mishaps. Yes there were times she sat out various activities because she didn’t understand them or didn’t swim because she was too cold but she did engage in shaving cream contests, bouts of archery, boat rides, pool swims, arts and crafts and other fun things. I in turn got lots of peace and quiet during which I finally tackled certain tasks, ie some unpacking I’d never gotten around to plus the lovely task of applying sealant to my driveway.

A counselor tries to talk a shivering Veeka into trying the pool at the Methodist camp.

A counselor tries to talk a shivering Veeka into trying the pool at the Methodist camp.

Fortunately this summer has been fairly cool in Tennessee. Well, nothing like Seattle summers, which are frigid, but the temps in recent weeks have really dropped compared to what they were last year this time – 103 degrees. Tonight it’s in the high 70s; an Arctic blast compared with what early June was like. Despite the threat of thunderstorms, I took Veeka on another adventure tonight: a Loretta Lynn concert. Her dude ranch is only an hour east of here and she had a night in honor of Conway Twitty (whom I know nothing about) and so I paid for bleacher seats (which were pretty good) and dragged Veeka there. She acted like a mosh pit denizen, jumping up and shrieking and waving her arms about. Those attending were of a culture I rarely encounter: a collection of folks with big hair, tatoos, cowboy boots and hats, the women who all had toenails in the brightest, most unusual colors and tons of people smoking cigarettes during the concert which I found quite odd. Now we were in an open-air pavilion and all and Veeka was most taken with Loretta herself, who was outfitted in a shimmery pink dress and who belted out quite a few good ballads. We knew it was her last song when she swung into “Coalminer’s Daughter” around 10:30 pm and everyone rushed up with their cell phones to take photos. Veeka had never heard country music before, so I figured this time was as good as any to introduce her to what a concert is like. And the weather was perfect, there were fireworks afterward and a good time was had by all.