We’ve made three trips to the camp nurse in the last 24 hours. Her name’s Miss Grace. Someone is going to have to make her a character in a short story. She’d be the hero — the woman who can cure any ill.
I went first. Last night after dinner I walked into the little store they have at camp, the place where you can get ice cream, ping pong balls and t-shirts. Miss Grace was in there, wearing her nurse shirt, which is a light blue tunic with pictures of the faces of happy children on it. She was showing the people who worked in the store a picture of her family and giving them their mail. I looked down and realized the rash I’ve had on my leg for four months (a little patch of what could be poison oak, except it’s not) wasn’t going to get any better from my ignoring it. So, I asked Miss Grace if she would look at it.
Best thing I’ve done in a long time. Her office is air conditioned. She is in her fifties, a woman with a soft southern accent. She showed me a picture of her two brothers and sisters, taken to commemorate her brother’s induction in to the football home of fame in Jackson Mississippi. The first black man to be given that honor, she said. And they’d also named the football field after him. She and her sisters look exactly alike. The same gentle faces, lovely accepting eyes. Her other brother is a minister in a church in Oakland. She put aloe vera (pure, organic aloe vera ointment called Desert Lily) on my rash. I know it will be better.
Maybe because they envied my experience with Miss Grace, but today, one of my sons got a bee sting for Miss Grace to care for. And about two hours later, another of them slipped in the dining hall and had to be cured of a gash behind his ear. Bee sting ointment, blueberry flavored advil, a bandaid with some kind of superhero on it, antibiotic ointment and aloe. An ice pack. Air conditioning. Miss Grace could cure pretty much anything with her voice — but with those other tools, she’s invincible. She would know what to do about Lebanon, I’m pretty sure.
We’ve decided we love Feather River Camp — even if we don’t like the mosquitoes and it is too hot here. We still love it. Next year we’re coming back for two weeks.