There were many years while we were raising our four children that I couldn’t think about getting away for a weekend to do something just for me. I was all about making things happen for the family. Big things like getting to and from schools, music and sports…which were at least 10-15 miles from our ranch. And building a house. And running our avocado business. Oh, and directing a church choir too, among other things.
Let’s talk about the choir for a minute. I offered to direct a small choir of about 12 singers for 6 weeks while the pastor looked for a new church music director. That was in 1987. We had three children ages 3, 2 and 9 mos. old. Yes, I was crazy. But that little choir has grown into a group of 60 wonderful singers who are family to me and to each other. Week by week and year by year we made it all happen.
Last August I attended BlogHer’11 in San Diego because it was local and I was curious about blogging. Over those three days, I began to understand the magnificent freedom that is ours for the taking…to write about our thoughts and lives, to learn and to teach each other, to connect with people from all over the world and to form communities.
In September I went to TechMunchLA, a one-day conference for Food Bloggers. In October I took an online course in using WordPress. By November I had started my blog, with help from some wonderful new friends that I met at TechMunchLA. Several of them had attended Camp Blogaway, a weekend camp in the San Bernardino mountains for food bloggers. Last year I almost signed up to go, just to investigate blogging, but wasn’t able to schedule it. My friend Rachael of LaFujimama encouraged me to consider going, as it’s smaller than other blogging conferences and the sessions are valuable learning experiences. I watched the calendar and in January signed up on the first day the camp registration opened (this camp sells out quickly!). May is a busy month but I gambled that the weekend would work out. How hard could it be to make this happen?
Well, you guessed it. An important event at church that can not be done by a substitute director was scheduled for the very same weekend as Camp Blogaway. The camp is May 4-6. The church event is May 5th. May 7th will be the 25th anniversary of my promise to the pastor to help out for 6 weeks. What to do? Call in sick? Give up my place at the best blogging camp on the face of the earth? or: Make. It. Happen. (For the record, our wonderful Coastal Communities Concert Band scheduled a weekend concert gig in Las Vegas the same weekend…so I’m missing that too!)
So I asked for permission to leave camp and direct the choir. Thankfully, the camp director Patti Londre took pity on me and agreed. Then I drove up to the mountains to scope out the route, the roads and the amount of time I needed for travel. Beautiful drive…but it will take 3 hours to go 99 miles between camp and church. There happened to be an over-sized forklift over the side of the mountain that day too…it fell off of a semi…they needed a huge crane to bring it back up the steep embankment, so the road was closed. I never did get all the way up to the camp.
Here it is….one week before Camp Blogaway ’12…and I’m getting excited. Looks like it’s going to happen for me! There is the small risk that something will block the road down the mountain on May 5th as I drive back to Escondido to direct the choir, but we’re just not going to think about that. Please keep your fingers crossed for me, okay? It will be a three hour drive back to church. The choir will perform for 25 minutes, then lead the music for Confirmation. We’ll meet our brand new bishop for the first time at a reception. Then I’ll get back in the car and make the 3 hours drive back to Camp Blogaway. (Do you think anyone at church will mind if my perfume is “Campfire”? )
Some of you are shaking your heads and wondering if I’ve lost it. I just really, really want to go to Camp Blogaway. It happens only once a year. I can meet some of the people whose blogs I read regularly, learn more about photography and writing, expand my food knowledge, become more inspired for improving my own life, which will make me a happier and better wife, mother, teacher, choir director, band member and person. And my Avocado Sister Rachael of La Fujimama is one of the presenters there!
Camp Blogaway or Bust!
Stay tuned…I’ll tell you all about it when I get back!