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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

Growing up is harder than learning how to fly

June 25, 2007

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I was a bit worn out, having spent the day getting the kids all set up for a week at camp, so the show was a welcome break from lists and laundry and packing. I fell asleep on the couch sometime before the sun set, and woke up around 3 a.m. thinking I'd overslept, and I hadn't, so I put away some dishes and ate a cookie bar, and climbed on upstairs to sleep a while longer.

Camp is only an hour away, but the drive there on Sunday afternoon seemed to go a bit quicker. The kids talked and talked, then argued a bit, then were silent as we got closer. They haven't been away this long before and I think it must have been a bit unsettling but they bucked up when we arrived and carried their own suitcases and sleeping bags and pillows to their bunkhouses after we got all registered.

There were swimming tests (they all passed so the big floating dock is an option, thank goodness) and we sat awhile and ate chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (not homemade but they did the trick) and I took a few pictures and then it was time. I gave Mr. Sundberg a look and he nodded and we hugged the kids and said goodbye and drove away waving and hollering, Have fun! See you Friday! They stood together and waved, then turned and ran off with their new friends while I kept on waving.

Summer camp gave me some of my best memories. It's where I met my friend Karen, who became my best friend in high school. I met a few boys there, too, and chased them around the woods at night with flashlights, and I first went skinny-dipping at summer camp. And I see now I learned there where my parents ended and where I began. Which is a good thing. And a bit of a sad thing, too, now that I'm the parent and the inevitable is unfolding. I'm supposed to teach them to live without me, and that's fine, and it's a good thing for the most part, but some small part of me wants to drive on over there and bring them home this very minute.

I won't do that, of course. This is free week for me and Mr. Sundberg. We've got work to catch up on and I was hoping to do some shopping and paint the bedroom and invite some friends over for a cookout. And I plan to take several long hot baths and sleep in a morning or two. We'll go get the kids Friday morning, and they'll have stories and the routine will pick up again and it won't be long before I'm wishing they'd find a friend and go play somewhere.

Until then, I'll think of them pretty often and wonder about the looks on their faces as they approach the obstacle course and choose between a brat and a burger and help build a bonfire for s'more-making and singing. I remember my mother said once, quoting Peter Pan, that growing up is harder than learning how to fly. One requires truth; the other, fairy dust.

Funny how so much of what my mother told me when I was a kid made so much more sense later on. Like I had to have my own kids to really get it. And I do.

Spinach Salad

2 qts fresh spinach leaves, torn
16 oz can bean sprouts, drained, or 2 cups fresh sprouts
8 oz can water chestnuts, drained
4 hardboiled eggs, peeled and sliced
6 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled
1 small onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup salad oil
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup ketchup
1 T Worcestershire

In small jar or bottle, combine dressing ingredients and shake well.

Set aside, and toss salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Just before serving, pour dressing over the whole shebang and give it a toss or two.

Serves 4–8, depending on how hungry you are. Enjoy!

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