Pushing aside dusty boxes and piles of unwanted magazines underneath my bed at home, I happened upon a purple book with an old photo of the Eiffel Tower on the front. I clutched it as I wriggled my way back out from under my bed--no easy task! Leaning against my bedframe as I opened the first page, I was reminded by my old journal from my first summer at Camp Carpenter when I was 16 that the marriage taking place on August 8th will not be Kip and my first:
Later that night, at flags we were all talking about who we were going to be for the Staff Hunt. Ironically, Kip said that he was going to be George Washington. I promised that there were no ulterior motives to my character switch [from Molly Pitcher to Martha Washington]....
Later that night at the Staff Hunt:
[Hiding with some other staffers] got old fast, so I left my bags with them and bounced down the hill towards the lake so I could find another place to hide. As I was working my way around the lake I saw that Kip had come ashore in his rowboat (he always rows around the lake, pretending he's crossing the Delaware). As I was finishing signing some cards, I went to turn the corner to find a new place to hide, but all of a sudden, I heard Kip calling, "Oh, dear?" I smiled and stepped back saying, "Yes, darling?" He sat up in the boat and held up a lifejacket and said 'We have an extra PFD if you'd like to join us. Naturally, I was wooed by his sweet manner and warm smile and the fact that he was dressed in full colonial military dress made the situation seem that much more like a movie. I walked over to the boat, and Kip stood up and held out his hand to help me into the boat. I took his hand, and he helped me into the boat. There was about a half a foot of water in the bottom of the boat, and after some embarassing shifting around, I settled down next to Kip, my dress a little wet, and slightly embarassed. I was already wet, so I didn't really mind that the hem of my skirt was sitting in the water at the bottom of the boat, but Kip tried to move it out of the way so I wouldn't get cold. When we were done signing the kids' cards, Justin started to row back, but we were stuck on a sandbar, so Kip leaned out and pushed us off. On his way to sitting back up, he reached out and picked a flower off of one of the lilies growing in the lake. I couldn't see what he was doing, but the next thing I knew, he sat up, leaned over to me and gave me the flower saying, "For you, my sweet." I smiled and thanked him, then smelled the flower and thought of how romantic and movie-like the moment was. As the time continued, we rowed around the lake, watching the sun set and talking about colonial America and how much more interesting it would be to live back then. We agreed that the Revolution was the most interesting war and he seemed quite impressed that I had made my costume. After the sun had set, darkening the lake from a salmon pink to a gray blue we headed back into shore where I got a lecture from Peter about having a PFD and a buddy tag out. The night was worth the lecture though....It may have sounded cheesy, but I felt this was worth writing because Kip's actions seemed to me the absolute picture of chivalry in a world where chivalry is thought dead, and I really felt like I was in a movie :)
I kept that flower hidden in my cabin (and later in a memento box from camp) until it disintegrated.