The nonstop reports of Hurricane Ike must have gotten into my subconscious, because over the weekend I found myself singing out loud in the kitchen. “The Lord said to Noah, there’s gonna be a floody, floody, Lord said to Noah, there’s gonna be a floody, floody….get your children out-of-the-MUDDY, MUDDY….” and Malcolm said “Is that a Girl Scout song, Mom? Because those are the songs you seem to remember best.”

Touchingly, he said this is in a completely accepting and nonjudgmental manner, asking nicely out of curiosity. Hugh and Ian would have groaned, and Hugh would have been scathing in his feedback.

This incident was reported in an email to my childhood friend Louesa who, on the first weekend in September, attended a reunion of Camp Pin Oak at the Lake of the Ozarks. She had emailed highlights of the reunion, which I could not attend, including the fact that alcoholic beverages were served on the porch of the old lodge/dining hall. And then she added this charming memory of her own, from when her two very grown-up sons were tiny.

“I know – rocking infants in the middle of the night, when I was in a complete stupor, I’d softly sing “Gray Squirrel, gray squirrel, swish your bushy tail…” and “… A baby prune’s just like his dad, ‘cept he’s not wrinkled half so bad…Now, we have wrinkles on our face, but prunie has them every place.” Funny how moms can make almost anything sound like a lullaby at 2am! You and I sang camp songs, but there are undoubtedly other Moms our age who were singing their babies to sleep to KISS and Led Zeppelin tunes.”

Louesa is right. Trying to calm a fretful baby, I would forage through my mental filing cabinet of Camp PIn Oak songs, pull out the rounds, the sweetly happy songs, the lovely wistful Civil War-ish airs, the haunting melodies we sang on cricket-and-chigger-filled Lake of the Ozark nights. And Malcolm is also right – those campfire songs are burned into my memory.

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