Camp James, Day 3

By day three of any camp, you start to get in your groove. Camp James is no exception.


We started the day out by ripping off another piece of the Judy chain, and promptly hopped in the car to take ER back to Marvin for volunteering. I got my times mixed up, so Mom FaceTimed us while we were in the car. I pulled over and pushed buttons until Mom’s face popped up. 


This may have been James’ first actual FaceTime session outside of the practice one we did in the living room before Mom left. He was very excited to see his wife’s face on the screen, and also excited to see Rike, the beautiful German exchange student who lived with Mom and James and Emily the year I was in Berlin. Rike flew over to London for the day to visit Mom, and they FaceTimed James to bring him in on the action. 


James told Mom how beautiful she looked, and though I’m sure she will hate this photo, I agree with him. She looked radiant and beautiful and happy, and it was so great to talk to Rike! I wish we could zoom in on James’ face. He was giddy and impressed.

Afterwards, James commented on the fact that it’s absolutely crazy that we can communicate with someone across the pond on a telephone with a video. He asked me to explain how that worked. I did a terrible job of that.


On the way to drop off ER, James pointed out that Tyler has started a program where they have artists paint the traffic light switch boxes. I love this one:


Before lunch, we stopped by Tom Sorrels Insurance Agency. James drew the cars on the sign on the front of their office on Vine. I never knew that until today, though we see his designs all over the place in Tyler (he even drew the original Greenberg Turkey logo). 


We thought it would be fun to add Dino to the photo. More on Dino in a bit.


I’ve known the Sorrels family since I was a little kid, and they are all great people. (If you need car insurance in Tyler, call the number in the photo above, and you won’t regret it.) However, I have to admit that when I’m in Tyler, I very, very rarely see my friends from growing up because I’m hard pressed to get enough time with my family members when I’m here. However, Leslie Sorrels Russell happened onto a puppy in the street, and she had been posting pictures of the puppy on Facebook, trying to find the owner, and I knew ER would love seeing a puppy that reminded us so much of Taco when he was little. 


So we got the double joy of catching up with Leslie, and squeezing on the puppy who has the temporary name of Penelope. The goal is to find the puppy’s owners, but as the days pass, Leslie is figuring out that the puppy may have been dumped on the road, which makes me absolutely sick. The next step will be to see if Leslie’s uncle will adopt the puppy.


In other words, this puppy is not up for adoption. 


ER has other thoughts.


ER is not an emotional sort, but she fell so in love she got teary-eyed, and I tried my best to be firm because had I gotten soft on her, we would have run out with that puppy so fast, Leslie wouldn’t have time to even call the police. So I had to stay strong.


Do you have any idea how hard it is to stay strong around a puppy this cute? Even James, who can’t stand the word “cute,” said, “That puppy was so cute! I wanted her to be still so I could draw her.”

We had lunch across the street at Bruno’s. James asked me how long I’ve been eating there, and I calculated that it’s been at least 35 years. That’s 35 years of the best pizza on the planet, but today, I opted for spaghetti, one meatball, and their delicious simple salad of cold, cold lettuce, mozzarella, tomatoes and green olives. 

Tom Sorrels ad is permanently decoupaged on the table. How cool is that?

Okay, back to Dino. Dino is this squishy toy dinosaur I’ve now had in my possession for several months. I found him on the street outside our house, and I keep thinking I’ll find his owner, who I’m assuming is a sweet toddler who is still screaming for him to this day. In the meantime, Dino and I have had a lot of fun adventures together.

Today, when I introduced Dino to James, things got really exciting. James is the kind of person who is completely willing to play along, as witnessed by James holding Dino up to model for the Sorrels Insurance photo. In the car on the way home, Dino rode on James’ lap and bit him on the finger a few times. When we got home, James informed me that he was going to borrow Dino to draw him. James was particularly interested in the writing on Dino’s belly. I wondered briefly if James might decide to kidnap Dino permanently before I got a chance to call the police. 

James retired to his studio for a while, and returned with the drawing below (see photo). He made a copy to glue in his journal. I’m thrilled to have the original, which I plan on framing. I’m also thrilled that James returned Dino, who is back in my crossbody purse where he lives.

Also, an announcement: Our time at Camp James was scheduled to come to an end tomorrow, but my sister Emily arrives tomorrow, and we’re having such fun we decided to stay an extra day. 

Wouldn’t you?

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