Thursday, September 10, 2009

may you rest from your labors

This last weekend, I squared off against social anxiety and punched it clean in the face. As previously mentioned, I found myself on the receiving end of a 3-day adventure to a lakeside cabin in New Hampshire with a group out of NYC. Typically known as a planner 'round my own parts, it was a joy to ride the logistical coat tails of an activity--and a behemoth one at that.

Check it: 46 people (a dead even breakdown of gender) calling one tiny lakeside cabin home for three nights. One functioning bathroom. Three sets of bunk beds, four double beds, countless air mattresses, four tents, one shed loft and a hammock. There were people every.where. Everywhere. And somehow it worked. (It was probably the two port-o-potties we rented.)

I arrived in NH late late Friday night knowing two of the girls in attendance. Luckily for me, the entire group was a hodgepodge of people both new and veteran to NYC (I was the only non-Manhattanite), so everyone was in getting-to-know-you mode. Unbelievably, the getting-to-know-you started at 6:30 am on Saturday morning. Apparently that's what happens when you can't step foot without stepping on someone.

Saturday and Monday were nearly identical. The sunny days were spent lounging in chairs chit-chatting with new folks, eating from the copious amounts of food, or participating in any number of water activities. The house we were at boasted four kayaks, a canoe, several paddleboats, and a host of ski boat flavor: skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, etc.Probably my favorite memories from the trip involve our trips across the lake (once by canoe, once by half paddleboat, half swim) to the rope swing. A big group would make their way over (unintentionally--there were just so many of us!) and hang out; grading swings off the rope or jumps from the tree. Knowing my propensity for accidental personal injury, I designated myself photographer.

The Sunday we spent in NH was probably our most "different" of days. Unbelievably, nearly 30 of us were dressed (albeit not showered) and out the door by 9:10am to make a 10:00 church service a few towns over. We didn't quite outnumber the locals, but our numbers certainly made a difference in the branch. The fast and testimony meeting was interesting--always so when you're used to wards that are a) big and b) full of single people of similar age!

Once over, a few of us decided to head to Kennebunkport, Maine. (Linda, Meridith and I spent a weekend there in May. It wasn't blogged, because I was remiss in my duties back then.) We ate seafood, we overtook a small patch of grass to polish off some ice cream, we checked out the Bush's summer compound, and we rolled 18 deep everywhere we went. Our group attracted quite the number of stares. So many of us, dressed to our Sunday-nines, just wandering around this little tourist town. We were quite the sight.

We finally made our way back to the cabin. The evenings definitely had a strong hint of Fall to them; the weather was cold enough that we all jammed into the house and kept ourselves entertained. The groan-worthy activity of the trip that possibly turned into one of the funniest things ever, has to go to the Talent/No Talent show. Skits, songs, jokes, subject trivia, countries of the world recitation, laughing games, questionable story telling, etc.

Somehow, later in the evening, I mentioned buffalo kissing. Alaina and her friends talked and did it long ago; I brought it up wondering if I could convince anyone to give it a go, knowing full well it'd eventually get that far. (Confession: I've never given nor received a buffalo kiss.) To put it shortly, the giver of a buffalo kiss places their mouth over the nose of the receiver and blows air. The air travels up the nasal cavity and then out the receiver's mouth, resulting in a sound that sounds like a buffalo. The things people will do when it's bored and cold. This is the first of two kisses filmed--the second is longer, but the general shock and hilarity that results after the first experience is too funny to miss out on:
video

One of the other key highlights of the weekend was watching the BYU v. Oklahoma game. It probably wouldn't be much of a story had we watched at home; but get 20 BYU alum in a small NH town bar where you generally outnumbered the rest of the pub and hilarity kind of ensues. I could see the folks wracking their brains trying to figure out the geographic improbability of the whole situation. In fact, several approached us (at the end of the table) and asked how the heck it all worked out. Maybe they weren't used to seeing so many men give double high fives or folks get so worked up on Diet Coke?

All in all, the weekend was a major success. So many good, fun people in one place; bereft of the comforts of home and the connection of technology. I'll admit I felt a little reservation heading in (nerves will always be nerves) but am glad I keep pushing myself outside of that good old, warm, reliable, never-want-to-leave comfort zone. Sometimes you just have to go to New Hampshire.

1 comment:

Alaina said...

AAAAAA I am seriously laughing out loud (and I shouldn't be, because I'm on a work call) This looks like SO. MUCH. FUN.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!