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Response: Christmas in July

   This first response is pasted in from the guest page and comes from my friend Meg Lowry, who was there during that Christmas in July (you might also want to view an article I did on Meg: It's Her One Time Around).

The article reached me on several different levels. First, the pleasure of going back in my mind to that special place on the edge of Palo Duro Canyon, truly a Texas treasure that is a kept secret. (People from Austin are always so amazed at the scale and beauty and grandeur of the Canyon and in the Panhandle?--in such a flat place?--) Anyway, I heaved a sigh to remember being a teen counselor there. I, too, remember the mud, the MUD!!! I think as an adult, I never credited the adults that were in charge with directing the creativity that the teens executed. That is a mid life perspective that allows me to appreciate how adults direct. I admire the same trait in teachers and youth ministers and counselors today.

I loved your analysis of disappointments. That they come to us from failed circumstances, but only stay because of failed creativity. What a great perspective. Perspective --that loaded word that comes from character building circumstances like divorce, being fired, death of both parents. The circumstances that I hated so much, but the view from up here is only because of the perspective I gained from the circumstance I was put through or endured! I think that one word sums up the advantage to being a mid lifer--it is in the perspective.

I laughed last week when I opened my shower door and found at least 10 Barbie dolls and various plastic people all over the floor. As the girls are getting older now (age 9, third grade) it is rare that they play like that in the shower. Instead of getting angry that they didn't "pick up their things" I was able to say, "thank you, God, thank you, that you gave me the opportunity to have these precious children, that they are still innocent and fun and young and I can enjoy them yet a little while." Only good 'ole midlife perspective gave me that.

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Mike, I am Leigh Barrett Anderson (Tim McGaughy's sister-in-law). I remember a time at Hidden Falls when we celebrated a Christmas in July. I mainly remember that it was COLD and we could not do anything outside. I believe the year was '72 or '73. I do remember my gift that I received: It was all kinds of vitamins given to me by Tony Earheart (spelling is probably wrong). Was that probably the same year? And how long have you been gone from HFR? Our kids (then 11 & 8) went last year and really had a good time. I used to love working there--playing piano, playing at campfire, working in the kitchen as a CIT. Well, I just wanted to comment on Christmas in July because my sisters and I still remember it, too. I'll keep checking your column. Tim gave me the address... said there was a way we could chat through your page, but I don't know enough about it yet to see a chat situation. Thanks!

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Leigh--I think the first Christmas in July at HFR was in 1968 or 1969, but I do remember having more, and I do remember you. I was at the Ranch from 1965 to 1972 as a horse wrangler and then program director. And then I returned as director from 1976-1980. Some of my best memories and best friends were made during those years. Later, my kids returned as campers also. And three of them were on staff during the 80s and 90s. My son Jonathan was a CIT director (something I once did) and played the guitar at campfire (brought back a lot of memories watching him).

Thanks for writing and sharing the memory. And thanks for visiting my pages. I hope you'll come back often.

Mike

Respond to the discussion (please type "july" in the subject box of your e-mail editor).
Return to Christmas in July.

 

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