The summer days are dwindling down and most mornings it is cool enough so we can see the mist rise from the pond and especially the bog right in front of camp. Curt and I have picked blueberries the last few days and had them for our lunch at noon. We are slowly running out of ideas how to fill our days with Ma and Dad off at the mill. We sit on the porch looking at the mountain that rises beyond the pond. There is a white farm house way up and below that a brown farm. Our friends, Winnie and Ray Hanscom live in the brown farm, although they live upstairs in their own little apartment and the farmer, her brother and their mother live downstairs.
We have visited with them before during the school year . Winnie graduated in the same class as Ma and she looks upon us as her own kids. We pop corn, dig our hands into her jar of chocolate cooking chips and she just smiles. Maybe we should go visit her today.
Curt thinks it is a good idea, but it looks a long way to walk. I am thinking what Ma will say when she finds out I have taken Curt on this long walk. It must be about two miles, but he is six years old now and says he knows he can do it. Besides, we both know once we get there, Winnie will sit us down with some milk and cookies to rest up for the walk back before we have to start supper.
I mix some drink powder with spring water and we have a glass jar of orange drink to help us on our way. Off we start up the trail beside the pond, jumping the tree roots and , this time, walking around the puddles. After all, we don’t want to show up with muddy shoes to track into Winnie’s apartment. We agree that when we get to the head of the pond, we will put our orange drink in the brook to keep it cold, and stop to drink it on our way back. We both know if we start drinking it now there will be none left for the trek homeward.
We are on the last half mile and it is all up hill but Curt is still holding strong. He asks if there are any moose close by in the woods and I tell him if there are any moose, they are probably busy eating. I have no idea what the moose are doing, but I would rather not think about it or the hair will come up on the back of my neck. Soon, we arrive at the main dirt road that runs through the hamlet of Rowe Hill. There is Winnie’s ice house on the side of the road. Ray carries the ice on a burlap bag on his shoulder to the house and up the stairs. Curt says that would be a good place to cool off right now and I tell him all that ice was cut last winter off our very own Indian Pond. He looks impressed.
I knock on the door and there is no answer. Well, Winnie cannot hear us from upstairs, I tell Curt, so we will knock on her mother’s downstairs door. Her mother comes to the door and tells us that Winnie has gone for the day. Oh, no! We have walked two miles and there is no Winnie to give us cookies and milk and a rest. I remember to thank her and we turn to walk back to the camp.
Curt is not happy and tells me I should have known she was not at home and his legs are tired. I ask him if I am a mind reader and he just trudges ahead of me without a word. I catch up and tell him at least going home is all down hill and we can rest when we get to the brook. There are no houses on this road except for Miss Hobbs’ huge house which used to be a girls’ camp. Ma says it was called Camp Sebowisha. It is at the bottom of the hill, and we scoot by hoping she is not outside. I don’t know her but I have heard she is particular who passes by the house. We were in such a hurry to get to Winnie’s, I forgot she might have peeked out her window and saw us pass.
We are at the brook sitting on rocks. Curt takes a long drink from the glass jar and hands it to me. The orange drink tastes nice and cold from the brook. We pass it back and forth until it is gone and then set out on the pond trail. Before long, the camp comes in sight and Curt heaves a sigh. I hope he is not going to tell Ma that I tired him out today and took him on a journey that went nowhere.
I light the camp stove and get the potatoes peeled while Curt munches on some peanut butter and crackers I’ve given him. The potatoes are boiling when we hear the boat coming down the pond. Dad is using his motor tonight, so he must be too tired to row.
Ma comes up over the porch and is glad everything is ready . I’ve put the dishes on the little wooden table and Curt is already perched on the bench built into the wall. She flips the perch in the frying pan and asks what we have done today. I look at Curt and he looks at me. Dad is looking at us both. Curt tells Ma we went for a walk and had a jar of orange drink. Is that all, she asks ? Pretty much, I answer.
Dad announces we will probably head for Greenwood on the week end and close up camp for the summer. School will start in a couple weeks and Ma says she has to buy us all new pencil boxes.