Newsletter #7
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Hare–Raising Adventures
7th Edition, October 10th, 2000

I informed you all last month that I would try to step up the pace of my newsletters, since I lead such an active life, and it is hard to contain all the events of interest (at least my interest) in a newsletter that goes out only six times a year, so here is my first attempt at conforming to my statement.

The main attraction last month was our final attempt at freedom before the iron jaws of school crushed us in its mighty grip, or so it seems to me. Despite this ominous cloud, the trip to the Outer Banks (off of North Carolina) wasn’t all that bad, for me at least. We got a late start, so we stopped at the Greek church for their annual festival and got gyros for Ben, Stephen, and me, while Mom bought a lamb something or other for herself. Dad had to stay home since he had promised to preach at a church on Sunday, and had cunningly made other commitments during the week, so he didn’t have to deal with the wild banshees that roamed the house we had rented — we called the company about it, but they said they didn’t have a rule for dealing with wild banshees, and their computer didn’t recognize it as a real word, so we would have to deal with it — but I get ahead of myself. Pete also had to stay behind, since he has turned traitor on us and gone to school, so we didn’t have to deal with him for our week’s respite, and Dan of course is in college, smugly enjoying his computer and our technical difficulties. Anyway — we got our food, and Steve spent the first day of our trip reading his books, and I split my time between reading my books and a long monologue with Mom, occasionally interrupted by her outburst of “Kentucky! Do we have Kentucky?” While this may seem strange behavior, the readers will be relieved to know that Mom hasn’t gone mad, only that we have a license plate game which she bought, and is in the process of getting all fifty plates (with stickers — she doesn’t remove them from peoples’ cars…). As a break from my melodious voice, we dropped by at the farm in Maryland to visit Dad’s relatives for about half an hour, and to check on Uncle Dale, since he had just had his appendix removed, because of some sort of infection or something. Mom got inspired, and asked for a corn stalk to use in her Master’s Academy of Fine Arts (MAFiA) class, and then we headed on. Eventually we arrived at our hotel for the night, and Mom and Stephen went to go for a swim in the pool, while I kept an eye on Ben and read my book until they came back. Once they had returned, we watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics for a while, but I felt the irrepressible yank of sleep dragging me away from all other entertainment, so we turned off the TV and went to bed.

On the second day of our vacation we ate breakfast at the hotel and then headed off for another day’s journey. Once again, Mom had to stop along the way, this time for an “educational” trip — James town. Ben had gotten into a destructive mood, so our sightseeing was mainly confined to the outer exhibits, especially to the three ships that were constructed along the same lines as the original three that had brought the colonists to Virginia. After slaying a couple hours and eating lunch there, we set out once again for the Outer Banks. Finally, after much labor, we arrived at our mansion for a week in the late afternoon. We also realized that everyone had arrived within a half hour span, even though we had spent hours in James town! Tragically, while we had been off on our side trips, everyone else had been caught in traffic jams with screaming kids. So the first day at the beach we spent unpacking our baggage and deciding who went where, and exciting things such as those. Breaking a long tradition, Mrs. Hansell showed us her daring side by cooking supper that night, instead of ordering pizza, as had become the custom. The next day, being Sunday, was also hectic, since we were all dashing around to get ready for church. Finally we all left for church: Mr. Hansell, Mrs. Hansell, and their four kids, Mr. George, Mrs. George, and their four kids, Mr. Diem, Mrs. Diem and their three kids, and Mom, Stephen, Ben, and I.— fourteen kids and seven adults. Mr. Hansell’s mother was there as well, but she stayed home to protect from burglars. Now this was the smallest sanctuary that I have ever seen — between the four families, we managed to fill the church half way. Last year, we had gone to the same church, and the pastor mentioned that he liked Lebanon bologna, so we actually remembered to get him some, since he couldn’t get it down in North Carolina, and he thought it was pretty funny when we presented it to him after the service.

The middle of our stay, while the most pleasant, isn’t very interesting reading, unless you like reading about playing in the ocean all day, and reading books on the beach, and so on, and so on, while you try desperately to start the fire, since your fingers are falling off one by one, but I will try my best. From Monday to Thursday, I spent the majority of the daytime that was warm enough swimming and boogie boarding, and in the slim slivers of time between, I would read my book, eat breakfast and lunch, stuff like that. It then became routine, after I had cleaned off in the shower, to relax in the hot tub for a while, usually accompanied by some of the banshees. After the last retreat was made from our battlements on the beach in the late afternoon, we had supper, and then Mr. George would read a dinosaur story, which would keep the banshees captivated while the rest of us reveled in a half hour’s silence. Eventually we would hear the thunderous crashing of 26 feet, and the various charges would be put to bed by their parents. Once all the kids were put to bed, the remainder generally watched the Olympics, critiquing the gymnasts apparel with various comments like “That metallic blue doesn’t do anything for me” or “Look at her! She looks like a stork!” (I actually agreed with the last statement). Mr. Hansell had brought along his laptop computer, so for a couple nights Mr. George, Mr. Diem, and I tried to beat all 60 levels of a strategy game, but we only got to level 37. Another night we played Think Alike; Mrs. George and Mr. Hansell won and Mr. George and I came in second. Mrs. Hansell and Stephen came in last, even though their winning strategy was morally questionable. The third activity that we participated in was Monopoly, and Mr. George showed us his business skill in winning that. To add some variety to our scheduled life, and to continue at least some of the traditions established in previous years, Mr. Hansell bought crabbing equipment, and we went crabbing at early evening for two days, although our catch was very meager — three crabs each time. On the third day of our hunt, the Hansell family and I went during the daytime, and managed to catch at least 40 crabs between us, but since we didn’t eat them that day, they all died overnight, and there was some concern as to whether it would be healthy to eat them or not. Eventually the consensus was that it was better just to dispose of them, so no one got crabs, although I didn’t mind all that much — I dislike eating crabs, but I have no qualms about laying bait for the innocent crustaceans, and then dumping them into a confined space with dozens of their brethren.

The Hansells left on Friday, so we all felt the doom of work and school and responsibilities creeping ever closer, thwarting us in our efforts to have one last fun moment. Saturday was a wild day — all three of us remaining families were scrambling to get everything packed and loaded up, with constant checks to make sure there was nothing under the couches, and divvying up the leftover food (Sage got a bag of carrots and a bag of celery). We stopped at a hotel for the night, after traveling for several hours, and we all swam in the pool for an hour or so. The pool was really warm, and the hot tub practically boiling, to our surprise, and shock, to the latter.

In the morning (Sunday again) we drove for two and a half hours until we made our entrance in Baltimore to visit our sluggardly brother, Daniel. We had to wait for about ten minutes before he would come down and open the door to his dorm for us, but at least he had his bed made (I wonder what took him so long to come down?). We then went to a Baptist church only a couple of blocks away from his dorm. When the service was over, we went back to his dorm, then Dan and Mom left to get all his stuff that we had brought for him, including a microwave, while Steve made quickly to his computer. They were gone for at least 45 minutes, and while they were gone, Dan’s roommate and the other people who share his suite, along with another friend or two walked in, and after a feeble “Hi, We’re Dan’s brothers — he just went to get his stuff” from me as a great effort as a conversation starter, I went back to looking through Dan’s Dilbert calendar, while keeping half an eye on them. Steve just sat like a zombie in front of Dan’s computer saying insightful things such as “oh great, now I’m dead. Ahh! where did He come from?” — and other intuitive things like that. Apparently Dan’s roommate, Patrick, was having trouble with his computer (big surprise) so they just talked quietly among themselves, and watched Steve make a fool of himself (it’s the truth!). At last, Mom and Dan came back, and some formal introductions were made, and then Mom hooked up the video camera, and we watched a half an hour of our sweet freedom, so soon slipped away. She then took a couple of pictures of Dan and his friends, and then we left, to make the final voyage, so to speak, home, to our real lives.

Since then, I’ve been mainly reflecting on past joys and tribulations, pondering the great mysteries and secrets of the world, until I realize how much work I have to do, and that it is already four o’clock, and that I’ve only done one subject in school, and that I have to change the guinea pig cage, mow the lawn, read all the books on my ever climbing book pile, decorate my MAFiA folder in a way that will inspire all those who come after me, check my E–mail, eat food, play with Sage, do some calligraphy (much neglected), stain a cupboard, baby sit every Tuesday and Wednesday, work on my book list for Mr. George, play with friends (also much neglected), write a newsletter, and the list goes on forever. At least we now won’t have any large disruptions in our hectic lives, for better or for worse.

On the Sunday after we left, Mom, Pete, Steve, Ben, and I went down to Philadelphia to hear a mass that was in the honor of a friend of Dad’s, and then go to the reception after words. Dad couldn’t go, since he was preaching somewhere else, so we went in his stead. Both the mass and the reception were rather strange experiences, although I had been in church services before, and I have been at receptions before (which, I think, is what saved me from flopping over in shock and stupefaction). The service had a lot of choral parts, and a lot of standing and kneeling, and a lot of incense, and a ten minute sermon.

The reception was definitely a formal reception, with people walking around with food on platters, and a guy meandering around asking if people wanted wine. The main course was either Salmon or Filet Mignon; Steve, Ben, and I had Filet Mignon, and Pete and Mom had Salmon. All throughout the meal people were going around with coffee and tea, and they served the Filet Mignon with mushrooms on top! Needless to say, I was quite put out, and removed them with all due haste. Otherwise, the meal was delicious. We finally made our exodus, and undertook the long journey home, and arrived just in time to be a half hour late to the evening service at our church. 

Looking forward, I only see monotonous school, but the sooner done, the sooner free, so with that in mind, I usually plow through, although sometimes with a less than angelic mood. the single solitary ripple that will break the usual flurry of school and other things that dart beneath the surface of my life will be my visit to the orthodontist to get braces on my upper and lower teeth in two weeks. I will probably have more on that in my next letter, do for now you are free of me, but only for a month, if I keep my summer resolution.

Disclaimer, Copyright, Notes from the Editor

Disclaimer: Anything said here is probably laced with falsehoods unless it appears otherwise, and if you wish to attempt  to convince me that something I haven’t said is true actually is, you will have to speak to my lawyers: Sage and Cinderella. Sage does the smooth talking, and if that doesn’t work, Cinder beats you up. Or you can call me at any time by calling 911 (I had to pay a lot of money to get a only a three digit phone number instead of a ten digit one)

Copyright: every word in this E–mail is copyrighted, even the misspelled ones, so if you want to copy it, slide ten dollars in a plain white envelope under my door at 3:48 AM and my hedgehogs will grant you permission to copy the section labeled Copyright in the mail thirteen days later at your home address, unless you are a wandering vagrant vagabond, in which case, you should be on my newsletter anyway — you should get a job.

Note From the Editor: Please, if you have any suggestions, corrections, or problems, come to me! you can E–mail me at 

–~Snowshoe Hare~–
–~Christopher Green~–

*Here Endeth the Newsletter*