With 852 hours to go and two nuns and a teacher in our presence we decided that the typical games one might play like, Truth or Dare, Twister and Strip Poker, would not be half as fun with the present company.
Instead we sat around complaining of boredom until the nuns suggested that we all gather round and pray the rosary for the all of the poor pagan babies living in pagan baby land. That idea would certainly fill up all the hours left in our trip but that wasn't what we had planned. Our plans were to have fun, not spend the entire weekend feeling the Catholic guilt that permeated our lives.
I suggested we take a walk and maybe get lost and then get found by a cabin full of fun people who had never heard of pagan babies or guilt. Everyone ran for the door at once yelling, "Last one out has to buy the next pagan baby and insist on naming it after them." We pushed and shoved and shrieked and made it outside in one piece. Pagan babies were expensive and everyone knew that you never named them after yourself. You named them names like, Peg N. Bebe and hoped the nuns didn't catch on.
It was snowing and cold outside. We immediately made a snowman, shoveled the driveway in case we wanted to go out later and had another snowball fight. Someone looked at their watch. Only 851 and 3/4 hours left.
We set off on our walk. We ate the snow that didn't have a speck of yellow on it. We picked up errant pine cones and threw them. We ambled along at a leisurely pace and didn't pay any attention to where we were going and ended up getting lost. We did not find a cabin full of fun people. We found a Bible Camp instead. A Bible Camp with boys! We had landed in heaven. We quickly made a pact with each other not to mention that as Catholics we knew nothing about the bible. We were smart. We could fake it. After all, we were already way ahead of ourselves in the fact that each of us had actually seen a bible once or twice in a hotel room drawer. Someone whispered loudly, "Just remember that the bible has something to do with Gideon somebody or other." We all shook our heads in agreement. The boys approached carrying their black Bibles under their arms. We shivered a little with anticipation but mostly from the freezing temperatures. One of the girls asked, " Are we supposed to make the sign of the cross or genuflect when they get closer?" Another girl smacked her. The boys were upon us. In front of us. Flesh and blood. Alive. Real.
We were beside ourselves. They spoke first. "God bless you." A couple of the girls answered in unison, "and also with you" like we were in church. They looked at us oddly. We stood wide-eyed and anxious hoping we had not just blown our cover. I don't think they cared. They probably saw an opportunity to save us now that I think back on it. They invited us to join them for breakfast in the bible hall. A couple of the girls hesitated. "Is this a sin?" one of them nervously asked. "Only if the food is bad," another one answered. "Will there be silver dollar pancakes?" the girl next to me asked. One of the boys said, "There won't be anything if we don't hurry." We fell into step behind them as they marched to a large building in the middle of a clearing with pine trees surrounding it.
I wasn't so sure this was the best idea. We had just escaped the nuns back at our cabin and now we were headed into the unknown with 3 boys and some bibles. This was not my idea of fun but we had a few hundred hours to spare so I went along. The pancakes were calling my name.
to be continued . . .