“My Cheeks Hurt from Smiling”

“It’s Sojourn t-shirt night,” texted Nancy before our last Vermont dinner.photo

I should’ve known it was the start of a plot…a good plot, but still…Sure enough all 15 of us showed up in the lobby in our Sojourn t-shirts.

Along with helpers Andrea, Rosalie, and Susie, Nancy seemed to have thought of everything, including the Maple vodka and maple liqueur. After softening us up with the vodka it was on with the awards:

“To the rider with very best legs!….Rob!” The citation was written on a maple leaf and he also got a Mr. Goodbar candybar, and indeed, his legs were perfectly tan and always better shaven than any woman’s.

“And to the rider with the best socks! Luke,” who got a sock monkey key chain.

How cute that Nancy organized prizes for our guides, I thought. But…

“To the rider who has GROWN the most this week,” we are rolling on the floor of the Waybury Inn at this point….she hands Jessamyn a mini-fish tank in which you GROW the fish with water.

Sure enough, everyone gets an award.

Mary is the rider most likely to carry on the Skittles tradition. Susie is the best ‘sucker’—curly straws—since she hangs on to Tracy’s rear wheel through rain and wind. Tracy—brightest outfit, a neon-orange Nerf ball—is newest and fastest.

Rosalie, who had enough of the Maple business before she arrived, gets a maple sucker.

And me?

Only because Trissie had to leave early do I qualify for

“Best Gamer and Best Bananagram Mentor”. My prize? Two decks of playing cards and a banana.

“And she deserves it!” said Tracy, “I asked about the rules and she said, ‘Ask questions after we’re finished playing.’”


She got that right.

Any questions?

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3 Responses to “My Cheeks Hurt from Smiling”

  1. Sheila says:

    Just wanted to comment on your comment in the NY Times about how cut glass is so out of fashion now that therefore your elderly in-laws’ owning it was junk hoarding. I don’t agree. Some things are not junk. You may not like cut glass, and I may not like pottery, but both have their value. If you don’t want your in-laws’ stuff, that’s fine, but to consider it junk is a mistake. A lot of craftsmanship went into the making of those pieces. Generational fashion is not the sole determinant of intrinsic worth, nor is personal taste. And by the way, if the “tattered awful rugs” are orientals, they’re worth money even when they are old and worn. There are many collectors looking for the very items you so casually despise. Old-fashioned Tiffany favrile glass, for instance, contemporary with cut glass in our nation’s decorative arts history, sells today for hundreds and even thousands of dollars per piece. Your cavalier attitude is what makes antiques dealers rich.

    • Karen Ray says:

      Thanks for your comments…but no one wanted the items I mentioned….tried the antique dealers, estate sellers and such….I specifically said my in-laws were not hoarders, but rather that we tend to overvalue items that we possess merely because we possess them.

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