I took the HT early this morning to send her off to Centrifuge for a week (I keep wanting to call it Ridgecrest but that isn’t even where they’re going. I kinda like CentriCrest or RidgeFuge).

This is the Girls’ pile of luggage…

And this would be the Guys pile of stuff going to Camp for a week…

Now, in all fairness, there aren’t as many guys on the trip (I don’t think) but do take note of the obvious lesser density in belongings, will you?  It made me laugh.

Something else that made me giggle and at the same time gave me hope that Tomorrow’s Leaders just may have some manners in ’em….look in this picture…Matt, who is my brother in all things of an Attention Deficited Nature and my preacher man, is praying over the kids before the bus leaves, asking God to keep them safe, etc.

The guy in the blue tshirt, who would be Rick…is leaning over to remove Kelsey’s head garment during the prayer.  Rick had a head garment of some sort on before the prayer commenced and he removed it.  I was impressed with Rick’s sense of respect for the moment, however, he did not, for whatever reason, remove my child’s headgear (she’s in the blue hoodie next to the faux pas’ing Kelsey)

I think next year or the year after, when #2 is old enough to embark on his own CentriCrest journey, I may have to go along for the ride. 

How I wish there were photographs (maybe there are somewhere) of my Ridgecrest (the pre-cursor to Centrifuge, which has been the rite of passage for most Southern Baptist kids since about 1984) trip in 1982.  Gosh, that was fun. 

I remember Eric McLemore sitting in the back of the bus (oddly enough, wearing a ski cap not unlike what the HT had on this morning) with his JAM BOX (oh how 80’s am I?) and he’d play that song of Joe Walsh’s (cassette..pre-cds) …the one about “I have a limo I ride in the back…I lock the doors incase I’m attacked) and he’d do the (was it a guitar solo) on the side of his face and I thought that was cool. 

Oh and Sandra kept insisting Eric play “Desparado” over and over and over and over…..That’s when I learned all the words to that song.  It’s not like it was a current hit in ’82. 

Mike Smart, who’s mama made him come on the trip, going out to smoke (seems she also sent along a carton of cigarettes in his suitcase. That’s hilarious to me. Mike was maybe a rising Senior in high school that summer. Can you imagine a mom in Brentwood doing that today???)

Mike’s sister, Sheri, who was one of my roomates on that trip…she was soooo pretty…a little older than me and me watching her do her Beauty Routine every night and trying to emulate it. (This was the summer I was in 7th grade, remembah) 

There was some canned drink in the machines there that I’d never seen before or since…it was like Mountain Dew, but, I think it was called “Moonshine.”  Chris Murphy and David Owenby collected those cans the whole week and built this monstrous pyramid in their window. 

We got aquainted with Carman on that trip.  One of our chaperones was HAWT for Carman.

I also remember very vividly the first morning at Ridgecrest, walking around and noticing the mountains of Western North Carolina. I remember stopping on the walkway and just staring at it, not believing how beautiful it was.  It still gives me a bit of a lump in my throat remembering how awed I was at that sight.  It looked much like this picture here.  (Maybe that’s why they used it. Derrrrr)  I’d only seen stuff like that on tv before then.  Just one of those moments…

We went to Sliding Rock on that trip….another natural phenomenon and perhaps THE COLDEST water I’ve ever been in.  Someday, I’ve got to take the Smiff Kids there.  That was the same day I went inside the city limits of South Carolina for about 5 minutes because somebody took a wrong turn ( a very wrong turn).  The only time I’ve ever been in that state and here the HT is in South Carolina for the second time and I’ve never been there.  How odd is that?

Anyhow…I tried to get a hug outta my daughter but no dice.  Kelsey and Morgan (her good girlfriends who dig me) obliged me. 

To be 14 again….um….no thanks.  I did enjoy watching her be 14 this morning though.