Poison Ivy update: Ahhh, poison ivy! Is there a support group for this stuff? A hotline?! I seriously wondered this as I wandered my house at 2:00 a.m. a few nights ago wishing I could clench my fists and produce wolverine claws to scratch it all away. Since last time I posted, it spread to cover both of my inner arms from wrist to armpit, a few bad patches on my legs & stomach, and things just got really ugly. Really ugly. I couldn’t sleep for the itching, couldn’t pick up Drew without, well, getting pus all over him, and the most recent development is that my right arm has swollen up like I’m the Michelin man. That arm and hand honestly looks how they would if I gained 150 pounds. Tanner’s weird med school friends gawked over a picture (because rashes are interesting?) and said it looked like I’d grown bark. I’ve had one of the more miserable weeks of my life and once this heals, I feel like there isn’t much 2nd year could throw at me that will top it. My new mantra will be “at least I don’t have poison ivy!” The good news though, is that it’s finally turned for the better. I really needed that turn (and Chipotle + help from 2 amazing friends) to help me climb out of my pit of despair, so even though I’m still firmly planted in hot mess territory, there is hope! It’s finally dried up and is healing to my unbounded relief. The parable of the ten lepers will never be the same.
Now that you’re all up to date on my skin, let me tell you about Cherry Hill. It’s kind of a big deal. In our hometown there is this amazing family fun place called Cherry Hill. It started like 100 years ago as an RV campground (this is an unofficial history according to Dana Staples with possible inaccuracies) in a Cherry orchard with a small swimming pool for the guests. A lot of people will do big family reunions there and all stay in RVs. Then they added two big blue water slides, the Pirate’s cove pirate ship and kiddie pool area (that plays that musical pirate diddy all the live long day), and the cardiac canyon river run and it became a really great water park.
My siblings and I had season passes every year and I spent most summer days riding my bike there with friends or my brothers, or getting dropped off by mom and swimming all day long. I would often order big bowls of Farr brand mint chocolate chip ice cream from The Pie Pantry, an on site adorable little home converted into a pie, sandwhich, and soup shop. We’d sit under big umbrellas on its wooden wrap-around porch devouring our ice cream. I liked to play Mrs. PacMan or air hockey in the arcades and duck into the office to buy 25 cent boxes of LemonHeads and Laffy Taffy ropes that we’d eat as we sat on the cement wall at the bottom of a grassy hill, wrapped in beach towels waiting for our ride home. We’d run between the pool and the blue slides, trying not to burn our feet on the sidewalks, always stopping at the gutter that ran between them to cool our feet, then racing off, leaving footprint patterns behind us.
Four out of the six kids in my family worked there many summers, in the office, the Pie Pantry and snack bars, grounds crew. When my older sisters were teenagers, we’d get to go on employee family days and do the extras that didn’t come with our season pass like the mini golf and batting cages. Sometime during my high school years, they expanded to add a much larger pool, and a lazy river that my brother nearly singly handedly dug by hand, the way he tells it.
As much as I loved Cherry Hill, it played a bigger role in Tanner’s life. He had one best friend all growing up– Mitch Lloyd, whose family owned and ran Cherry Hill. Mitch lived next door to the water park, only a few streets away from Tanner, and they pretty much lived there as children. Tanner worked there something like seven summers on grounds crew and as a cashier, handing out entrance wristbands and arcade tokens. I only worked there one summer, 2006, on foods. I flipped burgers, cooked fries and chicken popcorn, distributed slush puppies and soft serve cones. On slow days or rainy days we’d see who could get the most kills with the fly swatters. Tanner and I weren’t really friends back then, but I have a couple of specific memories of talking to him through the windows of this very snack bar.
I also remember one day manning the giftshop right next to it, bored out of my skull, watching Tanner walk by several times within an hour and thinking he was really really cute.
These days, Tanner’s friend Mitch is on his way to taking over the family business. He lives with his wife and baby in a trailer home between the mini golf and the pool, his parents still live next door, and there are like 5 Lloyd satellite families living behind, next to, and within the park–it’s a hilarious commune. He was kind enough to get us in for free and we promised vericose vein surgery in the future in return should his wife ever need it 😉
One of the best parts of being from the same place as your husband is that these kind of places mean something to both of us! We were really excited to take our kids there and let them experience a family fun day at the greatest fun spot you’ll ever know (says their slogan and commercial that I’ve had stuck in my head the whole time writing this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXuUmXk3Z10)
we’re 1000 times happier than we look, promise
Thanks Cherry Hill for a fun day and years of memories!