Back in college, I worked as a camp counselor at a camp in Hartland, WI called Camp Whitcomb/Mason. It's affiliated with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. I still can't believe it was something that I did and I even went back for a second year because I loved it so much. The kids were great. Challenging? Absolutely. But they were great. The rest of the staff was a hoot! I've honestly made some wonderful life-long friends and that place will always have a special place in my heart. The beauty in that land...gosh, there are no words.
Anyway, it's there that I met Erwin. Well, her real name is Erin, but her camp name was Erwin. She chose that name because a priest at a church she went to when she was a kid called her Erwin and the name just stuck. I was Walleye. Don't ask.
Anyway, Erwin was an interesting character when I first met her. She immediately had friends and made herself at home with the camp staff. She'd sometimes give me a hard time and I'd laugh it off and ignore it the best I could. You know, I'd have a sunburn on my shoulders and she'd come over and smack them. Or, I'd be standing talking to a fellow counselor and she'd come up behind me and knock my knees out and cause me to collapse. She was a real jokester, that Erwin. She'd have all of the kids seated at her table with her at mealtime show me their half-eaten food in their mouths. Awesome.
Well, I was done being the "victim" and started writing her "wrong-doings" down and sharing them with the rest of the camp staff. And then things got fun. Or should I say, funny. We still laugh about the ridiculousness of Erwin's teasing. One of my favorite "Erwinism" was from a night where we had a camp-out in Thompson Woods. Waaaaa-aaaaay out the middle of a forest. We literally had tents put together with band-aids because no one wanted to walk aaaaaalllllll of the way back to get the necessary items. Anyway, this was a night where the campers were crabby, it was hot and we were being eaten alive by mosquitos. Erwin and I happened to be the last two awake and I was on fire duty, trying desperately to get the fire to go out. The only light in the middle of the forest was coming from the red coals that I was actively poking. And then Erwin whispers to me, "Walleye, that's what you'll be doing in hell." I nearly died from laughter.
Anyway, it was because of Erwin that I laughed as much as I did at camp. And all of these years later, I consider her one of my dearest friends.
Here's Erwin and Walleye.
One of my favorites of Erwin. Did she fall asleep and someone wrote on her forehead? I don't remember.
Soooooooo, when Erin's husband emailed me requesting that I make a cake for Erin's birthday, I was super excited to do this! She was evidently very specific about the kind of cake she wanted and I was super excited to oblige because it sounded delicious.
I made a lemon poppyseed cake with homemade strawberry curd, sliced strawberries and cream cheese filling and frosting. The scraps tasted amazing. I decorated it with a fun piping technique I found on Pinterest.
Here's a picture taken by Erin's sister of the inside of the cake. Mmmmmmm!
Happiest of birthdays to you, Dear Erin! Here's to many, many more!