Nearing the end of the
film Zorba the Greek, Zorba dances by himself. His arms are spread out and
his hands are open toward heaven. He shouts, "everybody needs a little
madness." Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I had just spent five
days camping at a Good Sam Rally in Centreville, Michigan. Although the
staff members were most welcoming, the participants warm and friendly and
there were plenty of activities and lots of entertainment the rally seemed
endless. The temperature soared to over 95 degrees every day with a humidity
index that pushed the temperature to above 105 before noon. To add to our
misery we were not permitted to use our air conditioners because of
insufficient power at the fairgrounds. My camper became a mini-sauna. If
horses sweat and men perspire and women glow? … then I became a Christmas
tree in July.
It was our last morning.
I had had my coffee and said my good-byes to a few new acquaintances. I was
waiting in a slow-moving line at one of the two dumping stations. During my
hour-long wait I perused the plastic box sitting on the hump in the center
of my truck containing my CDs, maps, a couple of dollar-off coupons at
various campgrounds, and low and behold, a one-day pass to a nudist
colony in Michigan. It had been sitting, gathering dust, for over a year.
Michigan is a big state.
I decided to check it out on the map, just to kill some time. Union City, by
all my calculations, looked about fifty miles away and in the direction that
I was heading. I had one extra day before having to be at my next
appointment. Before modesty could take hold, my brain went into overdrive
and all I could think about was diving into a cool swimming pool ..naked.
Madness, I tell you. It
was sheer madness. I have never done anything like this, nor have I really
seriously contemplated doing anything like this. I called the campground and
discovered that the pass was still good and "yes, I could camp there
overnight." The drive was on main highways and since I suspected that they
did NOT have billboards advertising their whereabouts, I called when I
reached Union City and got specific directions. I was amazed at my calmness.
I still believe that my moistness was due to the weather and not anxiety.
Not knowing what to
expect, and knowing full well that I wouldn't run into anyone with whom I
was even slightly acquainted, I felt I would probably go (largely) unnoticed
as most over fifty, gray-haired, bespectacled, (pleasingly) plump women do.
After arriving and checking in I was given (fully clothed by a fully clothed
guide) a tour of the facilities. The volleyball court, indoor swimming pool
and hot tub, lake with boats for rowing and fishing, a sandy beach and
outdoor conversation pool were first rate and inviting in my book.
For my first venture or
should I say "adventure" I decided on the conversation pool.
(A) The first thing that
struck me funny was that when I went to strip off my clothes in my camper I
was tempted to close the blinds.
(B) Everyone that passed me on the path greeted me and smiled. They gave me
the once-over like I was still twenty years old. This was done with a look
and a smile. There was no ogling or leering or smirking. I, of course, did
(C) In the conversation pool I was immediately acknowledged and made
comfortable enough to join into the conversation. I confessed that this was
my first "nudist" experience and I was admired for my bravery. From the
conversation pool a group, myself included, went to the mud bath. Another
first experience. Chivalry prevailed. A hand was extended so that I wouldn't
slip. Conversation flowed as it had done in the pool. We scrubbed and rinsed
off in the lake and unfamiliar hands gently washed the mud from my back.
That afternoon in front
of the wide-screen television set in the lounge I was approached by familiar
"Hi," the couple said,
"had we known that you were a nudist we would have spoken to you about it at
the camping rally this morning. "This morning," I responded, "I wasn't a
nudist." (So much for not running into anyone I know.) That evening I
danced, totally uninhibited, to music on the new jukebox with friends I had
met in the pool.
The experience, on a
scale of one to ten, was easily a twelve. I am still an over fifty,
bespectacled, gray-haired, (pleasingly) plump woman who mostly goes
unnoticed in a crowd. Thanks to the one day at Turtle Lake Resort
in Union City, Michigan I'm back to feeling the way I should ..feminine,
beautiful and desirable. The toughest thing about my one-day of madness
occurred the next morning when I had to put my clothes back on and go out
into the big, anonymous world.
Would I do it again? In a
minute ..as soon as the sunburn stops stinging.
Joei Carlton Hossack ©
Joei Carlton Hossack, a full-time, solo
RVer is the author of Restless From The Start, Everyone's Dream Everyone's
Nightmare and Kiss This Florida, I'm Outta Here. All 3 books available
through Amazon. Com or book 2 and 3 through Alexander Distributor by calling