The House on Drumlin Hill Sammy klausner

My Own Mix

A very pretty name, but also too common and overused. It’s the name you think of when you see a blonde girl drinking her Starbucks coffee and her friend leans over and says “oh my gosh, Samantha, look at this!” That’s not me, however, I have dark hair and a darker skin tone. I never got to meet Papa Sam, the highly talked about man in my family that I was named after. Whenever I ask my parents why I was named Samantha, they say how it was inspired by Papa Sam and what a great man he was - how I would have liked him. My dad says I remind him of Papa. He worked at a candy store and was always very giving and cheerful around my dad. I wish I had the chance to meet him.

Papa Sam (on the right)

My middle name is Azaria, and I happen to like it a lot, even though it is not very common. It is my mom's maiden name and it's very unique. I'm glad my middle name isn't something typical like Marie, even though that is very pretty as well. Sammy is the nickname I like the best, however, after writing it on the top of my papers for 15 years I might start to want something new. Maybe Sam, but that doesn’t fit me. I am Sammy and not Samantha or Sam or anything else. When I write "Sammy" in cursive, the M’s look like lots and lots of humps. Too many for the name to look pretty when drawn out, that's why I always write out Samantha. My parents say they were going to name me Danielle or Alexandra. They were picking between the three options because each is a feminine name that can have a nickname that is one of a boy’s as well, such as Sam, Danny, or Alex. I enjoy that they thought of that and put some thinking into choosing my name. I appreciate the fact that I would be named relatively the same thing if I were a boy, it shows me how I would have still been myself even if I wasn’t Samantha.

Happy Magic

After losing my fifth tooth, I was already onto the tooth fairy. I believed in her for my first few teeth as the young, innocent child I was. Putting my tooth under the pillow along with a secret note only for the eyes of the fairy. I talked to her, and each time I lost a tooth I saw it as a chance to better get to know this little fairy who signed her notes as Swirly. The letters she drew with had swirly curvy letters, that made her notes unique and special. I always fell asleep with a smile on my face knowing she would be coming during the night and I would wake up to a special surprise. Who are your siblings? What's the name of your best friend? I was so curious to get to know this fairy that when the day arrived that she “forgot” to come I was heart broken. Where is she? Why didn’t she come? I knew. I just didn’t want to say it, I didn’t want to think that there was no magical fairy and that this special connection wasn’t real. I had to face the truth, though, my little fairy friend had been my mom all along. However, my little sister, being two years younger than me, didn’t know this. She deserved to believe in the magic a little while longer and fall asleep thinking about her own fairy. I was the new fairy for my sister, taking over the role of my mom I answered my sister's questions that she wrote in her notes. I helped get her more time to still believe in the magic that made her happy for a little while longer.

My Home away from Home

Waking up chilly. The night’s cold air is still lingering inside the cabin, trapped until the sun shines and it warms up. I’m on the top bunk, first one awake. The clock on the other side of the small wooden cabin reads 7:20am. I am snuggled into bed with my pajamas on, under the fuzzy blanket that keeps me warm during the night. It’s silent, the only sounds are of the 10 other campers and 2 counselors sleeping in my cabin breathing. This makes me smile, this moment, this place, this time. The grogginess of morning has worn off and it’s just mellow and happy in the cabin. No phone to check, no technology in sight, no noisy alarm waking me up for school, just simple and easy. I silently slip out of bed and somehow reach the ground without making a noise. With Me Before You in hand, I open the door to the cabin and it creaks a little, then I shut it softly so people can keep sleeping. The grass is wet with dew beneath my my bare feet. There are a few rocking chairs sitting out front of the cabins facing the pristine Lake Fairlee. I sit down and begin to read. Before I know it, 20 minutes has passed and the bugle goes off signaling the start of a great day. Once everyone is up and we have eaten the delicious breakfast that is always ready for us, the day begins. If I had to describe the feeling I get of being here it would be isolated from the real world yet so so connected and together within the small community. We windsurf, paddle board, make bracelets, canoe, dive, and so much more. Every day is better than the last, it’s impossible not to have fun here. The campers, the staff, the lake, the trees, the laughs we have, and the freedom - there's not one thing I don’t love about this place. The people I have met here are the truest friends I could ever ask for, we are all free of our technology for the summer and have a type of friendship that people in this generation don’t usually get to experience. Coming here every summer is life changing. This is Camp Billings, my home away from home.

Camp Billings!

The Man who was always happy

Papa Ken was my grandpa, my mom's mom's husband. What a stroke of luck that she met this man, for he played such a large role in my life as well as the lives of every person he met. He died a few years back, it's okay however, because all we remember now are the good memories. Papa Ken was a bigger guy, but that just made him all the more hug-able. He was just so happy. So very happy. He was the type of person to graciously share his joyfulness and good spirits with everyone around him. He had an amazing smile and laugh. When Papa Ken smiled, the whole room lit up. When he smiled everyone's mood improved; simply lifted the spirits. That is one thing I will never forget about Papa Ken, his genuine happiness. Also how he spread it around. Every time he met someone new, he treated them as if they were king and was so genuine and engage towards everyone. He greeted strangers politely then went on to continue asking questions and starting conversation. I remember he once met someone on the side of the road and ended up talking with the man for hours on end, just because he was so eager to listen and learn. What am I gonna do with you? The phrase he always said to me followed by a big smile and laughter. Whenever I went to their house in NJ, I opened the door and was immediately greeted with a huge bear hug. These are the things I will never forget about Papa Ken, his personality and how it has the ability to light up anyone's day.

Side Note: In the picture below on the top right, I remember we were at a diner in CT when it was taken. I remember Papa Ken saying to me "are those glasses real or are they just a fashion statement?" It made me confident in my glasses because I used to think they were ugly on me. We both know this was a very nice thing of him to say because it is obvious that the pink Sponge bob glasses were not my best choice.

Papa Ken

Credits:

Created with images by < J > - "Flowers" • hansbenn - "sunrise winter impressions wintry" • Heliophiliac, sentimental, nostalgic. - "Happy STARt"

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