Livingston, NJ (June 10, 2019) – Seventy-four year-old grandmother Roberta Seidenberg has again been unceremoniously removed from the main floor bedroom she occupies in her son’s home in order for the room to serve as the camp packing headquarters for the next month. Seidenberg, widowed only three years ago, will have the choice of sleeping on a pullout sofa in her son’s office, upstairs on a blowup mattress in her younger granddaughter’s room, or in a sleeping bag in her daughter’s townhome in the northern Chicago suburbs.
As is common in homes of families of sleepaway campers, one room of the house is typically designated as the packing zone where only certain members of the family are allowed to enter at scheduled time slots depending on how many children are going away. In most homes, fathers are only allowed in these rooms to carry the duffel bags out of the room and into the foyer or outside the garage for pick up due to the constant questioning of whether or not a certain item(s) is absolutely necessary to bring to camp. While many homes have a spare bedroom or office to set up shop, Lisa and Justin Seidenberg, parents of two Camp Huron Lake lower campers, unfortunately do not have any earmarked space in their 7,500 square foot federal colonial-style home.
“When my mother-in-law moved in a few years back after my father-in-law, Lawrence, passed away from an ‘allergic reaction to a prostitute’s perfume’ while on a business trip to Orlando, I knew Roberta needed to be with family,” explained Lisa who was skeptical of the coroner’s autopsy results, “But she very well knew before moving in with us that I’m not giving up my gift wrapping room or the girls’ upstairs movie room to make way all their camp stuff. We’ve all had to made sacrifices.”
Seconds after his mother began aimlessly walking the streets figuring out a plan for the next four weeks, Justin quickly moved her bed to the corner of the 35’ x 25’ room to help navigate the seemingly infinite maze of way-too-nice-for-camp clothing, Target-purchased towels, wildly overpriced designer bedding, and other assorted camp essentials. He then removed the framed wedding portrait of his parents from the wall in order to hang a boardroom-sized whiteboard that is used to keep an accurate assessment of his wife’s packing progress. In addition to the whiteboard, Seidenberg hung a preliminary map of the room detailing the anticipated placement of both the children’s belongings and the narrow aisles to be used to tiptoe from pile to pile.
After spraining her left ankle from tripping on Roberta’s treadmill, now used as the socks and undergarment staging area, Lisa gingerly limped past the plastic bag/batteries section into the luxe en suite bathroom to get a better idea of the dental and feminine hygiene situation before adding several dozen items to the Amazon shopping cart. With only two weeks left before the bags get picked up, Mrs. Seidenberg knows she is in a race against time and having a dedicated room for all of her packing needs has proven to be an invaluable source to prepare her girls for seven weeks on the shores of Huron Lake.
“I love my mother-in-law,” remarked Lisa, clearly lying through her teeth, “but making sure my girls’ things are neatly packed so their foreign-born counselor can stuff all of it into three or four tiny cubbies so they’re already unpacked when they get to camp is my priority.”
Grandma Seidenberg can expect to get her room back a few days after the bags are shipped but is already making plans for alternate housing while her son and his family pack the week before they go to Aruba over Christmas break.