Sunday, August 9, 2009

Family Weekend at the Lake

When I first started blogging, it was with the idea of sharing the digital scrapbook pages I make and sharing stories of days gone by, of family and of the events in our lives. And for a time, that worked out pretty well. But things have changed, as they often do. I find that with my work schedule added to the fact that I now live alone and do all of the daily chores myself, there just isn't time to put into digital scrapbooking. It has become a chore rather than a joy. Oh, I still enjoy sitting at my computer and putting together the scrapbook pages, but I have other things that I like to do in my spare time as well. I have a quilt that has sat in a box in pieces for months and I want to finish it for my bedroom. I bought some yarn a while back to see if I remembered how to crochet an afghan for my living room. I have a whopping six granny squares done, and they, too, reside in a box in the closet. So it is time to move on and do some things other than digital scrapbook.

This blog will contain the stories as did the old one, as some of my family members have expressed a desire to read what I write, and it will also contain pictures - just not in scrapbook form. With any kind of luck, this will enable me to keep up with what is going on in our lives and also share some of the stories of the past. It is the scrapbook pages that take so much of my time. Perhaps now, all of those fabric pieces will actually become a quilt!

The first weekend in August, some of my family met for a get-together up north. I had a grand time. I was able to spend time with some of my grown children and their children. There was time to get to know my grandkids a little better. I found that Maddie Mae will talk a blue streak when she has overcome her shyness. Early one morning, I learned from her all I ever want to know about "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Seems that is one of her favorite movies, and I got a running play-by-play about what was happening on the screen. Delightful.

One evening, we had a bonfire, toasted marshmallows and made Smores. Boston burns the heck out of marshmallows, which is just the way I like them. Zach takes his time and makes them toasty brown on the outside, which is also just the way I like them. They did a good job of keeping Grandma supplied with toasted marshmallows.

Boston gathered a whole sack full of pine cones for me. I brought them home, baked them in a low-heat oven for an hour to kill any creepy crawlers that might be in them, and they now reside in a basket in my living room, a nice reminder of a lovely weekend and of the granddaughter who gathered them for me.

Jacob makes me tired. He is so busy and everything is done at a dead run. I just love sitting back and watching to see what he will do next. He can go from a world class tantrum to smiling and happy with astounding speed. He is a joy.

I love being with Zach. He will, out of the blue, come up to me and give me a hug. Hugs are good, especially when given by grandsons. He told me about the fish he caught and threw back to give them a chance to grow up. He has a sense of humor second to none, and I really like hearing what he will come up with next.

It was so fun to have Nicki along on this trip. Her sense of humor tickles my funny bone. She traveled in the back seat of the van, and remarked that we didn't need to worry about her as she was just part of the luggage back there. She is so good with the younger kids and did a great job of keeping them entertained. Seems like just yesterday she was a little kid herself, but she has grown into nearly a young lady, and even though I love her, I like her as well.

On Saturday Kelly and some of his family came to spend the day with us. I always love it when I can see my brother. We have a bond that has weathered time, and even though we don't see each other very often, the times that we do are very special for me. We talk of times past, of our parents and our families. It is good to do that from time to time. We had a potluck lunch with more food than could be eaten at a couple of meals. Kelly reminded me of a time when Dad lived in an apartment complex where the residents got together for a potluck meal every so often. Now, Dad was not known as a spendthrift. I believe the word "cheap" would apply. At any rate, his idea of a contribution to the dinners, where others brought casseroles, cakes, pies, salads and other goodies, was a jar of olives. And if the jar remained unopened, he took it home and brought it the next time. This has resulted in a standing family joke about who will bring the olives.

Jackie was there with Kelly, and I was so glad to see her. She is such a sweet lady, more of a sister than a sister-in-law. She is fun to be with and I so enjoy her company. Her daughter, Ashley, came later in the afternoon because Jackie said she wanted to meet all of us. That took some effort on her part, as she is due to have her baby any minute now. She reminded me of her mother, and I like her very much.

I was also happy to meet Dustin and his daughter, Desiree (am not sure of the spelling), who is nearly two years old. How fortunate I am to have another nephew and grand-niece. Dustin reminds me of his dad - not so much in looks, but in his way of talking and his sense of humor. He races at the Bemidji Speedway, and I asked him about that. Apparently he is not having the best racing season this year, because his answer was, "You had to ask about that, didn't you!" But then he showed me some pictures of his car, which is really cool. When he got ready to leave, he gave me a hug, and that made me feel like I really did have another member of my family. I hope I can spend more time with them again soon.

Desiree is a little doll-baby. She is just so cute, and once she got over being shy around so many new people, she and Jacob had a good old time, running and playing together. When they started dancing, we found that Desiree can "shake her booty" with the best of them. She adores her grandma, and it was fun to watch them together.

Emily was there as well, and she is the reason for this reunion of sorts. Some of us have been chatting with her on Facebook, and when she told me that she was coming home from Hawaii for a time while her husband was off for the military, and to have her baby here in Minnesota, I knew that we just had to get together. It had been way too long since I had seen her. Thanks to my kids who organized this outing, I was able to see her and hug her and spend some time with her. It is fun to chat online, but nothing compares to seeing her in person. I am so excited for her having this baby, and the ultrasound pictures she brought with show that it is a boy. I am so happy for her and her husband. I am planning a trip north in November after my grand-nephew is born. I mean, after all, how many times is one lucky enough to have grand-nieces and nephews!

As I am an early riser, I had some alone time as well. I was able to take my morning coffee outside and sit and look at the lake, the towering pines and listen to the loons call. Now that is my idea of heaven. Jill took this photo that reminds me of the quiet and beauty of the lake. I often wish aloud that I could live again in the north country, for that has always seemed like home to me. I am not a city girl, but a country girl at heart. But I know that this is just not practical, and I am getting to the age where practical will probably win over wanting to live among the pines again. But, oh, how lovely it was to be there again with my family. Life is good.

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