Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What we have here is...

Dakota and Austin spent the night with us last Thursday night.  We were planning on doing a little shopping the next day.  Here is how the conversation went:

Me:  We have a lot of shopping to do tomorrow.  Maybe I'll even get you guys each a pad and pencil for school.

Grandpa (trying to maintain his "so tight he squeaks" image):  I'm not spending that much money on these two!  We'll buy only one pad and one pencil and they can share.

Austin:  I get the pad!

Dakota:  They are talking about a paper pad, Austin, not an iPad...

Austin:  Really?

Me:  Yea, you know, like a Big Chief Tablet

Austin:  What's that...

Austin with his much wiser older brother Dakota

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Christmas in July

I'm not sure whether I am experiencing writer's block or whether I'm just too busy to write.

My hobbies have overtaken me.  There are more of them than there is time.
Between our small garden, my roses, embroidery jobs, family, sewing, playing with the mandolin (sure wish I could master that sucker), and crafting (I'm in love with Copic Markers, by the way), blogging seems to have taken a back burner.

We did find time for our Christmas in July, though.  This year we headed back to Bass River Resort in Steelville for a float on the Huzzah River.

We rented a lodge that sleeps 20 so that we could all be together.  A couple of weeks before the get together Tessa, Alicia, Julie and I got on a Facebook chat to decide who was bring what, and plan out our meals.  I tend to go overboard on things.  The theme of the chat was "keep it simple, mom".  So we did.  The first night was BBQ Pork Steaks, baked beans, yummy macaroni and cheese, and brownies.  If that is keeping it simple, then keeping it simple definitely works for me.

Nice large open area where everyone can mill around and visit.

Ghost story telling requires a bit of pacing, right Anna?
Monday morning was a gorgeous day.  The temperatures were supposed to get into the lower 90's and there was only a 20% chance of rain.  Does it get any better than this?

Ready to go!
Front row: Allen, Dakota, Reagan, Austin, James, Anna
Back row:  Cody, Travis, Emily, Cara
Ready to go floating! (A shocking experience)

Austin and James - Where you find one, you will find the other

In my wildest dreams, I could not have predicted how this day would have played out.
We rented 2 six-person and 1 eight-person raft for a six mile float.  The families all kind of started out as units, knowing that the groupings would take place naturally as the day went on.  I decided early on that every time they stopped the rafts, someone else would be stuck with me until the next stop.  I figured it would be interesting to see how quickly they would want to stop when I was with them.

After the first few miles, we experienced a beautiful, gentle rain.  The light coming through the clouds ahead of us let us know this was just a little pop up shower.  The sun came back out in time for lunch and a romp in the water. Then dark clouds besieged us again.  This time the rain was much harder and colder.  The wind picked up, making it even worse.  At one point, as Anna, Emily, Tessa and I were huddled under towels to break the wind, Jim said, "It could be worse.  At least it isn't thundering and lightening."  Wrong thing to say!  Almost immediately we heard thunder in the distance followed by a flash of lightening.  Time to get off of the water.

Ours was the first raft, with Greg and Doug' rafts and crew a short distance behind  We could see them well enough to know that they were pulling their raft out.  That is when it hit.  Most had made it to shore, but Travis, Bill, and I still had our feet in the water.  Tessa said it looked like we were doing synchronized dancing as we jumped high when the lightening hit the water.  It was the strangest feeling I've ever had.  Fortunately only a foot or two were in the water and we were ok.  But we absolutely could not see or hear what was happening on the gravel bar across the way with the rest of the family.  That was the most unforgiving rain storm imaginable as we stood huddled under sopping wet towels for warmth.  Then just as quickly as the water works began, the sun shined down on us again.  We waited as everyone headed our way so we could regroup.  We knew immediately that something was wrong.  Cody's leg was in the water as the lightening hit, so he got about the same pop as the rest of us.  But Greg was another story.  He was in the water up to his waist trying to hasten the raft to the side.  Little Reagan noticed something was wrong first and screamed for him.  Alicia said when she looked over at him his eyes were glazed over and he was hanging onto the raft.  Once they got him on the gravel, he apparently he came around pretty quickly.  He says his body felt like he had lost all control of it.  He could only compare it to what it must feel to get tazered.  It took him awhile to get his equilibrium back and for the headache to go away as we headed on down the river.  Poor Cara was beside herself to the point of hysteria when we were finally all together.  She saw what happened to Greg and had no idea if the rest of us were alright.  At that point all I wanted to do was get out of that water and onto dry ground, even if the storms had passed.  I still shudder when I think of how bad it could have been.  The rest chalked it up to God had been watching over us, now let's enjoy the rest of the float.

Once we got back to the cabin, we ordered in Pizza (it was more like card board with unidentifiable topping on it).  Doug, Travis, and Cody headed home so they could make a 9:00 ball game.  Most of us called it an early night.  The day had taken its toll on us.  I think Jim and Greg, still nursing a head ache, sat up and rehashed the day over a glass of whiskey.  Tessa, Bill and their family were to head home at 5:00 the next morning to make it to a funeral of a hometown teen who had been killed in a car accident.

If you ignore me, I'll ignore you

All in all it really was a wonderful vacation.  We knew we would be making memories - that is why we do this.  However, the excitement of this family get away will be a bit more memorable than any other.  And yes, Greg is ok.  He refused to go the ER or Dr., hard head that he is.  All's well that ends well!

Fair warning, all electronics will be banned next time.

So, what's been going on in your lives?  I plan on doing a little blog hopping to find out for myself.  Hope all are well and enjoying a little sunshine.

I choose to make the REST of my life the BEST of my life.  Louise Hay