Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday: A Family Circus Vacation

Rose Bud, and to a smaller extent the girls, LOVES The Family Circus. We own about 2/3 of the books about a large family of young children and their daily, just-the-way-it-really-is moments in life. A recurring theme in Bil Keane’s chronicles is the family vacation. Each year the family loaded their station wagon to the gills, piled the kids in the back and headed off with great excitement to the beach or some famous destination. And every time the children end up wistfully pressed up against the hotel window watching the rain pour down while the harried parents contemplate 3 wet days trapped in a hotel room with four young children.

It could have been like that, but we actually had a very pleasant day in the cabin while the rain poured down in a steady, gentle shower.

Sunshine slept until 6:30, which felt wonderful because the clock said it was so (even though in his internal system it was really 5:30, just as if he was still at home). We leisurely got ready and were at the community building in town at 8:34, ready for our Lion’s brunch.

Oh. My. Goodness. YUM.

Mr. GT handed over $20 and we were handed heavy china plates while we stood in line. Behind the counter in the kitchen the Lions and Lionesses bustled frying sausages, pancakes, eggs and potato slices. They had electric griddles right there on the counter with the pancakes and eggs. In the back, someone was breaking two eggs at a time into Corelle coffee cups and the egg lady would pour each cup of eggs onto her griddle. The sausages and potatoes were in Nescos.

The meal was all-you-can-eat, but everyone was satisfied with just one huge helping. The coffee was weak, but there was also orange juice and make-your-own toast.

We had planned to attend the Baptist church in town at 11 am, but The Lutheran Hour happened to come on the radio on our way to breakfast, and they listed the sponsoring churches, which included a Lutheran church in Newbery, 15 miles away.

Off we headed on a roundabout tour on a gravel road through the North Woods. Eventually, we ended up on a paved highway and in Newbery. The Lutheran church was an old, white, wooden-steepled affair, filled with old, white-haired ladies. But the organist was VERY enthusiastic and took on some wonderful, beautiful traditional organ music. The pastor, who told us later she was from Wisconsin, gave an inspiring message on Mary and Martha and everyone was very friendly. They sang lovely, traditional hymns and it was a wonderful time of worship.

On the way back to the cabin, we stopped outside the Newbery Chamber of Commerce to use their free wi-fi (wicked fast – happy day!)

While I posted the first blog post, it began to rain and it continued on all day.

For the rest of the day, we hung out in the cabin and just relaxed. Sunshine took a nap, the kids made more bracelets, Mr. GT watched a movie and I finally began to real Eat, Pray, Love which people have been telling me for two years I need to read.
I do like it. I love her imagery! It’s a very soothing book to read that makes you feel beautiful as you glide through her words, with a chuckle refreshingly located every 3 pages or so. Her writing style reminds me of my friend (who doesn’t know she’s my friend) Rae, who blogs at Journey Mom. Rae will have a book coming out next year and I’m excited to read it. I’m hopeful it will be reflective of the writing style on her blog.

Other rainy-day activities in the cabin included a pom-pon animal craft kit from Nonny (HUGE, HUGE hit! Thank you, Nonny!), Chinese Checkers, puzzles & reading. The girls went crazy with the pom-pon animals and made a veritable zoo. Pepper has a particular talent for creative pom-pon animal ideas (her menagerie included a goose and 3 goslings, a monkey with a ruffled neck, a cat with whiskers and a buffalo. Rose Bud made a cute penguin, which she deposited on a model sailing ship on a high shelf in the sunroom. Daisy placed her lion in a lighthouse on the TV. The cabin owners will be a little surprised at all the pom-pon discoveries they’ll make next time they are here.

Late in the afternoon I put the chicken in the oven (with a half a bottle of Mike’s Hard Limeade overtop—I put the other half of the bottle out of its misery. No sense wasting it) and made garlic mashed potatoes with the new red potatoes we brought from home. We also had broccoli and cucumbers from our garden (still to appear on the table this week are green beans and peas).

The sun finally came out about 6 pm and the kids went out to play croquet and badminton (BB has the hang of serving now!) until the mosquitoes drove them in for summer.

The shower was interesting, to say the least. It has only two settings—scalding or ice. Mr. GT had to help the boys, but the girls were soon adept at flipping the dial back and forth to avoid being burned or frozen. In any case, it makes for a quick shower.

Rose Bud and I did a couple of Logic puzzles together before she went to bed, then Mr. GT and I read for an hour before we turned in.

No one was disappointed by the gloomy weather and everyone enjoyed spending a whole afternoon with no responsibilities. Everyone got along and played nicely together. I’m so proud of these kids. I love that they have such simple needs, that they are friends with their siblings and that they find joy in very basic adventures. It’s a pleasure to spend a week in a tiny cabin with them!

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