Monday, August 27, 2012

10 days...the Coles Notes

Life returns to normal this week, or falls back into routine at least. Our days at the lake are over for summer 2012 and as expected a great time was had by all. We made the decision to 'unplug' the family this year, leaving social media, texting and the internet at home. Everyone survived...Even Mom! although there were a few moments that were 'tweet-worthy' to sum them up;

spider, spider! where's my drink?, where's my dog?, spider! where's my kids? more gas? put poly on it. #Cottage12

First, the unplugged thing was not as difficult to enforce as anticipated. We took only one cell phone so that we were 'reachable' and allowed the teens intermittent use to touch base with boyfriends and social life. there were a few tense moments, a bout of cold sweats but no tears so I am declaring the exercise successful.

What did the kids get up to in the absence of electronic influence? Lula swam across the lake and back, that's 2 miles! KJ and her cottage buddy built a backwoods hangout, planning a myriad of diversionary routes to throw everyone off their trail. E perfected his angling skills (I made frequent expeditions into town for worms and minnows)  There was also a great deal of ATV adventuring, kayaking, swimming, board game playing, and tubing. There were boat rides and campfires, s'mores, hammock rides and sunset watching.

I was so proud of their enthusiasm, they always enjoy our time at the lake but I worry as they get older that they will delight in the simplicity less and less. I was impressed with every blister, bruise, slice, bump, sunburn and sliver they earned themselves. We bathed in polysporin, bug spray and sunscreen and we carried on.

The grown up contingent reveled in games of washer toss, ladder ball. flolf, bean bag toss and dominoes. We sang along to the songs of our youth and indulged in foods and spirits a little more losely than 'normal'. We built things and started fires, we sat in the sand and watched the sun set. All of this was enjoyed in between filling gas tanks, driving boats, untangling lines, unhooking fish, hooking minnows and cooking meals, washing dishes and hanging soaking towels up to dry. A parent never really knows just how tired they can be until they take their family on vacation.

I completely love the traditions of the lake and the traditions our family is building on our annual pilgrimage. Dad's sweet & salty kettle corn, the sandcastle building contest (which may have been conceived in a desperate need for 10 minutes of peace and quiet). There are the UNO games and requisite photos of sunsets and sunrises, boxed mix pancakes for breakfast and dinners of corn on the cob. I was delighted to see that the chalkboard we left behind last year has been put to good use by cottagers leaving out-going greetings to incoming guests...ours to the next; 'a week a the lake, a lifetime in the heart. With Gratitude The Luelo Family'

Our poor dog is suffering severe withdrawal from a week of 17 full acres of leash free freedom and returning to our suburban backyard. I have almost finished the laundry, everything that goes to the lake comes home to a date with the washer. I am surveying everything for dock spiders, horrible, horrible creatures that move indoors with wood spiders as the temps drop. I am also not entirely sure that we haven't brought home a stowaway chipmunk with a propensity for dog kibble and potatoes.

There will be much more to write and when the laundry is all caught up, the dog is detached from his stink and the 8lbs I brought home on my waist have been whittled away I will have more tales to share. Tales like the spider that shared my bed, an introduction to 'Robinson' my Pike counsellor and  why it's perfectly acceptable to use the boy's shower house.

For now I leave with a few pictures of our adventures and a message that as wonderful as it is to get away there is something wonderful about being back. Back to routine, back to writing, back to chatting, back to friends and the spider free comforts of home.

Gratitude today for a family of adventurers happy to go all in or nothing in the name of family memories.

E at the wheel

Lula on board

KJ the kayaker

The big snapper

The wee snapper

Hope Gratitude and Smiles are meant to be shared!