Good morning to all. Although it almost time to say good afternoon...I am still in the AM of the day. A little later than usual. A neighbor stopped off to return a plate and we got to talking. We are so lucky to have nice new neighbors. It is nothing that easy to find great people that actually live next door to you. I am looking forward to spending time with them.
Today I thought I would talk about a trip we took as a family to Hayward, Wisconsin. Now, one particular year, my husband, my 2 daughters and myself rented a cabin on a lake in Hayward. We were not the only ones that went though. My life long friend Susan and her boys rented another cabin and her parents rented one as well. Now Susan's parents only stayed for a couple of days, where as Susan's family and ours stayed a week.
Now it was really such an experience for all of us to be together there. Most people might stay in their own cabins for meals and such...but we did everything together. We rotated whose cabin we would have the meal at, and then we would combine foods that we had appropriate for the meal. It changed things up a bit. One morning, we were doing breakfast at our cabin, Susan said she had some strawberries...there wasn't enough for everyone to enjoy....they were starting to get a bit soft...so I told her to bring them and I would make some homemade jelly. I through it in a pan with some sugar, a little squirt of lemon that I had in the fridge and there we had it...Strawberry jam. Her boys were so impressed!! They were like 'Hey mom...can you do that?" Susan gave me one of those looks...I just shrugged my shoulders and gave one of those...I'm sorry looks! I understood totally that our lives had been so different. You see, Susan's husband had been injured at work and she had to be the family provider. She really didn't have much time for thing like canning or making homemade breads or jellies. I, on the other hand stayed at home with the children and had the time to do those things. Anyway, once we pulled our resources together, we had a great meal as we all gathered around the picnic tables.
In the early hours of the day, Susan's boys would tap on our girls bedroom window and wake them up to go fishing. They all thought they were being quite and sneaking out...but we were all awake. It was such a pleasure to see them all grabbing their rods and worms and heading down to the lake. They would fish a couple of hours and be back for breakfast.
As the day progressed we changed up what we would do each day. Sometimes the kids and us would just sit under the shade of the trees at the picnic tables and play games. Between the ones Susan brought and the ones I brought, there were plenty of choices.
One day we went into town where there was a lumberjack show. It was great. They did log rolling contests, the did lumber jacking contests. There was comedy and singing. We had a blast. I know the kids really enjoyed it as much as the adults, and that really says something! There was also a quaint little town, almost similar to the town of Lake Geneva to go to and shop. We loved going in and out of the shops and seeing all the newest trendy little things along with all the souvenir type items. Well, I guess I should say that the female tribe of us enjoyed it...not sure about the male tribe, but they we re good sports!
They had a Capone's hideaway restaurant out there at the time and one night that was our outing. We went there for dinner. They had an old car that used to be the one Capone had driven and guns and hats and things to wear to have your picture taken. The kids really enjoyed it.
Back on the nights that we stuck around the cabin...there was a bar that had a pool table, so we would go over there and the kids would play pool and we would have a drink. Sometimes we just sat outside and enjoyed the stars and told stories, shared memories and made a few as well.
Some days the kids would go over to the game house and they have badmitten sets and shuffle board. Volley balls and nets. Sometimes us adults would join in or just pull our lawn chairs and relax.
There was never any squabbling or disagreements, just one big happy family. Goes to show you that you don't need to share DNA to feel like family. This was a destined group. Susan and my grandmothers had been friends and neighbors which started the ball rolling. Then our mothers went to school together and would good friends. Susan and I started our lives together form birth and are still together...our children spent their years together. Some almost 90 years later, we are still friends. Not many people can say that these days. It is fortunate if families are still together.
We as a family actually went back and stayed at the cabin a couple of times after that. Once we even drove in to the town of Ashland and drove the car onto the ferry and went over to the Apostle Islands. It was beautiful. We drove around the island and took in all the sites and shops...It was similar to Mackinaw Island in Michigan. We had lunch on an outdoor patio and watched as the seagulls gathered and perched on the piers. We could never really afford great big vacations like going to Disney world back then, but whatever we were able to do was filled with fun and laughter. We always packed our food from home and went into the local grocery stores for absolute necessities. This was a time when there were no electronics, no cell phones, just nature and our own imaginations. We communicated with nature and with each other. Today when I see families on an outing, they are all deep into their phones or games...I wonder if they ever take time to enjoy each other. We may not have been able to afford a lot when our children were growing, all we could afford was time and the giving of ourselves. I hope that it made a difference for them as they look back and recall those days. I hope that they remember the laughter with fondness. I hope that some of those ways rubbed of on them. that they realize the value of family. I would like to travel back there one day and really spend some time on Apostle Island. Maybe there can be a reunion....as years have gone by and our children have had children. Might be nice to rekindle such a special time in our lives. If you have those types of memories to share...post them on my blog...I would love to hear about your adventures and escapades. Perhaps it will encourage me to follow one of your paths, or perhaps you will travel along one of mine.