Family Reunion - 2013
Michelle wanted a cottage on the water 'Up North'. They did not want to be close to a resort or shopping area.
They found their cottage on the water, ten miles from major shopping and they own the wooded acre across the road. They have neighbors but it still has that 'up north' feel.
Since their purchase, the family was planning to hold a family reunion at the cottage. This was the year.
Fred - Mary Lou - Becky - Fred - Michelle - Steve Scott - Wyatt - Melanie
Lily - Caitlin - Ashlyn - Nick They did not make the trip North
We arrived Tuesday, a couple days ahead of the Thursday start of the Family Reunion. Michelle and her family arrived late Wednesday.
Steve wanted to get the grass cut, install a new battery in the boat and fill the gasoline tank before Fred and his family arrived from Indiana on Thursday. We did not interfere with his chores.
Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Thursday . . .
Fred and his family were expected mid-afternoon on Thursday. We had been tracking the weather for our summer Family Reunion in Michigan. As it was hot the prior few weekends, we were due for a change . . . it was coming this weekend.
Thursday was going to be the best day for water sports. So, after the customary hugs, we suggested the 'younger' people change into their swim suits and enjoy the water while they could.
The grandchildren did not have to be told twice. Caitlin and Nick had never ridden on the tube - they were ready to go. Ashlyn and Lily are always ready to be on the water.
We stayed on shore so our photographs
will be made from our position on dry land.
(Photographs made from the in boat are from Michelle and Steve.)
They drove by us frequently so we could see the riders and hear the squeals.
The tube that carries three people adds to the fun of sharing the thrills.
Here they are heading right at us landlubbers.
Look at those smiles . . .
Unfortunately, a seam on the three person water toy ripped and it ended that fun. Fred and Steve carried the wounded toy to the garage.
So, bring out the individual tubes. The individual tubes provide a different kind of fun. They are not just towed in a straight line. The boat driver can maneuver the boat in a way that the riders can be dumped off the tube. That just adds to the fun.
Somebody fell off.
Steve and the girls made some photographs of the smiles the tube automatically brings out.
Fred would turn the boat sharp to the left and right with Fred (son) on the tube to whip him out to the side.
The tube really moves fast when it is whipped out to the side.
Michelle did the same to Fred this weekend. She learned well.
Fred looks like he still has those aggressive tubing skills.
Lily and Ashlyn are very good at sharing their toys with their guest.
They genuinely enjoy their guests having a good time.
Oh, we didn't mention that while we were on shore, we were 'dog sitting'. Lucy and Charlotte usually go on the boat with the family. However, with the four extra people onboard, they decided to stay on land with us.
Time to feed the 'water bugs' dinner . . .
Corn huskers . . . Eating on the patio . . . Saving her teeth . . .
And, it was time to 'feed' the boat also. It has an appetite for gasoline.
Everyone, including the dogs, decided to go fishing after dinner. Michelle and Steve fish regularly and pointed the boat toward a good spot hoping the fish were cooperative.
While they were fishing, we went back to the HitchHiker. We knew Michelle and Steve fished until dark. So, we thought we would give them the evening alone in the cottage after the fishing trip. That gives our children and grandchildren time to talk about us - oh, the stories they share.
Fred was in his glory fishing. He brought his equipment and purchased a non-resident fishing license. He limbered up his casting arm all week in preparation to fighting fish.
The only person in the fishing party who caught a fish was Nick.
We were told that at the time Nick was very excited. However, he didn't want to touch the fish. He was happy having his photograph taken 'with' the fish. His dad held it for him.
Nice fish Nick.
The group stayed out until dark fishing.
Later we heard a knocking at our door. The late night caller wanted us to come to the cottage to see something.
When we walked into the cottage, there was a lot of excitement. We were instructed to open the cooler.
Inside the cooler was a small mouth bass.
We had to guess who had caught the bass. Eventually, we guessed that Nick had caught the bass.
Uncle Fred, being the 'pro' fisherman in the group, was elected to filet the bass.
The fish measured 17" long. It was big enough that everyone who wanted a taste would be able to have some fish.
We talked for a while. Then, told Michelle to send someone to give us a 30 minute warning for breakfast in the morning. With that, we excused ourselves and headed for the HitchHiker.
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Friday . . .
The whitecaps on the lake made our day's plans for us. It was going to be a day on land.
Nick and Caitlin stood on the dock 'wishing' the wind and whitecaps away. It didn't work. Friday was not a pleasant day.
Later, Michelle and Mary Lou relieved Nick and Caitlin as the 'wishing' committee. It didn't work for them either. Friday remained an unpleasant day.
We gathered around the fire for a little warmth, conversation and lunch.
We cooked our own lunch sandwich using pie irons. The fire was just right. Fred's looks perfect. The secret is to check the result frequently. If you don't, you will have a burned sandwich.
Thanks to M&S for these two photographs.
Due to the wind continuing, inside the cottage felt good.
Notice that Steve and Fred each have a dog on their lap . . .
Nick thought it was neat that Charlotte would get the chickens out of the barn every time he put them in the barn.
Another game of Wahoo. . .
Notice that Mary Lou and Michelle each have a dog on their lap . . .
Ashlyn and Lily sang songs they learned at the Boy's & Girl's Club.
Steve enjoyed the song . . . Caitlin looks 22 instead of 12 . . .
Even Grandpa was talked into playing Apples To Apples.
Nick thought Grandpa would look better sideways - no improvement.
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Saturday . . .
The weather forecast was better for today. It was cool in the morning.
The grandchildren waited inside the cottage for word that the weather was improving . . .
Is a decision close?
Will the parents meeting decide - it's a GO?
It's a GO!
It was probably Fred who said, "lets go fishing".
Mary Lou did not go with them, just saw them off.
It was warm enough for the young and the brave to go out on the water.
The decision was that everyone would go fishing. You can fish with a jacket on. Gloves if needed.
Ashlyn is a great First Mate.
Always helping with the boat.
Warning to fish: HERE WE COME!
After the unsuccessful fishing trip, Fred and Steve stayed on-board to stow the fishing gear.
Lunch in the great outdoors . . .
After lunch, the brave and the young wanted to tube.
It looks like Nick has his chest pushed out with pride as he stands on the steps with three girls. (Nick, the girls are your sister and your cousins.
The grandchildren were always 'waiting' for the adults.
There's Ashlyn handling the lines for the tubers. Sorry, it looks - COLD.
She is a big help - steps up and just does it.
Nothing like a game of Wahoo to warm you up.
Doesn't this look like a calm, well behaved duck?
A creature of nature.
The only problem with the duck is it has a habit of pooping
wherever it feels like it. Just like all other water fowl.
One of Lily's jobs is to 'train' the duck NOT to poop on their dock.
As soon as someone tells her the duck is on the dock, she is off and running to provide another 'training' lesson.
As soon as Michelle and Steve bought their cottage the family started talking about a family reunion at the cottage. Fred has been planning ever since to ask Mick to play his guitar and sing for us. He lives only 20 miles from the cottage and agreed to play Saturday night. That made for a fun evening of entertainment for our family reunion.
The evening turned out better than Fred had expected. Not only did Mick perform for us, Mick welcomed our son (Fred) to play with him. From all appearances, Mick and Fred had a good time 'jamming' together and entertaining the rest of us at the same time. It was a WIN WIN for everyone. (Thanks, Mick)
Time for the campfire . . .
. . . the guys waiting for the rest of the family.
Michelle found a formula for great campfire popcorn - a campfire + pop corn + coconut oil. The result is delicious popcorn with little need for salt.
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Sunday . . .
First thing on the agenda - breakfast of eggs, turkey bacon and toast was enjoyed by all.
Another game of Wahoo occupied the grandchildren. Fred could make a Wahoo board for the grandchildren. But, then it would not be 'the game grandpa played with his grandma'. So, we plan to keep it a 'special' game.
Fred and Michelle found time to roughhouse with one of their children. Both Nick and Lily like to roughhouse or play in silly ways.
Bad weather or good weather, sometimes you just want to go fishing. They looked happy as they motored away from the dock. (Maybe, because the grandchildren we in the cottage with grandma and grandpa.)
While her parents were fishing, Caitlin
put a water alert alarm back in position
after we replaced its battery.
The fisherman return from the 'wet' fishing trip.
Michelle and Becky appear to have
experienced an enjoyable fishing
adventure. They were all smiles.
We were told that Fred really did
have an enjoyable time.
Now, he is a real fisherman.
The rest of the day was spent in the warm, cozy cottage
Michelle cooked Nick's fish as part of Sunday lunch.
One bite and Nick was done.
Come to find out, he doesn't like fish.
That was okay, all the more for the rest of us.
Then, it was time for the family reunion to end. The packing began as the family headed for their homes in Indiana and southern Michigan.
There was one last planned activity before our family reunion could officially end. A visit to the local ice cream store. We had visited the area for years before experiencing a visit to Nibbles. Now, we try to Nibbles once each year.
Their specialty turtle sundae is the best.
This put a sweet ending to a great family reunion.
We are all looking forward to the 2014 Family Reunion.
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