Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Long Weekend.

What a weekend! That is the understatement of the year.....

Our plans for camping were completely foiled. First, we were not able to hold our original camping reservation at our favorite campground (McCarthy Beach) because the Minnesota State government is stupid and could not agree on a budget, therefore causing a statewide government shutdown of almost all services funded by the state. People are layed off from jobs, rest stops closed, all services other than critical care were haulted and state campgrounds barricaded and closed. We were bummed.

But we were determined to go camping and found a nice little campground in Spooner, WI. We packed up and headed out Friday afternoon; 90 degrees when we left. 1 1/2 hours later we arrived in Spooner;102 degrees! I don't remember the last time I felt that kind of heat. We proceeded to set up our tent, dripping sweat and tensions rising. Afterwards, we promptly jumped in the lake to cool and calm ourselves. Life was good. The rest of the family showed up and started to set up their tents when the sky turned dark and high winds came out of nowhere. It was very scary. We were scrambling to throw all of our unpacked things into the tents and jump into our cars/trucks. Trees were bending, lightning striking and then, amidst it all, we heard sirens entering the campground. With everybody scrambling everywhere, it was hard to tell what was going on. We started to head up to the camp owner's garage for safety from the tornado warning and there on the other side of the road was a giant (and i mean huge) tree fallen over...on a tent. It was when we gathered together in the garage with solem looks on others' faces that we learned of an 11-year old girl who had been in that tent when the lightning struck that tree. She was killed instantly. Bless her family. I still can't wrap my head around it. We were all in shock while this storm was pursuing on.

After it calmed down, we headed back and my dad proceeded to finish setting up his tent. It wasn't right. It wasn't safe. Someone had to make the tough call that the right thing to do was leave. The thing was, nobody wanted to admit that we needed to leave because we were camping; we always do this as a family every year. Something was missing. We needed that level-headedness of my brother to say we needed to go. We were just lost.

We ended up throwing all of our stuff in our vehicles and left; defeated.

BUT, we pulled ourselves together Saturday morning because we still had three days to enjoy the weekend. After a morning of unpacking vehicles and laying stuff out in the yard to dry, we put out some decorations on the back porch and in the house. Later on, we headed out to the beach and spent the entire afternoon there. It was lovely! The kids had a ball as did the adults, got a nice tan and then headed over for a nice grilled dinner at my sister's house.

Sunday morning found us at my parents' house for an early morning bike ride, followed by blueberry pancakes and sausage. Yum! Then, a group of us headed up to my in-laws' cabin for the afternoon. Fishing, jumping off the pontoon in the middle of the lake, sun, rhubarb slush drinks, a bonfire, sparklers and a wonderful dinner on the grill made for such a fun day!

And the Fourth! Monday started with a lovely breakfast for just our family (and Uncle Lukey, of course) with omlets, hasbrowns, banana bread, fruit and juice on the deck. So enjoyable. The boys enjoyed throwing some pop-its (love them) on the ground with a neighbor friend and then we met my family for a parade and back to their house for some serious bike decorating! The bikes looked magnificent and the kids had a blast. (I think the adults had more fun helping them decorate though..hehe). They lined up for a mini-bike parade for grandma and grandpa. So cute! We headed home, napped and woke up to 90 degree weather again. It's slightly miserable; you can't sit outside without sweating. So, we decided to do water balloons and a sprinkler party with a watermelon snack. We loved it!

And finally, we headed down to the waterfront to take in the outdoor symphony concert followed by amazing fireworks to music. Great ending to a great weekend!

I hope everyone stayed safe and had a wonderful Fourth of July! (I think I'm done camping for awhile).

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