Last week, I promised to write more about our family vacation. There was so much, I'm sure today will only be a snippet of our four-day outing.
A friend was shocked that my farmer-husband actually took time away from the farm this summer. She remembered the days when Bob worked nonstop, only taking time off to eat and sleep. I told her my husband has mellowed with age. He really enjoyed the time with our family and hardly missed the farm.
One big thing about our vacation was that we were unplugged. The cabin had no television, no Internet, no phone and no cellphone connection. We did have electricity, running water and indoor plumbing, so even though we couldn't reach the outside world, we were comfortable — though cellphone withdrawal wasn't easy for a few.
There were 13 of us and ONE BATHROOM. Of course, baby Wyatt didn't need the bathroom as he's in diapers. Amazingly enough, there were no fisticuffs over bathroom use. A few times there were lines, and a person had to take a number, but no puddles occurred and the toilet only stopped up once — OK, that was a problem as we couldn't find the plunger and couldn't call the cabin owner for help. Still, no flooding took place.
Young children did learn that at times it is OK to go behind a tree in the woods — this was a first for Arianna, Eli and Serenity. Lucky for everyone, soon we had the toilet back in working order. Good thing, too, because this grandma didn't want to be the next one finding a spot behind a tree.
We had plans to celebrate the upcoming fifth birthday of our grand-twins the first night. Arianna came down with a fever, and everything was put on hold. Rachel had come prepared with all kinds of kid necessities and was able to give Arianna medication for her fever.
"We just got here," Arianna said, fearing her illness would bring their family time by the lake to a sudden end. I was afraid everything was going to come to a halt, too.
Arianna went to bed while others in the group sat around the campfire and waited. The birthday party was postponed.
The medicine worked on Arianna and then again when Eli came down with the same fever. Eventually even baby Wyatt caught it, but no one else did, which worried Rachel. She was afraid she had brought the "plague" to her family.
Birthday cake was consumed the following day. All ages then went catch-and-release fishing. The youngsters weren't so great at casting. Serenity, 6, was traumatized when she caught Arianna with a hook. Both were shook up but eventually were talked into safely fishing again.
Getting away from our noisy dock was the only way adults caught anything bigger than a few inches. Andy is still talking about the largemouth bass that bent his pole. Dave worked for at least half an hour bringing in and then releasing his catch, a snapping turtle.
Ethan and Seth helped a lot, entertaining their younger cousins. Though they often disagreed with each other, neither pushed his brother into the lake, so no videos of a big splash.
We went waterfall viewing and sang around the campfire — Rob had brought his bass ukulele and played for us.
Everyone took photos, especially Rebecca and Rachel, so our trip is well documented.
Bob and I had so much fun just watching the commotion and holding Wyatt, when he wasn't demanding to cling to Mommy Rachel.
The best thing that was said to me during our vacation happened as we were getting into the cars for waterfall viewing. Arianna cheered, "Yay! Grandma's coming with us!"
The long weekend was almost perfect, except for the absence of Russell and Cynthia. Maybe next year we'll have all 16 of us together.
*Farm Technology Days by Plover is Aug. 12, 13 and 14. Bob and I plan to be at the Wisconsin State Farmer booth (tent B-103). I'll have books to sell. Hope to see everyone there.