Friday, July 18, 2014
Up North 2014
Just one short week ago, I was in the north woods of Wisconsin. I've written about my families lake house before and all of the special memories that this place holds for me. You can read that post here if you are interested. My mom's family bought our lake house here when she was a kid and back then it was even tinier then it is today. I'm not sure how they ever fit two adults and seven kids in there, but with the lake and woods outside there really is no reason to stay inside!!
Nobody lives at the house full time, its more of a vacation spot for our family and the other siblings in Mom's family. So, that means that there is a never ending list of projects that need to be done and each year we tackle another one. In the past we've done things like paint the house and the garage, re-roof the garage and many other smaller projects I'm not remembering now.
This year's project; rebuild the woodshed. Well, it didn't originally start as a "rebuild" but after pulling all the old wood out and reevaluating just how sturdy the current structure was, it was clear that we needed to start from scratch.
Here's a good picture of the old woodshed we had. You can tell it needed some work. On top of pulling out all the old wood, we also needed to split and stack lots of NEW wood. Late last summer a huge storm came through at the lake and it knocked over a few of the oldest tallest trees in our property. One of which hit the house and damaged the roof. Peggy said Eddie needed to remove 4 trees to even get out the driveway. So, as you can imagine, storm cleanup has taken us a long time and we're still working through it. Luckily Peggy and Ed were at the cabin when the storm hit and Joe was able to come up the next morning to help.
But, the vacation was NOT all work and no play. We had plenty of time to just enjoy ourselves. In fact, I think I even snuck in a nap almost every single day! THAT is the definition of a vacation for me!!
I read three books, played endless games of Yahtzee (I won $7 Yahtzee bucks baby!!) and Cribbage, ate lots of S mores, waded in the lake with Abby and swatted about 8 million mosquitoes. There were so many mosquitoes on this trip that "skee-go" is not an official word in Abby's vocabulary.
Just what did I do with those Yahtzee bucks? Well, on Friday Ryan and I took our bikes on a little bar crawl. The roads and lakes of northern Wisconsin are spotted with bars and local dives. We rode our bikes about 10 miles and stopped for drinks at the three different bars we past. Surprisingly for 3 pm on a Friday most of the places were pretty empty. We chatted with a cute older couple that had just moved back "home" at the our first stop. At our second stop we grabbed some chairs on the deck and watched the lake/boats. It was funny when we saw a white pickup truck headed down the road and realized it was my Dad out to grab more ice. We tried our hardest to convince him to join us at our third stop be he needed to get the ice home. Our third stop was pretty close to home and the most packed of the three bars. We ate cheese curds, drank $3 Miller Lites and decided it was time to drink the "free" beer we had at home. It was a ton of fun and I think we need to make Bike Bar Crawls part of our vacation "must do" list every time!!!
That thing in the background, its our working outhouse. Yep, we use an outhouse at the lake. It's not that we don't have running water or plumbing at the house, because we do, but the septic field isn't really set up to handle larger crowds and well, we've been using it all our lives so why not keep doing it. Plus, there something intriguing about telling your friends that you still use an outhouse :O) Why we're sitting in front of it? Well, that I really can't explain.
One of our first nights at the lake we all went out fishing and I let Abby stay up past her bedtime to come along for her first fishing trip. She liked looking in the bucket with all the fish we'd caught and jumped up and down whenever we got excited to be catching one. But the real highlight of the trip was when Joe held a small crappie down at her level so she could touch it. The fish couldn't have been more than 6 inches long so he was tiny. All of a sudden he did a little flip of his tale and get loose of Joe's grip. He jumped right out of his hand and into Abby's life jacket. Her eyes got as big as saucers and she just stood there looking stunned while the fish flopped around in her life jacket. She started to get nervous and exclaimed "shishy stuck!!!" about 18 times before we could get it out. She's even got the black crappie stain on her PJ's to prove it!
My peanut was pretty scared of the water most of the trip. Partly because it was cool and partly because the lake is so 'big' to her, and probably mostly because she just hasn't been in the water as much this year as she was last year when we had her in swim lessons. We're working through her fear though and helping her to realize that it's fun. By Friday she was ready to walk in all by herself and had a blast throwing little rocks from the lake floor into the water. That is until one of the dogs pushed her off the pier!! She went in from head to toe. Luckily Grandma was there to save her. She cried for a bit, but after a snack, a quick outfit change and an episode of Mickey to help her forget she was doing just fine.