My father told me this weekend that I should blog more because apparently its the talk of his work day with his co-workers. Boy, talk about a bunch of boring, old fogeys ;) (Note: all the fellow Pioneer Credit Unioners know how fond of them I am) Anyways, I decided now would be an appropriate time write because I am tucked away in the beauty of the back in the woods in the UP during a massive rain storm. Bingo. Plus, its now 9:53PM and i have just started to begin to sip my coffee-flavored liquid motivation. Here goes.
Friday: I decided it was the perfect night to take some PTO (i.e.- night shift+full moon= nutzo patients that dislike sleeping). The Labor Day weekend plans were for the Slattery's to host the Janzen's for their first ever weekend living the yooper life. Slept the day away to prepare for a rather filled evening. We hit up Waterloo for Joey's youngest brother's high school football game. Sitting on the bleachers watching all the teeny boppers made me miss that time of my life for a split second-- No worries, hang out with your friends, mom has dinner ready on the table every night, no bills, no rent $ due, so little responsibility. However, i would never trade what I have now for being 16yrs old again. Ohh, to be so naive and inexperienced in my sheltered sweet little high school life. The night ended with a Waterloo HS victory and road tripping into the wee morning hours.
We hit the road from Waterloo, WI at about 11:15PM.
Arrive Bark River, MI at 2:45AM
Official bedtime: 4AM
Saturday: Woke up with heavy eyes and a big ole grin. There is no better feeling than waking up to the glorious sunshine in Michigan woods. I slowly meandered along the trail between the two houses to greet my parents before everyone else woke up. The set up had the kids in one house on the neighboring property to the original place we built where the "old folks" resided. We started off the day with some breakfast and made a quick run into to town to buy groceries for brunch the following day. My cousin Eric had shown up with one of his buddies to hang out for the afternoon. The parents happily took the day to four wheel while leavingthe kids to kayak and swam the great Lake Michigan.
Twas an absolutely gorgeous day to be out on the water. Official head count for the kids: Joey, Greg, Matt, Eric, Adam, and me. That equals loads of testosterone and Lauren. Seldom do I ever have an afternoon that I wade in the river to catch crawdads, attempt to dig up a shipwreck in Lake Michigan, have mud fights, and sing Rhianna. My mom professed about a year ago that she purposely never bought me dolls while i was growing up, she said its more fun hanging with the boys. Rock on mom, you're right. After close to 3 hrs of hanging in the water we headed back to shore. My dad had impeccable timing because right as we paddled in, he pulled up with the trailer.
Dinner was a complete delicacy. Grilled food galore. Ribs, corn on the cob, veggies, and beergaritas all brought together with great company. The evening closed with a classic sit down around the fire pit telling embarrassing childhood stories and ridiculous jokes. Quick and easy to fall asleep that evening.
Sunday: Woke up to eat another fine meal to power our afternoon. Matt went hard to work cooking the tequila shrimp as it is traditionally prepared at La Estacion in Waukesha. I was not warned the first time he set the pan on fire with the blow torch, therefore the screaming can not be totally blamed on me :) Pile on the fresh fruit, swedish pancakes, and garlic scrambled eggs and call it a power meal. We all discussed options for the afternoon activities. The parents proceeded to road trip to Munising to tour the pictured rocks while the kids four wheeled.
The "Janzmen" and i were pretty upset about being forced to fourwheel on a beautiful 70 degree day. Let me just begin by mentioning how difficult and painful it was to move this morning. I felt like i had aged 70yrs overnight. I must have been so tense in my hands and wrists while driving that it even hurt to button my pants while getting dressed. The pain was oh so worth the 5hr round trip! It was so exhilarating flying over the moguls into the dust trails. We made it to our halfway mark to the Cedar River tavern where we got something to drink and threw some horse shoe for a bit. I road with Joey for about half the ride back. It was a slight break for my sore back, except my abs started to hurt because i was laughing so hard. In all, it was a 55mile + round trip that left us all dirtier than ever. Each of the guys looked like they were growing five oclock shadows that started at their eyebrows. ha. And i look like i attempted to snort campfire ash.
I hadn't felt that good after showering since our 6-day Canadian boundary waters trip last summer. Mustered up enough energy after that eat rare steak, play light up frisbee in the dark, and sit by the fire with everyone. Boom. Another successful day.
Monday: Today was bittersweet in knowing that summer is ending, but freakin sweet being able to hang on to the memories made this weekend. It was the most perfect type of day to lay low. It began to pour outside and we spent some of the later afternoon watching it come down on the front porch, as well as nap my brains out. I would once again like to thank the Janzen clan for making the drive to hang out for a rather boring and losery weekend with the Slattery's at the Simpson Place....
Tomorrow's back to the mothership (commonly known as Aurora St. Luke's), but as long as I am awake tonight I am going to soak up that of my childhood roots and familial upbringings of the northern woods. There's something about this place that will always keep my coming back, every time I am up here I realize how much i adore it. There is so much of my little brother that is alive up here, especially in the summer. Brings one back to home plate before the at bat begins again. Now I just have to try to bring some of this inner peace back to the south. One more relaxing sleep ahead of me, now that is has taken me close to 3 1/2 hrs to finish this post.
I also would like to thank all of those people out there who were working today including the all branches of the armed forces, firefighters, emts, docs, RNs, health care workers, cooks, etc. You guys are rock stars. For as bad as the world may seem to be, I will forever remain a glass half full kind of individual, partially because living a life without that mentality sucks, but also because it would mean that i would berunning low on coffee, and that would be horrendous. Yeah, we'll just skip the pessimism altogether :)