Fifth Annual JP-VL-VW SummerFest

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On Labor Day weekend Wendy, Suzanna and I traveled down to the lake to play host to the JPs and VLs for a jam-packed holiday weekend of fun in the sun. This is the fifth straight year that the three families have gotten together, and the fourth year in a row that the festivities have been at our Playhouse (for the record, I think 2010 was more about working on the basement than having fun in the sun). It’s fun to think back to how quickly the little ones grow and how life changes from year to year.  The social dynamics change with the shifting complexities of the numbers, both the sum total of people and the respective ages involved. Nevertheless, there is incredible blessing in friends and families sharing the journey of life together as we get together each summer to re-create.

Everyone arrived on Thursday evening. Wendy and I generally like to get to the lake a day in advance of the invading armies to clean, prepare, and arrange for the impending encampment. We couldn’t exactly take Suzanna out of school in order to make that happen, so we found ourselves all arriving within minutes and hours of one another. C’est la vie. When you vacation together every year, there’s a familiarity that allows for flexibility.

Friday was a laid back day at the Playhouse. The kids had a blast swimming off the dock. Wendy and I got the waverunner gassed up and running. We took it for a little spin to work the cobwebs out of it and ran over to Bulldog’s for an afternoon drink, only to have the waverunner decide not to start when we wanted to head back home. Fortunately, the folks at Bulldog’s ran us over to the neighboring marina where the generous mechanic loaned me some starting fluid. We were soon on our way back home.

Saturday was our big outing to the waterslides at Bear Bottom Resort along with a bite of lunch. We returned home for more swimming off the dock and a fantastic steak dinner together. Of course, great meals together is one of the hallmarks of our annual get together and this year was no exception. Once the meal was over and the kids headed to bed the adults enjoyed continued the feast (generally over playing cards) drinking “Tom’s coffee” and eating Wendy’s cheesecake. I don’t even want to know how much weight I put on over that weekend. It felt like a lot! Saturday evening the adults played Quelf with the usual hilarious results.

The only bad weather we had all weekend came briefly on Sunday morning. The kids jumped in the lake to get a quick swim in before the worst of it hit. I will never forget the vision of little Aaron standing on the top rung of the ladder on the swim dock looking up at the ominous dark clouds. Then as the wind began to blow he started screaming “STORM” at the top of his lungs as if he was some Shakespearean harbinger of doom. When the rain started they all ran for the cover of the house to play and watch movies while we waited for the sun to come back out. It did come out in the afternoon and we all headed down to Captain Ron’s for a swim at the beach, though the huge crowds led us all to quickly agree that we preferred the quiet (and inexpensive drinks) back at the Playhouse. So, we took the party back to the dock.

Props to Suzanna who became nanny for the weekend and with positive attitude took excellent care of the kids, providing the adults with more peace and quiet than we probably realize. Everyone headed home late Monday morning and conversation already began regarding next year’s gathering of the three families.

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