Friday, March 22, 2013

Walking On Water

Four years ago my inlaws bought a cottage near Lake Michigan.  About fifteen minutes away is a beautiful inland lake that has been known to freeze over in the winter.  When we first vacationed at the cottage, we told the kids how much fun it will be when we come up in the winter and can walk across the lake.  The excitement grew and grew as winter loomed closer.

We made our mid-winter trip to the cottage only to discover the lake not frozen.  Sorry, kids.  Maybe next year.  This pattern repeated itself every year since.  We always either went too early or too late.  We tried December, January, February and March.  I honestly would have thought those who said the lake froze over were liars except for the fact that they posted pictures on Facebook of their ice fishing adventures.

The frozen lake

Hubby and I took our annual sans-kids trip last weekend and were joined by two other couples.  It has been a cold winter; others have reported a frozen lake; so I convinced our party to take a trip to the lake so I could finally walk on the frozen lake.

It was beautiful that morning.  It was partly sunny; the air was still and there was a fresh layer of snow covering the ice.  We walked about a half mile out onto the lake before stopping to talk to a local fisherman.  He regaled us with all the best spots to fish, waxed poetic about the good old days when they used to pull out a tub's worth of fish in a few hours in the winter, and pretty much talked our ears off.  But I learned that the ice was 13 inches thick, so I stopped being nervous about falling through.

The not frozen bay outside the cottage

My sister-in-law who went up north with us has recently learned how to crochet.  When I emailed her about food for the weekend, she tagged on to her response that she would be bringing her crocheting along.  Well, drat.  That meant I had to bring my crocheting along--the scarf I have been working on since before Christmas that I promised to Joy.  Hubby bought Lizzy a fluffy scarf at a craft show, which made Joy jealous.  So I let her pick out a ball of yarn and said I would make her one.  Before I left for our trip, I told Joy I was not coming home until the scarf was done.  It took me most of Saturday night to complete, but I finished it.  Joy was very happy to have her new scarf just in time for spring!  But I got it done.

Joy's very own fluffy scarf--completed

But I think the most exciting part of our vacation was when we went to the beach of Lake Michigan and did some rock hunting.  We found a lot of pretty rocks to bring home to the kids, but Hubby made the best find.  One genuine, Michigan made, Petoskey Stone.  All my years of hunting for a Petoskey Stone at the beach have always been fruitless.  But this time, we found one.  We made one Lizzy very excited.

The prized Petoskey Stone

The Hubs and Me at the beach--Hard to imagine
that in a few short months we'll be swimming here

This week also marked the first official delivery day with Meals on Wheels.  The kids were very excited to finally get their chance to see what this thing was all about.  The morning started out a bit less than desirable with lots of snow falling, which made for slippery roads with my sad excuse for tires.  I warned the kids before our first delivery that they would encounter people and things that might seem weird to them--the shirtless man with a PICC line in his arm, the toothless woman who loves to talk but also keeps a stash of candy to offer all her visitors.  I reiterated that it's okay to be curious, but to never say anything rude in front of the person; if they had a question, they needed to wait until we were in the car were they could ask me.

Of course the shirtless man noticed my kids staring at his PICC line right off and explained it to the kids without them even having to ask.  We learned that he is a Vietnam veteran and got a bit messed up in the war--I didn't ask the extent of his injuries and he didn't volunteer the information.  But the little he did share, and my own conclusions drawn based on his tightly wrapped legs (lymphodema) and PICC line, further inspired compassion for his situation.

The toothless lady offered us candy--Really?  We can have some?  Yes, kids.  It'll be like going trick-or-treating twice a month!  Another lady refused to let us leave her front porch without receiving a hug.  I drove away from her house inspired to learn her first name--just as soon as I can find her house without getting lost.  It's fun to knock on the doors of strangers and be able to hand them something they need and receive smiles and conversation in exchange.  Every person we encountered loved seeing the kids and the kids fought over who got to knock on each door (I made them take turns getting out of the car since it was so bitterly cold and snowy).  They can't wait for our next delivery day.

Our post Meals on Wheels lunch--Free frosties.  Delicious.

My final conclusion from our first time out was that I could no longer put off buying new tires for the van.  There were a few moments when I was trying to get up a hill without a running start where I wondered if we'd make it up the hill at all.  Thursday morning we visited our local tire store and got a whole new set of tires.  Just in time for me to take the kids up north for their spring break so they can walk out on the lake for themselves--assuming it doesn't melt before then.

Week 29 in the series of 52 Weeks of New

Week 18--Having too much Christmas fun to blog
Week 19--A Week of Firsts
Week 20--I Passed the Test
Week 21--???  How did I miss this?
Week 22--I Didn't Scream
Week 23--The Reluctant Servant
Week 24--Snow Day!
Week 25--I Hate Change..Even if it Does Present Me With New Opportunities
Week 26--Bribery and Cooking With Kids
Week 27--Best Laid Plans Interrupted
Week 28--Gluten Free Bread Baking

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