|Relaxing by the fire|
My parents drove 4+ hours in from the southeast, carefully and with my mother's arm wrapped in a sling. In spite of her recent fall and shoulder dislocation/relocation, she wanted to make the trip and hang out with the family.
Daughter Lindsay and her family drove 4 hours up from the south, with little daughter Ellie anxious to come back to the lodge and take drives in those "little trucks" (ATV's). Son Jarrod and hubby Todd had some ping pong challenges to settle.
Daughter Sarah and her husband and baby traveled the ~8 hours in from western Ohio. Although road trips with nursing babies aren't always easy, Gabriel was a champ and slept most of the way.
Son Caleb and his puppy Sheila were first to arrive, Sheila being charged up as always for a vacation in the woods.
Hubby and I have the easiest trip to the lodge of anyone - we are merely 1 1/2 hours away. Once we all arrived, there were twelve of us, and plenty of space to spread out. Food and belongings were moved in, and we began our weekend of family, fun, fellowship, and food.
Throughout the five days we were there, all kinds of stuff were happening. The girls and I took turns preparing and serving the meals. The guys routinely went out doing all sorts of projects and maintenance. In between all of that, there were books to be read, games to be played, movies to be watched, and puzzles to be assembled. One person received a haircut and style, and another had a manicure.
There were fields that needed mowing, and Caleb took care of that. It's no secret that the guys in this family like big equipment and heavy tools. Sheila too.
Others were working in one of the garden areas, pulling weeds and straightening things up. Ellie wanted to "help."
And of course, those cleaned up gardens need to be watered.
There was plenty of opportunity for snuggling the baby. Gabriel is just the best baby - he snuggles until he's tired, then simply puts his head down and takes a nap. No crying, no fussing.
The one afternoon, we had a bit more excitement than we needed. Lindsay took a look out the window and noticed this large snake heading towards Sarah's car.
Caleb used a long stick with a hook to unlatch the engine hood, where the rattlesnake lay coiled and rattling, ready to strike. Using the stick, he carefully removed the snake and relocated it. We are still wondering why a snake would want to get up into the car, but perhaps there was warmth that it sensed.
After that excitement, more snuggling was required.
And finally, on the last day, and sadly after many of us had left, this mother bear came in with her three little cubs.
One of the little ones was a climber, too:
It was an enjoyable vacation together, and as always, the time just flew by too fast.
However, as one old wise guy has said, "If you're lucky enough to be in the woods, ..... , you're lucky enough."
True. So very true.