I just returned from a delicious Family Reunion…..which was at my wonderful Brother-in-laws old family camp in Northern Wisconsin…a 5 hour drive from the Twin Cities…

I had to get up at 4 AM (2 AM California)…to drive back today….. with my dear youngest sister to the airport…..

I just got back from the Idiot…as I needed a fix of Brussel Sprouts and the Bastard…to overcome my air trip…..

I had developed a cold …somehow on the flight to Minnesota….I met my youngest sister Liz in the Twin Cities…she was coming from Seattle…..and we motored up to the Donnelley’s summer camp that they share with 9 other families….every family has their own cabin…..which is passed down through generations…..something quite wonderful…..the camp was founded in 1922 or was it 1932…….it surpasses the wonder of Forest Lodge….

as when you grow up as a child and experience a place for over 60 years ..to find it taken away….physically…(not the memories)….

it is just SOOO wonderful to be able to go to the same area….that is even better to let those wonderful feelings that started at birth and continued onto til you were 60…to be picked up now at 68 to carry til death….(sorry..but that is the truth)

the smells…the texture of the earth…the smell of the approaching thunder storms….the calmness of the silky lake with a loon calling way off in the distance

….playing silly games with your family…dancing, laughing freely….(sigh!!)

Liz and I had not really talked one on one…well actually ever

I remember in DC back when I was a Senior at STA…she had just had her tonsils (I think) out…well she was home and they started to bleed…and mother asked me to drive them to the hospital…..well I drove like a mad man…honking at Everyone…..and when we entered the driveway into the hospital a man was just standing obstinately in the middle…I honked at him..had to get out of the car to beg him to move…drove into the ER ..carried Liz in my arms…to her doctor’s who told mother and I …NOT to worry………….

… a 5 hour drive will cement you closer together..than one could ever imagine..

I feel so lucky to have had the time with her alone….we had not seen each other for 4 years…since my youngest brother got married for the 3rd time …….

at that meeting Liz really hurt me by saying in front of others that she felt I thought that she was a country “bumpkin” (sorry Liz if that is not the correct word)…..which I HAD Never felt…….as of all the kids…I have always admired her for tackling one of the hardest professions…farming….

I have always pictured her as a Joan of Arc type..as she is always racing to save the world…Especially children….and Man does she have a talent for loving and enticing kids out of their shells……

there are 8 years between us..she is breathing on 60 (which I cannot believe as she will always be like 21 to me…my youngest sister)…so we really were not that close growing up……

but it was such a wonderful breath of fresh air…being able to spend ..well what should have been 5 hours and turned into 7…as the GPS device on my smart phone…got us lost in the Northern woods of Wisconsin..as we drove up to the Camp

Ms GPS…. got REALLY confused…and you must realize that I am USE to freeway lights driving at night…and NEVER have driven 7 hours in the night on a dark road that turned to dirt….where Ms GPS said well turn left onto Friar Tuck’s Road and then follow Darling Lane….only to end up after a half an hour…at a dead end…with Miss GPS kept saying “Make a U-Turn”…..which was impossible

Liz called my neph Owen whom we thought was at the camp….only to find out later that he was still driving up from Wausau….and talking very softly ..so not to wake his 3 children…..

as Liz was asking for directions – telling Owen where we thought we were…the GPS lady kept interrupting her….so that all she heard on my phone was not only Owen…breaking up …but Ms GPS….

well she broke into hysterics….which if I had not been driving would have also…but I was tired and developing a sore throat from talking with her …and started to see RED when she started laughing hysterically….I mean WE WERE at the end of Darling Lane…no turn around…completely black out…mosquitoes blanketing the windshield…..

I said LIZ SHUT UP and find out from Owen WHAT we do…well it just made her laugh harder…..and I felt my colitis start to flare up…so breathed in and tried to calm down……

it reminded me of one of my father’s canoe trips in the Wilds above the Arctic Circle where we were flown in and left by private pontoon plane…pre-cell ….the Canadian Mounties would come looking for us if we did not arrive within 30 days at our destination…..

there was one lake that had ice floes on it….this trip you could only take 6 weeks out of the year…as the lakes were usually frozen..

..but we were traveling – my brother Rick, I, and Dad in one canoe – the Colgate boys in another…we were lashed together to sail across this really big lake…which was according to many old logs to stick close to the shore…Father said …oh come on …that will take too long..as the wind is at our back……the lake was like 5 miles long….so we lashed the canoes together and put up a sail….and about half way across the lake…near NO shore…the wind changed…so we had to try to unlash the two canoes so we did not swamp…..the Colgates were totally pissed at Dad….and after camp that night our spare paddles mysteriously disappeared plus most of our rum….which we would have one shot of after a long day…..

….the water was QUITE stormy…and I was holding a tarp over the front of the canoe.. (or were You…Rick???)…..so we did not swamp…..these waves would crash on the bow…the water was like next to freezing……we were aiming for the closest shore…far off in the distance….

well Rick started to laugh hysterically…and then did Dad….I thought…I HAVE HAD IT!!!!…and just wanted to jump over board and end the mental and physical torture…..

I unfortunately…this trip up with Liz…..did develop a cold …but was feeling back to normal….as we motored down this AM at 5….

I will always treasure those moment alone with Liz….as it brought us smack dab back to center….where we always were meant to be

I realize that in future family trips…if I could spend 5 hours with another family member like Liam…my neph who has just turned 18…only 50 years difference….but MAN has he grown into a calm…extremely attractive wonderful young man……has been through so many physical and family issues…..I do SOOO admire him…

When I got on my flight….a VERY heavy man sat next to the window…the middle seat was empty….

Just before the door closed this Totally Drop Dead Gorgeous young Woman…boarded to sit next to me…she is a native Hawaiian….from the Big Island…she had coached her girls to achieve a Bronze medal at the Volley Ball tournament held in the Twin Cities……

I had been talking to Liz so much on the drive down and due to my cold…when I asked her a question…I started to croak like a frog…..and I kept trying to clear my voice…but it just prolonged the croak….and then when the plane ascended my ears for some reason closed up and I could not hear anything…so when she asked a question I could not hear…I could only croak….and smile….(I wanted to ask her if she knew sign language as Wonderful Laura had taught us some…but the only one I could remember was the sign for “Having to poo”)

Barbara WaWa was FRUSTRATED!!!!!

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