Whew – what a month! I hope you’ve missed me. I didn’t even have time to announce a blog break. Summertime is like that. But here I am again and you’re probably thinking I’m now going to assault you with “what I did on my summer vacation”. Right? Well – you nailed it. One assault coming up.
Ever driven in North Carolina or shot down a slalom ski run? Same thing. At least that’s my take on the roads around Rumbling Bald Resort where this year's family reunion was held. Everywhere we went we encountered hairpin curves and sudden swings that made us wonder if we should have stuffed extra undies into the seat pocket. When you’re gasping and pop-eyed for most of the ride certain bodily functions can fail. I have great respect now for the NC hill country natives – those people are tough.
Among the more delightful aspects of the family reunion, however, were our visitors from abroad. Sweden to be exact. Six charming not-too-distant relatives flew over to join in the fun and festivities. They introduced us to myths and legends of the old country, prepared a sumptuous Swedish feast and delighted us by singing in unison their national anthem one sultry evening. Spoke perfect English, bestowed on us gifts, and got to know their American kin with good humor and affection. Doesn’t get much better.
Pounce! Our family card game of note. But I’ll bet you’ve never heard of it. In our family it has a longstanding history of fearsome games that go far into the night and can be learned and perfected in just a few hands. Which is what it tests – that – and your eyes. Those two, the hands and the eyes, must be super coordinated to win. It’s like double solitaire on steroids. Two of our Swedes, Folke and Marit, picked it up in no time prompting Folke to exclaim after he was able to yell “Pounce!” “I am so happy!” If you want to learn how to play let me know. But be warned – it IS addictive.
When the hiking, boating, after dinner sing along, massive doses of food (including a best pie contest), swimming, goodbye hugs and frantic packing were over, it was time to head home. And what luck – hubby and I got to take two of the revelers with us. My sister Shari (whom you have read here) and our granddaughter Elaina were hauled along on the Road Trip back to NY. And because we didn’t get enough of good eating at the resort, we indulged at Waffle House, Chick-fil- A, and Wendy’s on the way home. In Elaina’s exact words, “The best eating day ever!” Oh, to be a teen again. The drive took 14 hours and, in spite of two pounding rainstorms and some road rage, no homicides were committed or even thought of. I’m pretty sure anyway.
At home we found a rip in the garden fence through which one, or several, deer helped themselves to the lush buffet they apparently thought we’d left for them. Stupid, ding dang critters! Beans wiped out, pumpkin vines obliterated, nibbles and crunches on broccoli and squash plants. Grrr. It took lots of wine and blueberry pie to recover from the devastation, but we all soldiered on. Shari’s blueberry pie with a butter crust was beyond awesome (see photo above) and will now be the go to fruit pie recipe in this family. White wine, excellent cheese, good crackers and therapeutic story sharing also helped in the healing process. And some local gift shopping aided mightily as well.
The next two weeks were packed with activity including three birthdays, lots of pizza, the arrival of #2 son and another granddaughter, Lillie, from Washington state, more Pounce!, more eating, two trips to Saratoga for the horse races, swimming at Kinderhook lake, an awesome production of The Wizard of Oz at the local children’s theater (granddaughter Anna performed) and on and on. It all culminated with a five granddaughter sleepover at Grandma’s house on Sunday night and Swedish pancakes, made by Grandpa, on Sunday morning. Then, in a sudden rush they were off to the airport or being picked up by parents. We kissed them all goodbye, waved them down the walkway with tired smiles and misty eyes as our shoulders slumped. Then I got ready for church and went and sat in peace to thank God for my exciting, exhausting, sweet, dramatic and blessed life.
|Swedish pancakes - where'd they go?|