Sunday, October 02, 2005
We try to make it up to the upper peninsula of Michigan every year or two to visit with Dale's sister Gloria and her husband Dave. This year was particularly fun because we had more time to spend there and enjoy their beautiful spot in paradise. They parked us on a back lot where we could have our own privacy and separate electrical hookup. We even managed to get satellite reception for TV so it was a perfect location for us. Dave and Gloria have several grown kids who spend a portion of their summers at the lake as well, so it truly is like one lonnnnnng family reunion in the summertime. Aunts, Uncles, grandkids, neices and nephews, friends and old school chums are always dropping in and Dave and Gloria feed them all. They have their main house which they live in. And then a separate building / dormitory type arrangement which has a full kitchen, bathroom and large tables that will accomodate a good size crowd with an upstairs bunk room that has a half dozen or so queen and double size beds and another l/2 bath. They are truly set up to entertain guests all summer long. Since their home is right on the lake, they have a boat dock where they have their motorboat tied up and also a paddle boat and a canoe. Dave Jr., their son, takes all the kids out tubing on the lake. There is also waterskiing if someone wants to indulge.
Gloria is a retired school teacher and Dave retired from construction work. They lived in Iowa most of their married life until they retired. They sold their home and rebuilt on Monacle Lake where they intend to spend the rest of their years together. They will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next summer. Dave is Mr. Nice Guy.....loved by everybody because anybody needing anything whatsoever or help building or fixing something....gets his full attention and plenty of help. I, personally, think they sometimes take advantage of him but that's not how he sees it and is very willing to answer the call. Gloria is the organizer....knows just how to set everything up for rotating visitors....skills I think she carried over from her days spent in classrooms herding kids. LOL She's good at it and we just do what she tells us to do. When she isn't cooking and cleaning, she likes to reminesce about childhood days in Michigan. Their family is huge....Dale and Gloria's mom was one of twelve kids and they all lived in upper Michigan, so there are dozens of uncles, aunts and cousins to visit with. Dave's family is large, as well, and he grew up in the same area so you can't go anywhere without running into somebody who knows Dave or Gloria.
Our daughter Tina and grandson C.J. flew out to spend a few days with us at the lake as well. Tina surprised us actually....we were expecting C.J. but Tina came unannounced and boy....that was fun. Pretty sneaky....I'd say. She had a good time and so did we.
Also up at Monacle Lake this summer was Joan....an extended family member....by marriage....who lives in California but flies out to spend summers in Michigan in the Soo (Sault Ste Marie). Joan also happens to be one of our best friends who we spent a lot of time with back in California so it was old home week when she and I got together to go to arts and craft festivals and out to lunch and shopping down by the Locks. We had even bigger plans, like a trip to Mackinac Island, but something happened to change that so maybe next year...eh Joan? Joan is fun because she's so REAL....very open minded, very easy to talk to and very compassionate with everybody. She's everybody's mom or sister....the one you wish you had been born with. We play scrabble online everyday, even as we travel, and she beats me mercilously. That's the only bad thing I can say about her. She really needs to lighten up and give me a chance to win once in awhile. ;)
Can't wait until next summer at Monacle Lake. Don't rent out our space, guys. We'll be back.