Sunday, July 19, 2015

Canoe Races and Family Vacations

My garden is starting to produce!  So far I have harvested parsley, chives, 2 kinds of lettuce and broccoli.  The picture is of Bruce standing next to my green beans.  We are going to have a lot of them.  Next to the beans are tomatoes.  I hope to have some ripen but they don’t usually do too well for me.  Sometimes I wonder why I even try growing them.  Behind Bruce is a long bed of raspberries.  They look really  good.  Pretty soon we should start to see little red berries.

The lodge and outfitters are really busy now.  Families are here with kids and grandparents.  It is great to have them running busily around the property.  Many of the families have been with us for years.  It is fun to see kids grow up.  They surprise us every year with how much they have grown.  Soon it is time for college and weddings and grandchildren.  Life is fun.

Last Wednesday was time for the annual canoe races.  They have been held on Gunflint Lake for over 25 years.  In addition to the actual races there are sloppy joes, calico beans, hot dogs, homemade bars, pop chips, etc in the food tent.  The raffle goes all night with great stuff to take a chance on.  There is a silent auction and several live auctions.  Bruce and I got a beautiful wooden depth map of Gunflint Lake.  It is the kind of thing you never could buy in a store.

My job the last few years has been to sell raffle tickets.  There is one raffle for the various gift items and then the grand raffle for a Wenonah kayak.  You cannot imagine how busy we were selling tickets.  There were 3-4 of us working on it and people seemed to be just throwing money at us.  We could hardly keep track of who was getting what.  The smart ones are the grandmothers who bring their return address mailing labels.

When the night is over, it is time to go up and count the money.  This year we set a new record.  The Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department got about $20,000.  That is not too bad for just a little event.  Of course it takes lots of people to put in lots of time.  Chris Steele from Seagull Lake headed up the event.  He did a great job.

Pretty soon Bruce and I will go back to the lodge for Sunday BBQ.  He carves and I stand around talking.  Don smokes the ribs, salmon, and chicken over hickory from Missouri.  Tonight we have just about 150 people in camp.  There are a few clouds in the sky but it is supposed to be a beautiful night.  After the guests have eaten, we will feed the staff.  The BBQ starts on Memorial Day weekend and ends on Labor Day weekend.  When it is over, I can’t eat ribs again for several weeks.  Restaurants just don’t do them as well as Don does.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Family Visits

What a beautiful few days we have had around here.  Last Sunday night we had a loud, crashing thunderstorm.  It was wonderful!  On Monday through today we have had some great days.  Lee and Eva and the kids have been out and about.  Some friends of theirs are here and the two families have been out every day.  Probably the only thing we have not gotten done on the kids’ list is camping.  We will save that for next year.  I don’t know how Mae and Grant have kept up with the older kids and adults but they did.  Of course, with everyone so active we have gone through a ton of food.  It is a lot more than Bruce and I go through when we are alone.  A little extra food is a small price to pay for having everyone around and having a great time.

One of our most unusual times was with Tucker, the golden lab.  He is about ten now and seems to be a perfectly normal dog.  One of the people who take care of him when Lee and Eva are gone claimed that Tucker could sing!  In fact they even sent a video of him doing it.  Last night we decided to test Tucker out.  We all sang Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  After a few barks, Tucker started to howl along with us.  We all laughed so hard but he loved it.

Tucker was the star of our dinner last night in another way.  We ate outside on the porch because it was such a good night.  After dinner were sitting around playing Old Maid.  Suddenly Tucker makes a lunge for the screen door.  He had seen a squirrel on the porch.  After two lunges, he was through the screen and after the squirrel.  By then the squirrel was on his way.  We were all in shock watching Tucker as the squirrel sped away.

Today is going to be an outside day of work.  First the kids and I will fill the bird feeders.  Then we are going to cut the weeds that have grown up along and through the steps.  The kids particularly like that because it involves using tools – the clippers.  We need to give a very strong safety talk before starting the work.  Then the kids will water the garden while I weed.  All in all it is a fun day of projects outside.  Isn’t that what summer is all about?

We can tell the families are at the lodge.  Yesterday Bruce was sitting on the patio having a business discussion.  It was late in the afternoon.  The dock area was filled with people in kayaks and on paddleboards.  Younger kids were playing in the sand.  Adults filled the chairs as they watched the boaters and younger kids.  It was a perfect end to the day.  For those of us who live here all year around, these are the days we remember in January but right now it is time to just enjoy them.