Friday, July 10, 2009


Always beckoning

Toe henge

Running with reckless abandon (and yes, Kola did a faceplant for year 3 of 3)

Beach baby

Calm water rafting

Dances with waves

Runs with sticks

Big dig - under budget and no timeline

We all enjoy our annual pilgrammage to "the sawyer cottage." The weather these last couple months has been cool and rainy, so I was grinning ear-to-ear the first few days where we had full warm sun, a gentle lake breeze and a refreshingly cool lake to float in. The beach house flags were green - a welcome greeting for our first days there.

I don't think Kola truly remembered much of sawyer from last year, most of his anticipation was built from legends and previous years' photo albums. When we drove up to the cottage, our car loaded to the windows, he said, "mommy, would you please show me where the bathroom is?" In minutes, he considered it his home away from home. "Great cottage mommy. Good choice. Are we here lots and lots of days?" Once he saw the beach, he was hooked. "Mommy, who put all this sand here to make the big sandbox?!" By then my eyes were closed, my toes in the sand. Theological or geological answer? "Well Kola, someone sure had a good idea." The first day, Kola was a whirling dervish - cutting off his own questions with newer questions, sniffing around in fast motion. It was almost like watching a video on fast forward. He eventually settled in, but for a couple nights after the trip, he slept for 15 hours.

Kola's favorite activities included running about 25' across the sand and jumping off a small hill into the shallow river water, proclaiming himself a diver. He also found the speedboats very exciting, but (for year 3 of 3) did not feel comfortable going in the big lake and was very hesitant to go near waves of any size. He was suspicious of the waves lapping the shore and was a bit worried to see me swim in the lake. I asked him how he would be able to ride jet skis and speed boats if he doesn't like big water and waves, and he reassured me that he'll be fine with all that once he's old enough to drive.

Ethan really seemed to slip quickly into mellow mode, spending a lot of time with science experiments, quietly wondering and soaking it all in. We did lots of collecting and constructing and low-motion activities. E is a water-lover and was happy to play raft-rescue with me in the big lake, jump waves and splash around. Beach hopscotch and sand drawings were an all-around favorite. Ethan was also interested in doing more of the food gathering with me. I have about 3 local hangouts I check out each year - falatic's butcher shop for my beef jerky fix and daily grilling, froelich's to see colleen and get homemade canned jelly & juice, and dinges farm to chat it up with the farmer, see his animals, and get fresh produce. Oh and the blueberry stand on red arrow with the colorful umbrella. And the harbert swedish bakery for the cardomom coffee cake and fresh bread....It's a bit more driving around to shop local, but so great to see the slower pace, have conversations, pay cash!, and eat the tastiest, freshest food. It was fun to see Ethan find the zen in the experience.

"Go ahead, son - grab the blade"

Crammed in a caboose

Enjoying the ride

Grandma and Grandpa joined our merry band at Redamak's on day 3 and we all headed to the Hesston Steam museum for train rides and a civil war day. Kola was not a fan of the shoulders (read: soldiers) and when our train was stopped and surrounded by an armed calvary looking for gold, he almost reached a panic, "I don't have gold - I don't have any pockets!" We had to assure him the next trains we rode did not go through the forest, gunfire, or cannons and he steered very clear of the shoulders.

Poking and stoking

Toasty toes

Testing centrifugal force

When the weather cooled, we enjoyed bonfires, hammock rides, and Ethan and G'pa had a great night of camping on the back 40. Without the beach as a temptation, we all hit Captain Mike's for a fun afternoon of go carts, water bugs and bumper cars.

Finally, some decent wheels

No mercy

Plotting his next move...

The sawyer trip kicks off my midwest tour. Ethan and I take the Amtrak to Milwaukee this weekend to visit my friend paula, we all descend on lori, werner, and adriane's MI cottage in late july, and kola and I visit friends in Indy in August. Let the road trips begin! xo b/s/e/k

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