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Getting Away – Redux

Three years later it’s still good to get away

A few months after Timely Insights debuted on the web, I wrote an article about my father’s “boys” weekend away.

I’ve returned from this year’s edition of that event, and feel equally rejuvenated. Some things remain the same, while other change…. I thought it worth revisiting.


A Quick Recap

In essence, each year the “boys” of the family – my father, my brothers, my brothers-in-law, myself, and our adult boys – get away for a weekend at our parents’ cottage on the lake, where we rest, rejuvenate, socialize, and most of all have fun.

You can read about the history of the yearly event and how it came to be in the previous article – “Get Away to Charge Your Batteries”.

Familiar elements

The basic elements of the weekend have stayed intact. We’re a few hours from home – far enough away to be secluded, close enough to get there without a long ride.

We spend as much time as conditions allow on the water – and this year was great for that. Saturday threatened to be unstable, but we were able so spend the entire morning out fishing (with good results all around).

The cleanup work was easily taken care of: bird-mansion lowered, cleaned out, and return (with a new chimney) for spring use; carport awning washed off, dried out, and rolled up for winter storage; fish & fountain ponds emptied and scrubbed (and fish transplanted by young-uns returned to the river;-).

The feasting Saturday night was satisfying and delicious. Grilled steak, steamed clams, salt potatoes, corn on the cob, peppers & onions, and a variety of wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages flowed.

Sunday morning was a bit subdued, but we managed to fish and water ski before enjoying a light recap of the previous day’s feast for lunch. We then watched a football game before heading out on the journey home.

Something new

We didn’t make it out to the golf course this year. Several in the group were nursing shoulder injuries, and oddly enough, no one seemed disappointed in the decision. Some years we don’t get out on the water due to waves and wind, and this flip seemed natural.

I was able to try out wind-surfing – my brother owns a board and brought it up. For a novice, I did well. With a short lesson on shore, I paddled out and made my way upstream a couple hundred meters, and then struggled back downstream. (I’d say I have a better sense of balance on one leg vs. the other;-) I experienced a great “aha” moment when I realized that the sail wasn’t going to let me fall back as long as I kept it full with enough of the wind. And as I said above – I thought it was a pretty good start for a rookie.

We played a couple games of “Up the River, Down the Stream” in the evening – it’s a card game my nephew thought we might enjoy. (After returning home and looking for a link to this game, it appears to be a variation on Oh Hell – http://www.pagat.com/exact/ohhell.html) We’re used to bidding games, but this one forces the player to be exact and take the precise number of tricks bid.

I’ve found the group to be fairly open to trying out a new game – I know I’ve brought up several over the years including Skitgube and Cosmic Wimpout. Although we do have to be careful as the games must be easy to learn for our partially intoxicated participants!-)

Fifteen years of getting away…

Dad believes this happens to be the 15th consecutive year of heading up to the cottage at the end of the season like this. It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years, but it’s equally hard to think of a time when we didn’t head up there. I know we all look forward to it.

I’m back to life at home now, but I’m feeling ready to go for these last few months of 2008 – time to get things done, but more importantly – to live life every day.