Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Family Fourth

Blog, why haven't I taken up my family on invitations to the big Fourth of July bash they have every year? This weekend I went to my grandma's house and realized I haven't spent a summer day on Little Pine Lake in years. Seriously, years. The sandy shores that we played on when we were kids have washed away, but grandma's house and all the summertime memories that go along with it are still there. I got my first sunburn of the summer blog, and it was a real one. I actually went out on the water. I went to Zorbaz. I went swimming. I hung out with cousins. I did all the things I would do when I'd spend a week at grandma's in the summertime as a result of my parents attempting to get rid of their kids for a week. Well, everything but be towed behind grandpa's fishing boat in a sad attempt of tubing with a 40 horsepower motor designed for trolling the lake. But you know, I'm glad that wasn't experienced.

I was surrounded by family for a good solid 24 hours. Hanging out with family in bulk reminds you of how interesting, entertaining and annoying it is to hang out with people who are all kind of the same. My only regret is that I didn't get to experience going to see the fireworks after the baseball game in town and ooh and ahh with the rest of the Schmitz's. That, and the fact that I missed out on being a part of this gem of a boat parade entry complete with a canopy full of pre-teen girls in bikinis:

If you look closely you'll see patriotic decorations and the letter B. Why they didn't win is beyond me...

There's something really funny yet disappointing about having your cousins jump overboard in the middle of a boat  parade and swim to shore. I mean you guys can't ride out the whole route? Luckily this gave me a chance to make Mary find the patriotic beads that a boat previously had thrown our way, but missed the dock by about five feet.

Mary and Claire with the beast of a lab Libby, mid-parade.
Apparently every year, the float (no pun intended) that wins has nothing to do with the theme of Red White and Blue. I heard last year it was Batman. This year? It was even further off target. Can you say British Invasion, Yellow Submarine?

At least Clive is probably amused by this.

Anyway, it was fun for all. The weekend concluded with my grandpa ordering a ridiculous amount of chicken from the Pizza Ranch and everyone coming in from the lake, the cabin, the dock, California... and gathering around grandma's kitchen island to talk about what sports everyone plays and how annoying my cousin Nate was when he was a kid. The family get together is always an interesting one. Where else can you board a pontoon and hear the phrase "I changed everyone's diapers here except for Tina" and hear stories about your aunts cooling off in their training bras after bailing hay only to be happened upon by Uncle Ray? We cooed over a baby and yelled at the twins. We gave diving lessons to the kids and lost our bottoms when we attempted it ourselves (or maybe that was just me). And the great part is that it's all the same, just like it's always been, except everyone is taller, older, married, and pregnant. There's nothing like going home to grandma's...

My crippled cousin Anthony... or he just likes to take Grandma's Jazzy scooter off roading around the house.

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