Lake time.. my time.. we dance to a different drummer here at the Shell Lake family compound. Approximately 17 families (related ones.. not counting the non-relates) strung out along a mile of weedy lakeshore.. homes, cabins, trailers and one ‘beaver hut’..
We go back over 40 years of inhabiting this summer getaway. Some even live here fulltime now. The ‘founding family’ from which we all ‘sprung forth’ (good Catholics/no birth control) encompassed three sisters and a spoiled younger brother .. well he had to be spoiled he was the only boy you see. This was before womens lib and Woodstock.
Between these siblings they produced no less than 25 cousins. The oldest of the four ‘founders’ was also the smartest and most gifted according to her (my mom). This must be true because I too, being the oldest cousin, am pretty smart and definitely gifted.. and when I find that precious gift I will share it with you.
The first cousins all have kids and even those ones have children of their own. I really have no clue how many we are and don’t particularly care, unless they all show up on my doorstep for supper.. then I would care I guess.. or probably not, I like the aggravation.
Family weddings brings us all out .. well except for the ones on the shit list.. oops, my outside voice. Do other families have those too I wonder? Well it is bound to happen, even marrieds don’t always agree and can spend time pouting from some misconceived wrong doing.
The pouting and petty grievances can last hours, days, weeks or maybe forever. My mom took one with her to her grave and that was her choice. It might be a pipe dream to think we can all get along, but we did when we were younger, or maybe I have selective memory.
We more or less all play nice together and we should, for the kids (third and fourth? cousins) sake. I’d like to say that I am setting the example, but I can pout with the best of them. We need to all grow up or maybe we just need revert to being kids again… and remember to always treat your daughter-in-law well, she may be the one looking after you in the end.. sorry, I just felt I had to throw that in…
Now where was I.. oh right, news from the lake. Seems we have a big yellow wild cat that roams freely between us all. He was here this morning trying to sneak up on some loons, but they had his number. The duck family I have been observing with 12 little ones are growing bigger every day and down to only six.. that yellow cat looks fatter every time I see him.
One of the relates on the other end and over the hill has a family of raccoons residing in his garage. They managed to make two big holes in the roof .. is one an entrance and the other an exit, I wonder? Setting a trap they managed to catch the wild orange cat.. which was set free.
The update is the mess .. they have managed to destroy everything in there. It also seems the adult parents abandoned the youngsters. I am not one to judge.. but I know there are some species that eat their young, don’t we all have those ‘moments’.. just sayin..
The garage relate went home and now the other relates dogs bark constantly at that garage door, sensing the raccoons in there no doubt! Fortunately for me I don’t hear them, so I don’t care. Seems the trap also caught two dogs, well actually it was the same dog twice.. the blonde one..
I have my own problems with a mouse that appeared running across my kitchen floor, just as I was settled into a book for the evening. Throwing all my clothes into the car and setting up 100 traps in my wake, was no mean feat, but I was outta there in under 30 minutes flat!
What is it about a stupid mouse that makes us quiver and shake? I have one cousin that was confronted with a dead mouse (no less!) on her front doorstep out here. She tied sheets together and shimmied down from the second story door that didn’t have steps yet.. just so she could get out of her house! I am not making this up!
ok.. long story short, I caught the mouse and threw a yellow ‘no frills’ grocery bag over the body.. trap and all (held my breath so I wouldn’t breath in any hanti-virus molecules in the air)! I double bagged that body, trap and all.. then set it outside on my deck.
Next morning I am having my coffee on the deck and deciding how to dispose of the double bagged creature I killed. I glance over and discover the dam bag is gone.. poof.. no evidence of a struggle .. what the heck? Did the orange cat come by and do some shopping… geez.
My attention is diverted by two woodpeckers.. they are loving the grass I haven’t cut because of all the rain. I watch as they feed their two offspring.. that are the same size as the parents! My god these birds are picking up our own lake lifestyles here.
Come Fridays, our kids show up with their kids in tow and we spend all week-end feeding them… some things just never change.