Saturday, July 19, 2014

No place like home

       My family has a tradition of vacationing on the big Lake Michigan every summer. It is a wonderful time spent with my siblings, nieces and nephews, and my parents. We stay at a cabin owned by the extended family in the UP. The lake is so clear and the fine white sand is unlike any found in MN. This year was one of the coldest trips we had so there wasn't much swimming and beach time was not as enjoyable as in the past. Despite the cold weather we still had a wonderful time just being together.
      Here are some of my favorite moments and pictures.
Paul and me on the beach in front of the cabin

Paul and our two youngest taking a walk along the lake
The kids in the top of a lighthouse. It was a bit of a climb


Simon was the first to reach the top
 for the 2nd year in a row
Therese was not far behind in 2nd place

We have a tradition of going to Log Slide which is at Pictured Rocks park up on Lake Superior. Log Slide is a big cliff that goes down into the lake and you can climb down and up it. The kids love this (some of them more than other). Here are their victory pictures as they reached the top.

Third place went to little Dave

 Then came the tailenders all tied for 4th place

Paul the coach and motivator
My sister Maria

Big Dave who I was told climbed the hill about twice going back and forth between everyone climbing the hill

And Mary. Later she said she will never do that again.
It wasn't that bad, was it Mary?

         As I said we did have some fun time on the beach. The kids are all at an age where playing in the sand is wonderful fun. We were also very excited to find some new sand in front of the cabin where in years past it had just been a bunch of sharp small shells. We sure hope the sand stays.
Many of the kids had to do some sampling of the sand to see if the taste was acceptable.

             We got to spend the 4th of July on the big lake and had fun with Red, White, and Blue Drinks, tie dye shirts, and a parade in the local town. The only let down was that the fireworks were cancelled due to the cool weather.
Attempt at a grand kid picture. Yes we spend the vacation with 11 kids all in one cabin. Crazy but fun.

Having fun with the girls hair

We went out to the local lighthouse and the kids had fun running from the waves that were crashing up against to rocks.

4th of July cake. So good.

Luke, my youngest, got help from grandpa to put his feet in Lake Michigan for the first time.

 Another tradition is to hunt for fossils along the shore line. Mary has used them in 4-H geology projects for the past few years. We did find some treasures to take home.

      The time at the cabin ended with the kids going on a great frog hunt in the slough behind the cabin. I was impressed that they caught so many frogs and that they were so big. I know that this is a memory they will keep with them about this years trip to the UP.
one of the many large tadpoles they caught
        We did a little photo shoot with the kids as they let the frogs go before we left for home.
Big Dave and a big smile
Mary hold on tight

Little Dave and his frog he called pickles.
          I have to say that it was good to spend time with family but every time I leave the farm for an extended amount of time I realize how much I love this life and how much it is a part of me. I find myself wondering what is growing in the garden, how tall is the corn, are my flowers blooming, and have the animals been well taken care of while we are away. I know that farming is not just a way of life for me it is a calling. Something deep inside of me is connected to the land and it always pulls me back. It is fun to visit other places and relax on vacation, but it is so true that there is no place like home, and for me their is no place like the farm.

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