Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Shuswap Chronicles, Part 2: The Vacation

After the late night light show, we were all a bit sluggish getting out of bed the next morning. It was another glorious day.
As usual, Michael and Dad were eager to take advantage of the morning calm that had followed the storm, so they headed out for a waterski, with Peter as the spotter. I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with Mom and Morgan. Like most of our days at the Lake, the second was spent mainly on the beach, either reading or swimming.
In general, at Shuswap, a chunk of the day is spent in the boat as it tows willing victims on a whole array of floating parephenalia. Sometimes we just drive out to the middle of the lake and go in for a swim in the cool, deep, duck mite-free water. This trip was no exception; all the traditional and beloved Shuswap vacation fun was had, as it has been for 20 years: The ice cream, the mini-golf, the campfires, the crazy brothers and cousins with their "marshmallow" wars, the middle-of-the-lake baseball game using only a boat paddle, a tube and an old deflated football...
I managed to read my way through 4 novels in a week - sheer paradise! Morgan and I made pendants and sculptures out of polymer clay. Peter read some very heavy literature and got a sunburn. Moo showed me how to produce my own electronica. Auntie Janet, Uncle Bob, Kevin and Ross made an appearance, along with the loveliest dunderdog (a.k.a. Ginger) and the supa-fly thrill machine (a.k.a. their boat). Jord arrived on the 29th announcing that he had just delivered a baby.* We had a double birthday party for him to celebrate (he also turned 21 on the 1st of August). Mao escaped just long enough to get me nervous one night, but was generally well behaved.
Dad and Moo occupied themselves on the beach by balancing rocks. If you've never seen this done, I assure you that it is quite impressive and takes more patience and skill than I can muster. Soon the beach was an Easter Island of figures made from precariously stacked rocks and boulders, some up to 5 feet in height. I was amazed at how many of these stalwart fellows weathered the blustery weather that came at the end of the week.

I waterskiied a couple of times and went on a tube ride, but did not brave the wakeboard. The wakeboard and I have a touchy relationship, you see. Much like Mao, it presents the illusion of being friendly. True to its name, the Evil Twin gets you feeling all comfortable; whisking along over the wake, swishing back and forth with the grace of an aqua ballerina, then WHAM!
It takes you down.
When I fall on the wakeboard, I go down hard. Usually face-first. Generally I catch the edge when I least expect it. Headaches ensue, as does misery. This is why I have admitted defeat. Ask me about my arm scar sometime. Go on... ask!**
Michael, Jordan, Kevin and Ross all seem to have the art of not killing themselves on a wakeboard down, but alas, it will never be for me. Next year I'm determined to improve my slalom. Wow, thinking of next year already...

All-in-all our trip was fabulous. Always is. I was sad to leave, but relieved to get home and find our little house still standing and my gardens well-watered and healthy (thanks to my newly installed drip irrigation system!)

I am so thankful to my parents for putting their hearts, souls, hands, time and investments into this amazing beachfront retreat. Now I know why dad's eyes sparkled so much the first time he showed us that rocky beachfront lot with its run-down, overgrown cottage. What I saw taking shape this summer, he's seen for years.

Thank you, mom and dad, for building this gift to us.

* Jordan, my youngest bro. is a paramedic now, working out of the Lower Mainland. It was his first delivery, and it happened in the back of an ambulance with a pregnant woman who didn't speak a word of English. Quite the story. He was both horrified and proud of the experience.
**It's really my only honourably earned battle scar, I'll take any opportunity to talk about it.
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