Friday, August 1, 2014

Ya Ya 2014

I am pleased as punch Gretch and my Ya-Ya week has truly become a REAL tradition. This year we were VERY sloooow to pinpoint a time or secure a place. Still - it became a priortity to get away for 4 nights at the end of July (just days after the Thomberg's returned from our family vacation).

Yes the "Ya-Ya" title is based on the book "The Devine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood". In the book, the four inseparable women  regularly took their kids off to the lake for time away each summer, while the husband's stayed back and worked. In the book, the kids swam and played during those steamy, hot, simple days by the water. In the book, the mom's drank (a LOT)... but of course this is fiction, right?

One rule G and I have for our Ya-Ya time is low cost/no cost lodging. The first year was State Park tent camping. Last year G was able to cash in her in-laws time share points at Breezy Point. This year we stayed at the lake place of my childhood neighbors, whose kids I baby-sat for. (You follow that???) THANK YOU to Linda and Mike B for letting us use your lodging on Lake Osakis.
The kids built forts, played hide-and -go seek, traipsed along the shore line, and ran wild across the adjoining lake lots.  Gretchen cooked all of our meals. I built fires late in the afternoon. We played Bag-o (and had a cocktail), and there were s'mores at dark.

I love our Ya-Ya time together. Us two just fit. (...and I promise she likes doing all the cooking!)
The kids swam every day and jumped off the neighbor's dock over and over. Marly became notorious for little dips here and there - morning, afternoon and evening. We went to a nearby public beach on Saturday. Sunday we Geo-cashed at Lake Carlos State Park and had a picnic. The kids asked to go to the playground in town one morning, so we did.
Basically, there is NO agenda and NO schedule. Imagination is helpful. The "freinds" played, and fought!!! The moms do NOT fight, but either of us may yell at the "friends" from time to time each day. (Which may drive us to mix a cocktail....)

Oh - and it is my tradition to make "Kiddie Cocktails" every night at 5 pm for the "friends". Kiddie Cocktails require some sort of carbonated beverage, some sort of fruit juice, and some sort of garnish. Sprite, Cranberry juice, and a maraschino cherry OR Mountain Dew (Yes... in a pinch) and OJ and a wedge of lime OR some concoction with lemonade and a gummy worm on the last night. The kids REQUEST their cocktails, yet rarely finish their beverage on ice. But it is FUN!
The only paid activity this year was the Runestone Museum and Fort Alexandria in town. Twenty bucks for our "family".
 Above is Miss P acting the part of a studious prairie girl at the Fort. Unfortunately, there is no great group shot with the MOM's this year, since the men didn't join us at any point.
Our last night there (Monday) the girls put on a "Dance Production" on the dock. I pulled the car up on the grass, opened the windows, and blasted the radio. (very high tech) The "friends" lined up all the chairs in front, which were reserved for Gretchen, me, Lizzy the doll, and a few stuffed animals. Gretchen and I had tickets, and I'll be darned if the kids didn't ASK FOR A DONATION during the "intermission". (Umm yeah.. I guess my kids get what mom does at work, and my belief in giving back!)

Of course you wonder why the dock was on dry land? You see, we have all been praying for Daniel B. (the neighbor I babysat for as a child). He is grown (of course) and battling cancer. He had a stem cell transplant at the end of June, and is recovering. You can guess where Linda and Mike spend all of their free time, and it isn't at their new lake home.

Anyway - It was another GRAND Ya-Ya trip. I can't wait to see what next year will bring!

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