The Summer's Over, but the River Was Nice

Our Family Tradition (that’s nearly as old as the MMP itself) continues on for another year. But it was last Saturday, so you missed the Big Ol’ Powdered Sugar Doughnut Breakfast! Then, after the Big Ol’ Powdered Sugar Doughnut Breakfast(!), Uncle Skippy, his dog, my older sister, her husband, my younger sister, her husband, Soupo, Katcha and I all hopped in our cars (actually it was my younger sister’s minivan and my car) and went down to the river. Actually I think it was up to the river. Either way, we went to the river.

“Why did you go to the river?” you ask.

What? Didn’t you go read that link yet? You think I just search out old threads and link to them for no reason? We went to the river for the Big End of the Summer Canoe Trip. And it was our biggest flotilla ever! No, not the round, flat, bready thing you make burritos with, but a bunch of boats (canoes in this case) all going along together. It was way fun.

It was extra fun for Katcha. This year was his first year to go. (It really wasn’t fair since he’s five now and Soupo got to start going when he was merely four. But Soupo has an earlier birthday, so he was an old four and Katcha just got gypped. He got over it though.) It was also my older sister’s husband’s first time ever canoeing, and my older sister’s first time on the Big End of the Summer Canoe Trip. It was a year of firsts. Very exciting.

But before we embarked on our river excitement, first we had to stop and pee. “Always go before you go,” that’s my motto. Then we had to figure out who was in which boat. Katcha didn’t have a choice because the Little Woman said I had to watch him all day, so he had to be in my boat. Uncle Skippy’s dog had to be in his boat. After that it was chaos!

Well, it wasn’t that bad really. I made Soupo be in my boat to start with so everyone could get used to the canoes before I made someone else have Soupo. I mean, have you seen the boy? (Probably not.) He has these little skinny spaghetti arms. He’s not Big Help in the paddling department. So, since he’s my boy, I sucked it up (with minimal whining) and put him in my boat. At least til everyone got used to the whole river-and-conoe thing.

But Uncle Skippy didn’t take much time getting used to things. He’s good at driving a canoe. He’s the best out of the whole bunch of us. (Which, really, when you think about it ain’t sayin’ much. But he’s pretty good at driving a canoe.) He was in charge of Boat #2 (it was yellow, oddly enough) and then he had to have his dog with him. She was very excited to be going out on the river. And I can’t think of anything more fun to have in a canoe than a really excited Labrador Retriever. Which left one space in his canoe.

On one hand, we pretty much knew who would be in his boat to start. My younger sister and her husband have conflicting ideas on the proper paddling of a canoe. They aren’t allowed to be in the same boat if we can help it. Well, they can be in the same boat as long as they both aren’t paddling. But to save grief we put her in Skippy’s boat. Two boats are now filled.

By default that made all three boats filled. If you weren’t in my boat, or (better yet) in Skippy’s boat, you had to be in boat #3. (It was green. My boat was blue.) That left my older sister (who hasn’t canoed since she was little), her husband (who has never been in a canoe to the best of his recollection) and my younger sister’s husband. He’s been on a couple of these trips with us and he knows something about canoes. Like where you sit and which end goes forward. To be painfully honest about it, he’s not the first choice to captain a canoe. (That would be Skippy.) But he has the most experience, so he was in charge of the boat. (That meant he got to sit in back and steer.) Since my older sister had arms much like Soupo’s, she was excused from paddling and her husband got that job.

Now we were all set up and we hit the river. Or rather, since we’re not really a violent bunch, we stuck the canoes in the river and got in (after loading our food- we don’t go far without a supply of food) and headed downstream.

We got nearly 500 feet before we had to stop.

A lot of people get stopped about the place we stopped. But we did it on purpose. Most of the other people get stopped because that’s how far they get before they realize driving a canoe is a little bit trickier than they anticipated. I’m sure more than one marriage ended in that first 500 feet.

(“No, no! Paddle on the other side. The other side! Paddle on the other SIDE!”
“I told you to…”
And that’s when the wife (or girlfriend) (or boyfriend sometimes I guess) stands up and walks down the length of the canoe and starts beating the driver with their paddle.

“Oh, you want me to paddle on the other side do you? OK, fine!” And then they beat them on the other side of the head.

The first 500 feet of the trip is really a make-or-break deal.)

But we just stopped so Skippy’s dog could get out of the canoe and chase some sticks in the river. She was very excited and needed to work off some energy so she could enjoy the trip. Not that it really helped. Her problem was she wanted to be in all three boats at the same time. She was sure someone else was having some fun somewhere and she was missing out.

Then, after she brought back about a thousand thrown sticks we got back in our canoe and went farther downstream. About another 500 feet. Then it was time to stop at the first island. The boys were hungry. (All that stick throwing you know. It’s not like they were paddling at all.) So it was time to stop at Snack Island. And heck, while we were stopped, we might as well explore Snack Island (it was about twenty yards long and twelve feet across). And why not wade in the river? I mean it’s not like we had a schedule to keep.

That was pretty much the rhythm of the day. Paddle a little, then stop and get out of the boats and look around, and then get back in the boats and paddle a little more. Sometimes we’d even get crazy and rotate the paddlers to give someone a rest. But still, it took us five hours to travel the six miles of the trip. But it was a good time. I know the boys had a good time because they got ice cream at the end. That’s one of the most important parts of the whole Big End of the Summer Canoe Trip: the ice cream at the end. They also got home caked in river mud and the slept like logs that night. So, yeah, I’m pretty sure they had a good time.

Oh, and you know how I said it was a six mile trip? Well, canoe #3 went about nine or ten miles. See, my brothers by marriage? They are some great guys, but as far as driving a canoe… well, they saw more of the river than the rest of us. From one side to the other and back again. They got their money’s worth, distance-wise.

I’m pretty sure they both slept like logs that night too.

YIPPEEE!!! I’m first!

If they slept like logs, that means they pretty much just layed there growing mold and mildew and having bugs live underneath em right? Did Soupo and Katcha wake up with mold and mildew all over em and bugs living underneath em? That would be kinda fun to see. I’m glad Katcha has has his first DeDay Manly Man Adventure[sup]TM[/sup]. Sounds like he had a good time. Heck, anytime ice cream shows up is a good time.

I didn’t have any ice cream this weekend. We thought about making some Saturday but didn’t. Instead we hung out at the pool and had drunk chicken and fixin’s and banana pudding, which is always a good thing too. MMMMM… Banana Pudding! Yesterday I made a bunch of baked beans at church and we had a cook out with <snerk>Smoked Butt! <snerk> tater salad (made from real taters, not our Taters not that she’s not real too, but she doesn’t grow in the ground like the taters in the tater salad), baked beans (they were nummy!), coleslaw, rolls and all kinds of yummy desserts. As I mentioned in last week’s MMP, there were about 20 evacuees from Nawlins and the greater Gulf Coast there. A fun time was had by all.

-swampbear (writing performance appraisals this week)

OMG, OMG, OMG! I might be 4th or 5th or 6th. Praise be to the Cheesecake Factory, who poisoned me last night and has me sitting up on the throne in gut-wrenching agony.

We saw the movie 2046 last night. Before the gut-wrenching agony kicked in. Which is good, cuz it’s a long movie. Good, but long. ANd don’t say I didn’t warn you about the subtitles. I like them, but you might not.

Eek. Running with new hip to get to throne is fun!

Hi, Rue! Glad to hear you had fun (snerk). beckwall, hope you feel better soon.

I feel like crap myself because it’s RAGWEED season and I am sniffling and sneezing and utterly miserable. But in other news, Four-Day week!

Swampy, I don’t wanna think about any mold! achoo

That sure sounds like my last canoe trip with family. Our group consisted of BarbeeDoll[sup]TM[/sup] and family, Nurse Debbie[sup]TM[/sup] and her son, and yours truly. We rented some canoes on the Wekiva (or Wekiba) River and canoodled (it is, too, a word) to the springs where the river begins. ND, ND son, and I were in one canoe and the BD Family was in the other. ND and I have canoodled before but ND son never had. ND and I are both very opinionated canoodlers. Needless to say, we saw lots and lots of the Wekiva (or Wekiba).

Mr. Anachi was extremely productive this weekend. On Saturday he installed and wired brand new flourescent lights under the kitchen cabinets…all by his little self. I think he was feeling pretty cockey (Not cockie, swampy) cause he decided to install one of the two new garage door openers that were desparately needed. He did a great job! Now I don’t have to bang the unit with the watering can to get the door to close anymore. :smiley:

fcm, just wanted to say I think your new closets are the bomb!

I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting but I’ll give sommon else a chance.

Tupug The Wired

I’ve never been on a canoe or anything similar, but I like ice cream.

::sits back and waits for an “Exceeds Expectations” from swampy::

They are five and nine year old boys. If their mom wasn’t on the job, they’d be waking up with worse than mildew and bugs on them.

Actually I kid. Soupo takes his cleanness seriously. He’s not a big fan of dirt.

And it’s not just the Little Woman who makes sure they stay clean. I’ve been known to hose the big chunks of stink off them if they get too bad.

Kathca missed school Friday because of his allergies. I could have sent him in because he wasn’t really sick. But he sounded bad. And it’s just Kindergarten. So I kept him home. That way his teacher wouldn’t get all freaked out that I’m sending in a sick kid to infect her whole class. I would never do that. Not in the first week anyway.

And I did have a good time. It would have been better if I could have left those kids home, but still, it was fun.

I’m not the first one in, but I’m probably the first one who can answer “yes” to that rhetorical question. Ok, his arms are a tad skinny. Of course that’s normal for a boy his age. Someday he’ll be all big and burly like his daddy.

BTW, what’s with all this “end of the summer” stuff? Summer’s not over for at least six more weeks, and that’s only if the gator sees his shadow and slides back into his swimmin’ hole. Otherwise it could be another 12-15 weeks of summer. Heck, hurricane season is only halfways through. It’s officially over November 30th. All of the hurricanes have it marked on their calendars for the big end of the season gala.

Summer’s over here. No, I mean its over. Here its over.
Not, “Hey! I found summer, its over here!”
<Sigh> I wish it wasn’t over here. I mean…
I think I’ll go back to bed. I’m pretty sure I left my brain up there under the covers somewhere. (Maybe next to Summer.)

Picunurse, let’s work out a deal. You can come visit us whenever you need some summer (we have it most of the year) and I can come visit you whenever I need some autumn (or cool, damp weather). Deal?

Let’s see … My Weekend, by Drae:

Friday night, we had a Girls’ Night at my house, which is pretty much the same thing as a Pajama Movie Night, only this time, there were no boys allowed. It was not much different than it would have been had we let the boys come.

Saturday morning, Best Friend and I got up and got all decked out to go to the Renaissance Faire. We drove up, tightened our corsets, and decided after twenty minutes and one beer that we were just going to do what needed to be done and get out–it was hot, we were tired, and both of us have lost enough weight over the last year that our clothes no longer fit. Ill-fitting bodices (pronounced bodiceeees, naturally) leave bruises. Did you know that? My rib cage knows that. So, we wandered around for about an hour, I bought my gift for Hell’s Wedding Couple (a beautiful set of pewter and crystal champagne glasses), birthday presents for a friend (Best Friend got a little drum, and I got a pipe made out of a shell–for smoking tobacco, of course. Yes. She’s a pink-haired hippie freak and I bought her a tobacco pipe for her birthday. Yuh-huh.), and then we pretty much decided we were done in. We went home and took naps.

Saturday night, we had a birthday party for my friend Claudia at a karaoke lounge in New York City. That was a blast. The room was smaller than my bedroom closet and badly ventilated, but it was still damned fun. As our grand finale, we all did “Bohemian Rhapsody” in chorus, which probably frightened people out in the hall.

Then there was some cleaning and a picnic. I suddenly got too tired to continue the detailed account of my thoroughly uninteresting weekend. Go about your business, there’s nothing to see here.

Oh, and I haven’t been in a canoe in approximately twenty years, because I am the Mistress of Capsization. (It’s a word now, dammit.) My very presence can flip a canoe over on land, never mind in the water.

How does one exceed expectations as a stalker. It’s pretty much one of those you’re either staking (meets expectations) or not (does not meet expectations). If you trimmed the bushes while you’re hidin’ in em or pulled some weeds or maybe occasionally pulled the trash can down to the street on trash day, then maybe that’d be exceeds expectations. However, I’ve had to do all those things with no help, so, sorry, not exceeds expectations from me.

I’m hungry. I need some lunch soon. Don’t know what I want though. My tummy is growlin’ though so it wants to be fed sometime soon.

Nah, Summer runs from the last day of school in June to the first day of school in September. Ask Soupo (or any kid).

I too have paddled my canoe in the lazy days of summer. Of course, as a Canadian™, I have heriditary abilities in all things canoe-related, and can even paddle in a (mostly) straight line and climb in and out without tipping over (or even after tipping over :smiley: , having prudently worn my life jacket).

Saturday, I slept in because I had been up until 2 AM Friday night playing Advanced Civilization with my gaming buddies. Then I went out to get cat food and litter because we were almost out again (multiple cats use up cat-type consumables like crazy), and some BBQ ribs for Sunday supper.

Sunday and Monday, I mowed the lawn three times - front and back on Sunday, and back again on Monday but in the other direction to get the bits the mower missed the first time because I didn’t mow it the week before and it was getting long. Monday I made a double batch of chicken masala for supper, so there’s enough left over for another supper or 2-3 lunches. Yum!

I want to go canoodling. I haven’t been canoodling for a long time. Rudy Day, next time you go canoodling, can I go too?

I had a very nice long weekend. For once, it didn’t seem too short. Even three-day weekends are too short sometimes. I got some stuff done and watched lots of Ren and Stimpy, and had fun at the cookout last night. I feasted on goat cheese and many different kinds of salad and burgers and fruit. It was all good. We juggled (I’m really bad at spinning plates) and tried to catch butterflies (not very succesfully).

I want coffee. :frowning: I’m trying to give up coffee, because I don’t sleep very well if I drink coffee, but today I’m really craving a nice big cup of coffee. It feels like Monday.

Well, my kids will tell you that summer starts before the end of school (in mid May) and does not end until well after school restarts (in early August). If school here was only when there was no summer then our local kids would be even less educated than they are now. I mean, what kind of education can you get in a couple months?

Well now, I don’t cotton to them weird, new-fangled school calendars. (Hmmmph, startin’ school in August. How’s a body 'spected to git the crops in with the young’uns all in school?)

Must … resist… urge … to… go…

Sorry, I tried.

I can steer a canoe. It’s those Canadian Powers. I rarely tip over, too, because my hatred of fish and leeches is greater than any canoe tippyness. I can also make very good s’mores and sing Land of the Silver Birch in Ojibway. Annoying Campfire Songs are an Important Part of our Heritage.

Any typos are because Bailey is sitting on my right arm.

Time to run off and do laundry.

The strawberry harvest starts in February. Oranges are ripe in December or later. Tourist harvest is from Thanksgiving until Easter. Alligator harvest is all year round. Fish run at different times, depending on the fish. I think Lobster season starts in October, and Stone Crabs are sometime after that. Of course Oysters are any month with an “R”.