Teach a man to fish…

Posted on Posted in Family, Food and Drink, Life

And he’ll waste one of the best weekends of the year.

Every summer about this time, my mom’s side of the family gets together at Lake Miltona for the annual fishing trip. And my key measuring stick for how good a weekend it was is how well I do at avoiding actual “fishing.” By that standard, this was a good year.

I look forward to it every year. I eat too much, drink too much, get sunburned and come home dirty and exhausted. Good times.

This year’s highlights included…

Fantastic food – starting with Friday night ribs and ending with the Sunday afternoon fish fry. I always start out with intentions of moderation. I always end up doing an uncomfortably stuffed waddle through unpacking and cleaning up at home Sunday evening.


Cute little kids. All of ours are so yesterday.* Sami and Antonia are where it’s at now!

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• The cocktail shuttle run for mom, Christine and Corinne. Mom: “I think this time I’ll have one of what Corinne’s drinking. (Jameson/ginger ale) “This time I’ll have one of what Christine’s drinking. (Sweet tea vodka/lemonade)


• Tent-flattening winds. We managed to miss most of Saturday’s severe weather. Never got any hard rain. But what we did get was hour after hour of 20-30 mph straight-line winds coming unabated across the lake.
For a long time our big tent put up a good fight. It rippled and shook itself back and forth loudly like a gerbil in a Cuisinart. And, for those first few hours, when the tent would get pushed down, it would jump right back up as soon as the wind subsided. It was like watching the first Rocky movie. After awhile I started wanting to yell at the tent (in my best gravelly Burgess Merideth), “Stay down, ya greasy WOP!” But the wind never subsided for long.

And eventually, several sections of the fiberglass poles just said screw it and split. So, when the calm finally came, the old tent couldn’t get back on its feet. In the morning, we took Old Yeller on that long, slow, limping walk behind the barn. Rest in peace, old friend.

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• A Polish picnic. Fantastic description, courtesy of my uncle Don. See, in response to the rain (and in defiance of the wind), Ron, our host, decided we should set up one of those half-tent shelter thingies that you use at rainy graduation parties. It was wet and the theory was that folks needed a place to eat dinner. So we started – Ron, George, Brian and I. Occasionally we even referred to the directions. Others joined in to help (after they’d finished eating), but the wind was working against us (see bullet above). Finally I was overcome by hunger and had to take a break and eat my dinner. (Combating the elements is hungry work.)

That’s when Don happened to look over and witness the Polish picnic – five people standing around holding poles o
n a shelter while one person stood underneath enjoying a lovely dinner.


Good taste and family unity prohibit me from going into alternative highlights like:
• The great, Was-it-Something-They-Ate-or-Something-They-Drank debate,
• The most hilarious evening’s conversation that I ever happily missed, and
• Wardrobe failures.

But cheer up. There’s always next year!

*Oh, for Pete's sake, Molly. I'm just kidding. You're very cute. Fantastically cute. Insufferably cute. And I love you!


See all the great photos from our weekend!

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