The Knitting Elf

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Family Reunion (part 1)

- Day 1 (Monday) -
We didn't leave till about 4pm; I didn't mind (I was all for delaying our departure as long as possible but I wasn't the reason we left so late, honest!) but this meant we didn't arrive till 11:30 that night. Grandpa left a lantern on for us so we knew where to go (glad it didn't burn down the forest!). We searched around for a free spot and found the perfect one! It was around 250-300 yards away from everybody else so we couldn't hear or see them but Brother could still walk over there by himself to play with cousins; we had our own fire pit and picnic table; and we were close to an outhouse (yet far enough away that we couldn't smell it). So we set up our tent and finally all crawled into our sleeping bags at about 1. It was freezing; I don't think I slept for more then 2 hours.

- Day 2 (Tuesday) -
I was the first one up (around 5). I couldn't stay in the tent any longer, it was too cold. The first thing I did was build a fire. I discovered that whomever it was that took care of the camp sites had cut down a bunch of dead trees and left them about 20 feet from our site; so I didn't have to search at all for firewood (yay!).

After everybody woke up we went to the lake (Lake Alice); you can only get there on foot (an easy hike). We hiked with Uncle Boring, Aunt Boob-a-phobic (so called because when she gives you a hug she's afraid to let her chest touch you. It's like bowing and mashing your shoulders together while patting the other person on the back), Uncle Glasses, Cousin Normal and Tiki (Cousin Normal's dog. He's the most adorable and well behaved black lab ever!). Everybody was going soo slow, it was really annoying myself and Cousin Normal so we managed to break away from the group and arrived at the lake about 45 minutes before everybody else. We played fetch with Tiki in the water and chatted/made fun of relatives (I know, we're horrible).

After everybody finally arrived I went fishing for the first time ever! I found the act of fishing to be quite enjoyable, at first....till I hooked a fish. It was a beautiful fish, about 16 inches, but I felt soo bad watching it gasp for air.....I let it go. I love fish but I don't think I'd ever be able to eat the ones I catch unless I was starving....poor fish. It was Baby Sister and Brother's first time fishing too! They had fun for the first hour or so but by then it was extremely hot and they were tired and bored.

That night I witnessed my Grandpa trying to start a fire. From a young age, I was taught how to properly build a fire and how to keep it going (I was taught by an Uncle on Mum's side of the family). Grandpa put a HUGE log in the pit, added a couple of news papers and some lighter fluid, and threw a match in.....I was speechless. What would they do if they ran out of lighter fluid (probably freeze to death)??

- Day 3 (Wednesday) -
On Wednesday all the adults decided to go fishing and leave me to watch their kids. I didn't have any say in the matter, they just left. It was like, because I don't have any kids of my own it was my responsibility to watch everybody else's. Just because I love kids, and I'm really good with kids, and they all seem to like me, does not mean I'm dying to do it just because you don't want to take them fishing with you!! Surprisingly, they were all very well behaved and I was able to use this time to finish my cardigan. After they got back Uncle Boring and his family went into town (they didn't get back till we were all asleep) and Aunt Boob-a-phobic and her family went home (which included Uncle Glasses, Cousin Normal, and Tiki; boo!)

Wednesday evening, Daddy and Uncle Chicken-Fat (so called because that's his favorite part, ewww) went back up to the lake so they could take advantage of the great fishing at dusk; so Brother, Baby Sister, and I were left with the Grandparents, Aunts Wishy-Washy, Psycho, Crazy, and all their kids. Aunt Crazy decided that she was going to be in charge and tried to make everybody sit still and listen to Grandpa tell us how he found out about Alice Lake. As you can probably imagine, none of the children were even remotely interested (not counting myself, they're all under the age of 12) so Aunt Crazy starts yelling at everybody.

At this point the sky suddenly lit up with lightening which was immediately followed by rolling thunder (meaning it was really close). All my Aunts flipped out, they were like chickens running around with their heads chopped off! This made Baby Sister freak out and she immediately broke down into tears which in turn caused Brother to do the same. Great; Daddy's at the lake and I'm stuck with 2 crying kids and relatives that don't know how to keep their cool during a storm. I somehow got us back to our camp site and we climbed into the tent. Now that we were away from the crazy/freaked out relatives Baby Sister and Brother were a bit calmer but still really scared. After we had been in the tent for all of 30 seconds it starts hailing, HARD. Yeah, this didn't help them calm down. We sat on our sleeping bags and I held them while they plugged their ears. It hailed for about 5 minutes then began to rain. So we played cards (old maid :oP ) to keep their minds off the storm. It was getting late so I put them in bed and told them a condensed version of the Hobbit (their choice, it's their favorite). Daddy got back about halfway through and we moved a bunch of our stuff back into the car (the rain was starting to seep through the bottom of the tent). He also borrowed a bunch of blankets from Grandma (I swear she brought enough blankets to start her own store) so we slept a lot warmer and drier then we would have.

- The things I missed most while camping -
  • My computer
  • Craftster
  • Blogland
  • My bed
  • Showers
  • Flushing toilets
  • All the CD's I didn't bring

Part 2 coming tomorrow......


  • It's excruciating watching most people try to start a fire. It's as if they think that the flame will magically leap from the match to the log! Growing up, my parents' house was (and still is) heated in the winter by a wood stove, so I learned early on how to build a fire.

    Camping sounds wonderful. I love it, and I haven't done it in AGES (like, 10 years.) But camping with relatives sounds like HELL.

    I can just imagine you telling the Hobbit to Brother and Baby Sister. When I was a kid, my dad would tell us that one. I already knew the story inside out by the time I read the book. That's one thing I really miss about being a kid-- having stories read to you.

    By Anonymous David, at 6:10 PM  

  • Camping with Daddy's family is awful but Mum's family is fun. All my Uncles are superb cooks and love camping because it gives them an excuse to cook solely in their dutch ovens! On that side of the family, I have also have fun (and normal) cousins; We play board/card games, do giant puzzles, or just sit and laugh at old pictures/stories. Aunt Crafty is going to try teaching me to tat this year (I'm soo excited!! She tried at Christmas but I didn't get it; hopefully it'll click this time around). The "good" family reunion is in 2 weeks, I think....I'll have to ask Mum in the morning.

    I miss the stories too!! Daddy is a fantastic story teller; he used to make up a new one for me every night. I was always the main character and my dog was my side kick. We saved the world, built life sized gingerbread houses, and made friends with dragons :o)

    By Blogger Melannen, at 12:41 AM  

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