Every July, my mom’s whole side of the family gets together at Uncle Greg and Aunt Patt’s lake house which is so far north it might as well be a pole itself. It’s something everyone looks forward to because it’s a time to fellowship, swim, enjoy fireworks, and just relax with the family.
We picked up Grammy Kay early since it’s about a five hour drive, and then I thanked the gas stations for inflating their prices for the holiday weekend and then we were off. The highways were not very busy at all. We even stopped to get some last minute items at Wal-Mart and then made our usual, more than midway, stop at Bargain Bills, which is basically a liquidator store that has everything you could ever dream of! I have bought many a supply for my classroom here in past summers but this time I bought a Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal for Rory because it was so super soft and Kim hates Pooh. I thought it was just perfect!
As we were leaving Uncle Randy, Aunt Stacy and my cousin Ryan pull up. (I told you, Bargain Bills is just something we do)
“What’s up?” I say.
“Not much!!” Aunt Stacy says pushing Kim out of the way and starts kissing Rory’s cheeks.
“Psst. Look at this!” Ryan says luring me to his trunk. It is filled to the brim with fireworks. We are totally going to win the war this year.” (Oh yeah. The war. Every year, my cousins compete with the house across the lake to see who can shoot the most and the best fireworks off each year! It’s silly but everyone just freaking loves it!)
“Yeah, and I think I’m going to go get some more,” Ryan says as he heads to a firework stand.
“You don’t need anymore,” Aunt Stacy says.
“Well if they like it, let them have fun!” Kim says.
“That’s true Kim! You are so smart!” Aunt Stacy agrees heading up to Bargain Bills.
We drove across the street to get a couple subs for the road and to feed Rory his bottle. As Kim opened the trunk and began shuffling through it, the present I had bought for Aunt Patt came crashing to the ground with an audible crunch. I about had a heart attack because this felt like the worst thing that could happen. Aunt Patt is a rooster fanatic and I had found a patriotic rooster figurine that I thought was completely amazing. Rooster and 4th of July? How could you do better. (we promised to send her a new one) About this time, Rory had just downed his bottle, then as reverse gravity works, he instantly upped it all over himself and the carseat. Kim ran him to the bathroom as Grammy did her best to clean up the backseat.
“What’s that about?” I ask.
“I think it’s just teething! He sometimes pukes during that,” Kim says.
The rest of the drive was fine, except for some occasional baby grumping from the back seat. We found a Christian station and sang to him until he stopped.
When we pulled into Aunt Patt’s the house was pretty empty because most people were either out and about or hadn’t arrived yet. When the full party arrived there were 23 adults, 2 boys, four toddlers under two, and four dogs.
“Oh my gosh! It’s like that Real World Show, only we’re family,” Sara says.
“I wonder who is going to break out the alcohol first?” I say.
After a while it was time to feed Rory again. He was yelling and bouncing and ready for yogurt. Although after he finished it, he created some real abstract yogurt art all over the floor and then stepped in it.
“What is going on?” I say, the constant worrier.
“He’s teething!” Grammy Kay says.
And maybe that answer would have satisfied me but when he puked again after eating some puffs I was really freaked out. The weird thing was though, that every time after he puked he would go back to being happy little monkey man. None of it really made sense.
While Rory was passed around I took some time to catch up with my cousins and go for a swim. I even taught Kim how to catch a fish. I showed her once, guided her on the second fish, let her do it on the third and then she wanted to do it a fourth time as well. I was so proud of her tiny bluegills.
By the end of the day Rory was starving because he just couldn’t keep anything down and Kim and I were feeling pretty helpless. I wanted to try feeding him again but all the elders said we should just put him to bed. After an hour of screaming and semi-sleeping we just went ahead and fed him and FINALLY, he kept his food down and instantaneously fell asleep. Thank you God!
The next day was 4th of July and Rory was completely ready for the fireworks! All day he’d been letting them fly in his diaper. I think Kim and I must have changed poopy diapers at least 8 times. Other than that, the day was filled with more Rory cuddling, hard lemonade, swimming in the lake, and cornhole. (although everyone looked at me like I was an alien when I said the game where you toss beanbags back and forth and try to get them into the hole was actually called cornhole. Apparently they call it bags in Wisconsin. It’s so strange.)
Even Bella got some of the lake action. It was so fun watching her swim in the lake, lap up the parasites in the water, pee on my sandals, and jump off the pier with Sara and Joe’s dog Cooper. People lazed around in the party barge inflatable. (except for Angie who somehow got stuck pulling everyone else around)
The day ended with the massive collection off fireworks. Ryan had gone back into town to get a few more, and my other cousin Todd had brought at least 1000 dollars worth of fireworks as well. It was fantastic watching the huge explosions of color above our heads. Rory watched for quite a while and then fell asleep against my chest. It was a fantastic Fourth of July! A real blowout!
Comic By Bitstrips