Once again the clan gathers at the Lake House in Tennessee for a long-long weekend of family, friends, a birthday, water fights, Treasure Island, beer and coconut rum, charades, Napoleon Dynamite, sun, tubing, and sun screen. Did I mention beer and a ton of food and fun?
No fireworks. It rained on Saturday. The rain almost cancelled the tubing, but the kids toughed it out and tubed all over the lake. Sometimes in the rain.
But the rain cancelled out fireworks. Darn, the fireworks are the one of the best parts.
Kitsy-Boo and Trouble Maker were in charge of Treasure Island this year. They neglected to make arrangements ahead of time. This includes the making of a map, clues in the form of a pirate poem and of course, hide the pirate loot on Treasure Island.
They went into "town" on Friday and were gone from mid-morning til mid-afternoon. The loot was pathetic! A few rubber animals and a bunch of water balls, about the size of soft balls. These were hung in trees.
Now, the Treasure Hunt has morphed from the early years (we think this is the eight time we have gone down in nine years, we missed one year due to a wedding in the Lake House In Laws family)when it was called Dinosaur Island. Each year it has become bigger and more complicated. Omega's B-I-L made the most incredible map one year, complete with burnt edges and grimy from years floating on the Lake in a bottle to wash in the bay. It was detected by one sharp eyed adult and several kids piled into a canoe (with an adult) and retrieved the old bourbon bottle...(well, we are from Kentucky don't ya know). And they had to follow all the clues after boarding the boat and heading for Treasure Island!
Each year it becomes bigger and better.
One year a bottle of Sammy Hagar's tequila, Cabo Wabo was hidden as an adult "treasure" for the Birthday boy (it is my bro N's birthday, the day after the summer solstice)and one of the very young man-children found it and said, "oh stinky, just an old bottle!" and flung it away. My B-I-L K., who had purchased the delicious expensive elixir, screamed"NOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and made a dive for it. Literally, he threw himself between the ground the the bottle and made an incredible catch.
I was not there to see it, but it is now legend.
This is the type of excitement that the kids are use to. After all these years, they stampede the dock, drag all the floatation devices into the water and immediately begin to ask about Treasure Island.
They waited patiently on the dock for their captain to arrive and once they cast off, the adventure was on!
They were back in less the 20 minutes, every face expressing the disappointment, but all good kids, not one word of dis-satisfaction was uttered. They showed us the loot from the pirate raid, the balls. Then they went to the house for lunch.
Omega looked at the pitiful pile of balls and said, "We can make a great game of this. We can make the kids get on the water trampoline and rafts. The adults can throw the balls at them. We can have one of them the target and have the others defend him. We will pick them off one by one until last man stands."
She did come up with something like that. Believe me.
When the kids returned we explained the game and into the water they went (after a good period of rest after lunch, trust me, there were a lot of Moms there). We practiced , then practiced some more. Suddenly, the game was on!
We threw the balls at them, they horded them, then a barrage of bullets with deadly aim made us scramble. The addition of butterfly nets made perfect ball retrievers. The game continued forever! Side were swapped, some adults became helpers and went it to the water and tossed the balls to the kids on the floats and trampoline.
The TroubleMaker frolicked on the deck shaking his hiney at the kids, "You can't get me!! You can't get me!! You can't hit me!" Boy did those kids love getting him.
Once we arrive down at Lake Norris we have an agenda. It includes Treasure Island. It includes the kids going tubing. It is celebrated with fireworks on Saturday night! And the much anticipated game of Charades.
We added another tradition this year, the Water Fight.
I swear, I never had so much fun! Well, not since I was a kid!