Saturday, December 29, 2007

Last Day at the Lake (for now)

Soulmate and I had big plans to get out skiing right away in the morning today, and as usual Pippin the Giant Hairball and Buddy the Troll acted the part of the alarm clock for us. One or the other hears something outside our door (usually my brother-in-law’s Border Collie, Scottie, who is an early riser), and they clickety-clack on the wood floors with their toenails until I get up and let them out.

Soulmate frequently gets up in a huff and plops the offending canine back into his doggie bed, where they remain for at least as long as it takes for SM to make it back to bed and pull the covers over her eyes, then they pop back up and start the toenail racket all over again. I suggested either installing wall-to-wall carpeting in the cabin or de-clawing the dogs, but SM gives me the “don’t even joke about either of those things” icy stare. Little does she know that I’m not joking about either one, if I had my way.

Anyway, I got up with the dogs and let them out, part one of the trifecta of my morning routine at the cabin. The second part is to put a log into the fireplace and get it blazing using only the left over coals from last night. I’m not really a kindling kind of guy. I usually succeed. The third part is to make some really strong coffee, usually Caribou Reindeer blend or Starbuck’s French Roast. I know it’s right when my mother-in-law dilutes it with 2/3s hot water before she drinks any.

I decided to let SM sleep this morning. In fact, I let her sleep every morning. I’m a bit of a risk-taker, but a guy’s got to know his limits, and foreshortening SM’s beauty sleep is asking for trouble. She comes by it honestly, judging from the fact that it is now 12:45 am and she and her parents are happily conversing around the fireplace, not a droopy eyelid in sight except mine.

Anyway, after having coffee with my usual cabin coffee klatch (my mother-in-law and my brother-in-law Jeff), I decided to waste some time watching a movie. While driving back from Fosston on Wednesday, the passengers enjoyed “Secondhand Lions” on the car video player (not my car). I listened to all the dialog, but didn’t see any of the movie for obvious reasons, so I tossed the DVD in downstairs and settled in.

At various times my nephew Joshua, my niece Jenny, my sister-in-law Sue, brother-in-law Jeff, and Soulmate all sat down to watch for a few minutes, then went back to something else. I can’t figure that out: I usually get totally sucked into the story, and even if I’m supposed to be doing something else, I sit transfixed in front of the TV. Like the time I was supposed to be watching another nephew, Caulin, and popped in a Barney tape to entertain him. Fifteen minutes later SM and Caulin’s mom came in to check on us, and there I was staring at Barney, and Caulin was nowhere to be found. Barney, for crying out loud!

After the movie we ate a little lunch and got ready to go skiing when we noticed my father-in-law had fallen on the little ice rink we made on the lake, and was slow to get up. I ran down to check him out, and he had split his head open and bruised his tailbone pretty badly, but hadn’t gotten knocked out. I decided to play doctor for the afternoon and cancelled the skiing. He turned out fine, so my nephew and niece and I sat down to more videos.

A Rock Hudson movie (sorry, I still have a really hard time with all that), followed by “Life With Father” (I’m a big fan of William Powell), “National Treasure” with Nicolas Cage, and finally “The Incredibles”, the best animated film ever made. When Dash says at the end, “this is the best vacation ever…I love our family!” I totally agree with him. For me, any vacation at the cabin is among the best ever, and I really do love this family.

All good things must come to an end, so we sadly plan to pack up in the morning and head back home. I hope to make it back up here again this winter. But if not, at least we can count on the canine alarm clock…

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