June 19, 2010

VACATION RECAP. Some things never change, but this is probably the first time cannibalism came into it.

To preface, my dad just retired from a long and glorious career as a journeyman meat cutter. There are many benefits to being the daughter of a meat cutter, and they include:

1. Inside knowledge of where your meat is coming from.
2. Perks from meat companies, such as our hotdog toaster and the baby-poop brown GoldnPlump hat with the yarn pompom on top.
3. Eligibility to rent one of the union's cabins on the shore of Lake Superior.

So every summer we (mom, dad, sister, me) drive up to Lutsen, MN for a week of good old fashioned tradition. As kids, my sister and I could bring up friends, or my grandma(s) would come along. Now we bring our husbands and kids and, like the circle of life, we pass our traditions on to the next generation. Only we can't go anymore once my dad is unable, which hopefully won't be for many years. So I guess it's more of an arc.

We always end up with an enormous number of pictures, so instead of wearing out your scrolling finger I've put together a brief slide show for you to view at your leisure. The quality, unfortunately, has been lost in translation, but you get the idea.

After nearly 30 years of making this pilgrimage to the woods, everything about it is nostalgic. Every year, we drive the same roads cut out of the rocky hillsides of Bob Dylan's Highway 61, on which there never fails to be a section down to one lane with yellow-vested construction workers wielding "stop" and "slow" signs to give each direction of traffic a go. The Duluth pine trees are joined by birches and stands of lupine as we drive past Two Harbors, past Beaver Bay, past Schroeder, past Tofte, finally down the dirt road and steep driveway to cabin #1.

It's often difficult to observe our myriad traditions while we're there amidst the cool breezes and wood smells, but we just. keep. trying.

To Do
get donuts from Tobies
make s'mores
play for the cribbage
eat at The Angry Trout
play Uno, Farkle, Yahtzee, and probably other board games
throw rocks into the lake with the kids
paint rocks with the kids
play on the swing set with the kids
argue about where to go on a hike
go on a hike
ride the Alpine Slide (and stop in the gift shop)
shop the Grand Marais scene at least once
stop in "downtown Lutsen" at least 3 times
get free donuts from World's Best Donuts
throw more rocks with the kids
take the annual family picture in the middle of check-out chaos
stop ten minutes after leaving to go into a couple more shops (ie: the Tall Tale yarn shop!)
have lunch in Beaver Bay and visit the Agate Shop
part ways, but promise to call when we get home

These things never change. And what about the cannibalism, you ask? Here is the conversation I had with hubs one night while I was trying to read and he was trying to annoy chat with me...

Hubs: (while prodding the back of one of my knees) You know, I don't think men have this. The difference between men and women is that women have this meaty part.

Me: Did you just call me meaty?

Hubs: Just this part. So, you know, if you're ever in a situation where you have to cannibalize someone, you'll know who to go to first. (Demonstrating how this might go) 'Well, I guess we'll have to eat Jimmy.' 'No, no. Debbie.'

This is just the kind of relationship we have. We laughed because both my meaty and jiggly parts are hardly meaty or jiggly. Still, I make a habit of using these kinds of conversations to point out exactly what you should not say to your wife. Here's what happened the next day while he was giving me a hug and shaking me at the same time...

Me: Why are you making me jiggle?

Hubs: Why do you have jiggly parts?

Sigh. And so the birches have waned and the deciduous have ebbed. We are home from vacation and I'm glad, but I wish I had cleaned the house before we left.

* He could tell I had a retort for this, but I was holding back because it was mean. He told me to say it. So I said, "you're a bad husband." He laughed.

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