Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘holiday weekend

Spectacularly Pleasant

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We were blessed with a fabulous summer-weather day for our Wildwood Lodge Club annual Fourth of July games. Things started a little slow, with a pickup wiffleball game occupying some of us, while the rest of the folks made their way to the lodge.

The flag was raised to a recorded version of our National Anthem.

Shoes were kicked.

Also, water balloons were tossed (thrown), wet sponges were passed, bodies were spun, and watermelon was handlessly gobbled. Yes, it gets messy.

Greased watermelons were then wrestled toward invisible goal lines.

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Finally, a feast was shared in the lodge.

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After dinner, I played a little guitar around the fire to cap off a spectacular day of events.

The most difficult part of this precious weekend is facing the return to reality that happens today. We drive home this afternoon in a line of holiday traffic to resume our normal weekday duties.

I suppose the plus side of that is, it tends to make days like these all the more special that we get to experience them.

This year will go down as a particularly precious Fourth of July weekend enjoying summer games up at Wildwood with all the families present.

I look forward to dwelling on it for as long as circumstances will allow.

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Written by johnwhays

July 7, 2019 at 8:23 am

Starting Early

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Cyndie and I left for the lake after I got home from work yesterday. We had no idea that Wednesday night the 3rd of July would be the time when towns would hold their fireworks shows in Wisconsin.

It seemed to me that traffic was flowing fairly well for the night before a holiday that was providing a 4-day weekend for most folks. Maybe the people who were going to be out of town had already left. We only ran into two backups.

The first one was at a roundabout, of all places. The very system that was created to minimize congestion at an intersection was not achieving its potential when we arrived. There was no zipper merging happening because someone in our lane was intent on waiting until no other cars were anywhere in sight before executing their right turn.

The second backup happened as we approached Shell Lake. Several hours before darkness was to arrive, officials had already closed Hwy 63 and were detouring traffic through town to create a safe zone for the fireworks show. We didn’t wait around to see the spectacle. It seemed a day early to us, but maybe it had something to do with the holiday falling on a Thursday.

We stopped for dinner at a local diner/gas station that won our hearts after our first visit there last year. In this case, the second time wasn’t the charm. It seemed so dang impressive the first time we ate there. Last night, our experience was surprisingly underwhelming.

It’s all relative, I tell ya.

Makes me want to try seeing things with the joy and wonder of the first time, regardless of how familiar it may have become. I’ll have a good chance to practice this over the next few days. We are up at Wildwood for the annual 4th of July festivities, including the long tradition of games between the “bats” and “mice” teams.

Water balloon toss; shoe kick; watermelon eating contests; relay racing.

We’ve been through this routine so many times, it is easy for me to become jaded over it. When it was still fresh to me and I was much younger, I was so moved by the experience that I wrote a song about it. The excitement has faded as I have aged.

This year I have a new goal to look at the weekend with the wonder I felt the first few times I came up here and to send a lot of love to all who show up to participate. What’s the worst that could happen? I might have as much fun as the year I wrote that song.

Go, team, go!

Happy US Independence Day everyone!

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Written by johnwhays

July 4, 2019 at 6:00 am

Precious Getaway

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We are so lucky to have people who are willing and able to take care of our animals for enough time to allow us to get away to the lake place every so often. It is our Memorial holiday weekend in the U.S. and for the second time in three weeks, we are again up at the lake place.

This time, we are without Delilah. She stayed home to be with our very capable recent college graduate, McKenna. Two of Cyndie’s brothers are up here with kids, and her parents as well. We got the weekend off to a very festive start by venturing out to the Lost Land Lake Lodge for the Friday night fish fry.

The place was hopping and our server was a real charm. Food was perfect in every way and the family banter was wonderfully entertaining. It was almost enough to entirely purge the lingering mental distractions of the day-job, where business has gotten so good (busy) it’s getting annoying.

Before the night was over, I had already lost two completely different card games. It didn’t bother me one bit. The precious ambiance was all the victory I needed for putting me in my happiest of places.

A precious getaway is an amazingly priceless luxury. This one is certainly more than I deserve.

As it fills my cup to overflowing, I will send the extra love out to you and the world to distribute and amplify all that is good.

It’s the least one can do for a world that too often seems out of our reach to help.

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Pure Joy

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IMG_3836eEven though there was much in the way of work being done on the main day of ‘Work Weekend,’ at the lake place we call Wildwood, there was no shortage of fun in the endeavors of the day.

After toiling away on the beach to reclaim the area from the unending processes of Mother Nature to take over our sandy little oasis, I pitched in, literally, to help others in improving the landscape in front of the lodge. The grass grows really well in the spaces near the building where it isn’t wanted, and I assisted with digging it up using a garden fork that looked like a very close relative of the pitch fork that has become one of my primary tools at home. A beautiful array of perennials were planted into the newly turned soil.

IMG_3843eThroughout the tasks, conversations blossomed in an annual renewing of connection with members of the community who scatter to their city lives for most of the winter.

Taking a pause from the work, I stopped back to the house where Cyndie was resting her hip and reading a book. I sat with her for a bit, until I noticed she had nodded off into a nap. Figuring I might as well go get my computer to take advantage of the time, I climbed the stairs to our room, finding my laptop beside the great big bed. Since she was already asleep, I figured I didn’t need to take it back downstairs to be in her proximity, and so laid on the bed to check in with the world.

I awoke in a slobbery mess of drool, after a most delicious unplanned nap of my own.

Hearing the words, “soccer game,” I descended the stairs to rejoin humanity and rediscovered how much joy I get from playing the beautiful game. I think it started as 4-v-4, but soon grew to include more people than the space actually allows. Maybe that is why the decision gets made that we won’t use borders, and play continues regardless the fact the ball is within the jungle gym play area, around the SUV parked on the driveway, or even behind the goals, like a game of hockey.

Slowly, in a reverse of how the numbers swelled to the maximum, players wander off to other pursuits, often without saying a thing. After battling situations that feel a lot like playing short-handed in a game of hockey, the game is paused and a player volunteers to switch so play can resume with reasonable balance. In the end, it came down to me facing one last challenge from 6-year-old nephew, Beck, for some 1-v-1.

He said, “Go over to your goal.”

“No, that’s an awful long way away. Let’s just play a small game right here,” I encouraged.

He kicked the ball around me and headed the length of the field to ‘my goal.’ What could I do? I chased after him to protect my goal. He was a tenacious foe and I soon realized he would not quit until he succeeded in getting that ball in the net. I was tired and wanted to be done, so I provided an opportunity. He missed. The ball rolled wide. A few near-misses later, the ball found the target and he was satisfied. Game over.

Pure joy.

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Written by johnwhays

May 25, 2014 at 8:17 am

Memorable Weekend

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IMG_2408eReturning to work can really increase the feelings of longing for the pleasures recently enjoyed over a holiday weekend. Since I had Monday off, that made yesterday my first day back after the long break. Yikes, what a contrast. The day-job doesn’t have nearly the appeal of a long weekend at the lake place.

What a great time we had this year, with our annual batch of games, followed by dinner at the lodge and fireworks shot from the beach after dark.

I was in something of a hurry to get home and pick up where we left off with projects at Wintervale, but after arriving back to chores, the allure of the lake just became more enticing. Add to that, a dose of the day-job, and thoughts of returning to the lake become all-encompassing.

IMG_2428eIt says a lot when people in a community like that influence you so deeply, after just a brief visit, that all you can think about is finding a way to return to be with them again.

It’s too bad I don’t have a job that involves hanging out with friends and family for days on end. I think I would be well-suited for a position like that.

JulianFireworks

Written by johnwhays

July 10, 2013 at 7:00 am