Sep 27, 2013

Our annual weekend on Wolftever Creek

Since we went to the lake two weekends in a row, I decided to wait a few days in between lake posts so you wouldn't get bored. It had nothing at all to do with the fact that I kept leaving the USB cable in the van and couldn't get the pictures off my waterproof camera for a week.

We've been going up to my friend Honor's grandparents' lake house outside of Chattanooga every summer for the last 21 years. Why wouldn't we? When you walk out the back door, this is what you see:

Granted, for the first TEN of those years, the weekends were a lot quieter. And less crowded.

Now we have four kids and they have three, and for a while there, when we were each adding a kid every couple of years, it got a little hairy.

I mean, it's like going to the beach. You have to watch your kids every second or someone will end up wandering off. Luckily now we only have one Partial Non-verbal. And she's really only a Defiant Non-verbal, meaning that she's plenty verbal when she WANTS to be.

Everyone else is good about telling us where they're going, when they're going, what they want to do next, when they're tired or hungry and all that stuff.

We did have one incident with Jake on Saturday. Both Saturday and Sunday, Honor and Doug invited a couple of other families to come down from Signal Mountain to play for the afternoon, so we had about 20 people milling around. Saturday afternoon, Jake hopped on the ski boat with a bunch of them and took off while I was in the house getting lunch ready, and none of the adults or kids left on the dock saw him leave.

So when I came back out of the house, counted my people's heads and asked, "Where's Jake?" ... no one knew. First I had Nathaniel look under the docks and floats, then Grayson and I checked the house and he walked the shoreline. I went back to the end of the dock and scanned the lake for the ski boat, finally flagging Doug's brother DJ down on his Sea Doo, asking him to go find the boat and see if Jake was on it.

He was, of course, but I'd already endured those eight minutes or so of rising panic that I've felt before when we haven't been able to find one of the kids. First with Amelia, then with Nathaniel ... and here we were again with Jake!

This was certainly the least serious of those scary times, but still. When Jake hopped off the boat, I pulled him aside and talked to him for a long time about how he should have handled the situation, and he took me very seriously. He apologized for scaring me and had tears in his eyes.

After taking a few deep breaths, I was back to normal and enjoying what may easily have been the most beautiful weekend we've ever spent at Wolftever Creek.

A couple of years ago, we weren't able to mesh our weekend schedules until after school started back, so we went much later in the Summer than we ever had before ... and it was GREAT!

Then last year, we moved it even farther back, to September, and we loved it even more! In the deep South, the weather and water are still plenty warm this time of year, but hardly anyone is out on the water.

That's a magical combination, especially if you're managing 15 kids around one dock or off of a ski boat and a Sea Doo.

Saturday night, the kids stayed out on the lake as late as they could, and then Honor grilled some delicious steaks and chicken breasts and legs, and we had a relaxing, late supper.

Then it was kids piled everywhere and electronics galore until bedtime. I love how much our kids love spending time together. So sweet!

Sunday we awoke to another splendid day. SEPTEMBER ON THE LAKE FTW!

And again, the lake was very quiet.

We had it pretty much to ourselves until our guests joined us after lunch.

Amelia used the day to discover a new favorite pastime: Pushing everyone in the lake.

She'd yell their names one by one ... "Nink!" Then shove him in. And of course they ate. it. up. with a spoon.

Daddy even got several turns being pushed in.

One of my favorite parts of the weekend was having Hazel around. Hazel is Honor and Doug's shepherd mix, and she's the sweetest dog. She's very calm, with the exception of when she met Amelia. And tried to love on her. And knocked her over and rolled her down a hill. Oops.

So although Amelia never cottoned to her (our kids aren't ever around dogs so they don't get much practice with them), I had a great time with her!

And I especially liked watching her ride the Jet Ski with Doug.

Doesn't a picture like this just make you want to exhale? Makes me want to be there all over again. And RELAX.

Not that I want to paint a picture of solitude and silence. It was really anything BUT that.

We actually had quite the party rockin' on Sunday afternoon.

But just being on the lake somehow calms me down.

The lapping of the water against the rocks, knowing the kids are 100 percent entertained, being with friends ... it's just fun.

Nick took some time to create a new trick ... running off the end of the dock and flipping over Jake.

He earned a standing O from several of us for that.

It was great meeting so many of Honor and Doug's friends, and it always amazes me how quickly kids will learn each others' names and play with each other like they've always known one another. They all fell in together like it was the first day of summer camp.

Probably felt like it was.

I love these people! So glad they're in my life. So glad they share the lake with us.

And Doug says sunglasses on caps ARE TOO A THING.

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