In a surprising move, I made a last-minute Friday decision to take my family to the lake for the Memorial Day weekend after our expected houseguests cancelled their visit. It was surprising because I am not known for my spontaneity – when I first met Kyle, I told him that I wouldn’t go to the bathroom without a ten-minute warning – and also because I AM known for using free time for small projects such as sandblasting and repainting the entire exterior of the house.
Kyle, who is actually spontaneous, is always so happy when I say things like, “I just bought 200 feet of wallpaper,” so when I called him over the lunch hour about my unplanned plan, he was all in. When we spoke he was in the garage preparing to leave for a meeting in Fargo, so he delayed his departure for five minutes in order to throw a duffle bag, the fishing rods, and tackle box in his truck while I booked a room at a lakeside resort a few hours away.
I finished work at 5pm, and spent the next hour running around like a contestant on Supermarket Sweep in order to gather up everything the boys and I would need for the trip. Just as I was shoveling the last of the suitcases and children into the car, it dawned on me that I had forgotten something…goggles. I ran back in, congratulated myself on being me, and hit the road for our weekend o’ fun. We stopped for a Fargo fast food dinner and to pick up Kyle (who parked his truck at our friends’ house), and pulled into the resort a little past bedtime.
Our ten-year-old had used the drive to map out an elaborate activity schedule (the trip was Friday to Sunday, so Saturday was our “only” day), which was so action-packed that I wasn’t sure we would have enough time for a bathroom break, let alone a ten-minute bathroom break warning. The grand finale was a pontoon rental/fishing trip at 5:30pm, which meant all of the other events needed to happen in a timely manner so as to get the family to the dock by 5:15. Ten was recounting his schedule for the two-hundredth time when I opened a suitcase to get Seven some jammies and realized that the thing I had remembered I had forgotten was not the goggles – but was in fact, my underwear.
Growing up in the 80’s, clean underpants were a very big thing. Like your American Express card, you’d never leave home without it. We don’t seem to be concerned with this anymore, so either the results of dirty skivvies never manifested themselves or we are a lot less disgusting without Aquanet. Regardless, old rules die hard; and so when I mentioned my predicament to Kyle he said, “No problem, we’ll have breakfast in town and you can grab some then. It’ll be quick.” He may have also mentioned something about wearing bathing suits for the next two days as an alternative, but I had stopped listening at that point and also I wasn’t going to do that.
Now, I don’t know if you know anything about resort town shopping, but if you are in the market for a sign that reads “Live, Lake, Love,” then you are IN LUCK. If you want to buy ladies’ undergarments, however – well, it turns out a lot of people wear their bathing suits because it took me eight stores to find any. I did, of course, find a pair of boxers that said, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” that I was going to get for Kyle because of its inspiring and worldly mantra but then remembered our tight timeline and moved on. I was also pointed towards a tableful of nursing bras; close, but no cigar. I should note that in the time it took me to procure two pairs of ‘pants, Kyle and the boys bought a cricket bat and ball, a hockey t-shirt, a novelty plate set, Taco Bell-flavored sunflower seeds, a USB hairdryer, and a hand humidifier.
We got back to the resort – a ten-minute drive from downtown – an hour behind schedule. No problem, we told Ten – we would just cut a little bit off of each activity to get back on track. This great plan worked exactly never because all the activities were so much fun that we had to drag both boys away after several gentle calls for, “We’re leaving now. Okay, we’re leaving NOW. Okay, NOW we’re leaving now.”
By 5:05, we had accomplished exactly half of Ten’s program; but ‘toonin’ time was nigh, so we rushed back to our room to grab the fishing gear. As the boys were arguing over who was going to carry the Taco Bell-flavored sunflower seeds, Kyle casually mentioned, “Oh, right, I forgot to get bait.” Ten froze. No problem, we told Ten, once again – we would buy some from the guy renting the pontoons. This was a resort! Obviously, they would have bait.
The resort did not have bait. “There’s a place downtown that probably sells it,” the suntanned young man at the ‘toon shack told us. And then he mentioned the same store where I had purchased my unmentionables (it was a very versatile retail experience). “We’re good,” Kyle said.
We were good. It was an absolutely perfect evening – 70 degrees, blue skies, and not a mosquito or a lick of wind for twenty miles. It turns out that both fish and little boys like beef jerky, because that’s what we used as bait and it worked. When we packed everything back up into the car the next morning, Ten declared it “our best vacation ever” (and Seven declared that he wanted ice cream) so I guess we’ll have to schedule in some more spontaneity in the future.
The photo above was taken on the pontoon and includes me, Kyle, the Taco Bell-flavored sunflower seeds, and my new underwear.
This week’s news has a life-saving senior and a bowler named Maddy A. Read on.
Manvel’s Robert Kennedy is a humble hero thanks to a quick-thinking Heimlich maneuver, which saved Curtis Carlson. (Grand Forks Herald)
The Bottineau VFW has been putting out flags – over 500, to be exact-ish –for a Memorial Day and Veterans Days Parade of Flags. (KX Net)
This particular article is for Bismarck, but I know many of the school districts in North Dakota are offering free lunches – and for some, breakfasts – over the summer. (KFYR TV)
Valley City’s Madison Anderson is in the 8th grade and will soon be rolling in a national bowling tournament (and you should click on the article just for the photo because it’s really cute). (Valley City Times-Record)
Bismarck’s Dylan Wetsch now has a new friend named Canam thanks to Make-a-Wish North Dakota. (KFYR TV)
Looking for a little light reading? Check out my latest story on summer scheduling in the latest issue of Area Woman Magazine. (Area Woman)
Let’s Be (Official) Pals!
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