Family, Friends, and The Great Outdoors: The Adventures of Summer, 2016

If you know me at all, you know how much I love the outdoors and spending time with my family. As we gear up for a busy fall, I thought I’d take a moment and reflect on a fun summer. Don’t worry, I have many posts planned for tips and trends in the home remodeling world. In fact, if you can’t get enough, sign up here for my monthly e-newsletter. I always have helpful information and updates.

The summer of 2016 was filled with adventures, new additions to the family, and a goodbye to a very special person in my life.

The summer started off on a sad note. After moving my folks into a new independent living facility, we took my dad to the doctor. He had been fading and it was most noticeable in that he was not his usual, talkative self. The diagnosis confirmed that he was not well at all and had liver cancer. We brought him home for a few days but it was obvious we could not care for him at home and we sadly admitted him to a hospice house where he died a week later. He was able to live at home until a week before he died; that is wonderful. He left a wonderful legacy of family and friends and set a great example for all of us to follow.

I shared a number of stories in the eulogy: our 1964 trip to Sawbill Canoe Outfitters for our first canoe trip, road trips in the 1967 Ford Country Squire station wagon (with the wood panels) and his love of the North Shore and Lake Superior. But the gift my family cherishes the most was his ability to talk with anyone and make them feel at ease and welcome. A wonderful skill that we use every day. Thanks, Dad. 

Back in June, we had a trip to Calgary for a friend’s son’s wedding and then a week of hiking and enjoying the Canadian Rockies. I have been there often to ski in the winter but never been there in the summer. After a few days in Calgary for the wedding, we moved to Canmore at a great AirBNB and then drove and hiked around the area including Banff (lots of tourists) and Lake Louise (even more tourists). My favorite part was seeing all the glaciers on the Icefield Highway. With global warming, it’s nice to see a glacier and there are numerous glaciers you can see on this road.


Then we hosted a huge 4th of July gathering for a baby shower at our cabin. We had over 30 people at our cabin for the shower and 18 people staying at the cabin–lots of action! Plus, we added a new dog AND two kittens to our household. They all get along pretty well together. Our new dog enjoys riding in the canoe…what could be better? The kittens are a lot of entertainment. They spent half an hour “exploring” an eggshell in our sink and who would think that a bottle cap would provide hours of entertainment, especially when they drop it in the bathtub (with no water, although that will be another story…) and then play “indoor” soccer for an hour. It is interesting to see life through a kitten’s eyes. Everything is exciting!

We spent the first few days of August on Madeline Island at a cabin I helped build. For over 30 years our family has spent this summer week enjoying Lake Superior in all its glory. Even with everyone’s busy lives, we make the time to spend family time together and it is great.

Alas, summer has come to an end. I’m grateful to have the ability to get out and explore and make all these memories with the family. I hope you, too, had that opportunity.


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