“The pop is gone.” says the last teenager to leave.
The ice is low.
The granola is gone.
Two pans of Dan’s frozen Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas are gone.
Bryan’s extra tender dry rubbed ribs are gone.
One half cup of Ranch Beans, not to be thrown away, is stashed somewhere in the fridge behind too many leftovers to count.
The fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are gone.
The decorated cookies, brownies and bars are gone.
The visiting people are gone.
The recyclables, clean and sorted, are now gone, all picked up curbside.
Even the pelicans are gone.
The pelicans are the first to arrive for their party on the lake, flying and gliding gracefully for a smooth landing as they join their group.
Then Dan and Shirley get to the empty lakehouse and prepare for family arrivals.
5 more people come as Conor and Jess and family get settled for 10 days.
One day later, 4 more as Brandon, Jenn and family (with Molly’s hamster, Leny) get to the lake. The party heats up with games, food, and drinks, including a prosecco whose cork blasted out a light fixture, shattering glass, and shocking all!
Three days later, 5 more show up as the Omaha Nearys get here, wheeling in their gigantic cooler of food. Abundance is now!
One Omaha Neary stays back, sacrificing for business reasons, tending to her newly opened store, “Exist Green”. All have been there with similar decisions and understand, still missing her greatly!
Then, 4 more family members come on July 4th for the fish fry and fireworks.
Highlights from that day:
Clara, 17, leaves (with a carload of siblings and cousins who want a ride) to get cleaned walleye from Wes’s house to add to the dinner, which was a success!
One year old Liam plays football with the big kids, carrying the ball like a pro.
The neighbors haul out big box after big box of fireworks to their dock, which begin while it’s still light, startling all of us on the lawn, to stop what we’re doing and look over that way, staring. We observe hot (Amy checked) ashes falling on top of our boat cover. We try not to tell Dan, thinking he’ll go crazy, but surprisingly, when he learns of this, his reaction is “Whatever. We’ll deal with the consequences later.” There is no damage.
The recycle bins have ceased to be organized by category but has things thrown in willy nilly.
The cocktails and mocktails need a new flavor, so a rare and sneaky venture to a neighbor’s mint patch ensues. The surly neighbor is gone, but it is well known to all that we MUST stay off their property.
The cell phone is lost for a day as there is too much noise to find it.
The door slams often, with people going in and out (who don’t know how to use it, despite a few lessons). Ha!
Shirley says to more than one person, “We’ve lost all sense of normalcy around here.”
About 10 PM, Gus makes popcorn, surrounded by adoring younger relatives, and a couple of older ones, (his parents).
The mosquitos arrive chasing all but the most hardy inside, where lights are turned off so as to see the fireworks.
We forget to turn them back on, even as we’re tripping over piles of sandals and saying good-bye to the departers, until Conor says “Can we turn on a light? I’m not sure who I’m hugging.” We all laugh and turn on lights.
Soon, the day, and days are gone.
Now, there are only 2 left at the lakehouse.
And then, there are none.