Ahhh Summertime, and the living is easy, or so goes the old song. And for the most part, life in Northern Michigan is a breeze in the Summer. Any day without snow is a bonus! We live on the Big Waters of Lake Michigan, the clime this year has been flat lakes and warm temps... and then the family all gathers together. At the same time... Into one house.. That no otherwise sane person would attempt to pack that so people, and animals, under one roof, even at the Zoo!
We are very lucky and indeed fortunate, to live where we do. And we endure a very long Winter (usually snow on the ground for 5 months or so) to live for that brief phenomenon known as Summer. Which means we treasure when our friends, and family come to spend time with us in the warmer months.
Point of fact, we hold an annual July 4th BeachFire Bonanza and Fireworks Festival, that has been going on since 1976! It really has become something of a tradition here, and this year was no different. This year, in fact, we had an amazing turnout of people. Boy howdy did we ever! In our modest home of two bedrooms (plus my small office) and two bathrooms, we housed nine adults, one baby and four dogs! Oh. My. Gawd. And we had various incarnations of family and friends for two weeks! Oh. My. Gawd.
Let's just say that my dear wife and I are not quite used to being so close to everyone. *chuckle* Usually we can spread everyone out into three homes here; ours, and a Beach Cottage, and a Farmhouse. The latter two we rent to vacationers by the week, but keep open on the week of 4th July for family. This year, however, people ended up coming up the week before the forth (when said domiciles were filled aforementioned renters, and yes more dogs), and therefore camped out with us.
Having to go around, under, over and through eight other people, plus four dogs, to take ten steps from the living room to the kitchen truly added some dimensions to the value of family closeness! Never mind my two kitties that were having psychological fits of terror at every turn. Then, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, a walloping huge Suburban pulls up, and I quip, "Gee, I hope they have a dog too!". Be careful what you ask for... yup more family, and with a 95 pound Chocolate Lab! Woo hoo! Let's get this party started! They were just passing thru, but did want to stop in say 'Howdy to everyone.
But just as every party has to end, even this adventure did as well. People started drifting back towards their various homes, and the renters (one set had five Cavaliers Spaniels), all departed as well. So then we could spread out again, desquishify, and breathe easier. Believe me, when we all had to synchronize our exhalations it got a bit tight at the shoulders. I did once remark that I was going to put up a Used Car Lot sign, and offer a free dog with every purchase, but was somehow turned down by the rest of the family. Apparently they didn't see the value of my economic indicators, but that was probably just as well. I would have missed those cars.
So now back to the rest of Summer, the usual chores and jobs of carrying on. We truly love hosting our family here, but even when over run, we still have three homes to maintain, and all our usual activities to perform. They get to go to the beach and play, and we wouldn't ever have it any other way! So as masochistic as it sounds, yup, we miss them all!