Pat’s Bits & Pieces- And so it begins…

May 10, 2013

The beginning of the summer season is now just two short weeks away.
I know, I know, the calendar says summer starts June 21st, but let’s face it; the season really starts with Memorial Day weekend…

All three Clare County schools will hold graduation ceremonies on May 19. The school year ends shortly after that, then it is officially the best time of year – summer vacation time!

For the Maurer’s it’s when our camping time begins and I can hardly wait – especially with all of this beautiful weather we have been enjoying lately. Every time I see campers on the highway heading north I get an urge to go!
We’ve done a lot of that over the past few years, mostly on weekends, sometimes with an extra day tossed in and occasionally for a whole week at a time.

Our camping trips are a lot different than they used to be. Years ago, we used to load up the kids, pack the canoe, load up our big old-fashioned tent and Coleman lamp, stove and various gear and head out. We always took a cooler full of kid-type food and treats. Our favorite place was a national campground at Kneff Lake between Roscommon and Grayling.nd sleeping bags, fished or swam every day and took loads of pictures. We enjoyed our trips so much we even bought a used pop-up camper. Man that was great!
Our camping times were fun and made for great memories, but now that I’m an old lady, I like the camping we do these days much better.

I can’t help it, I’m spoiled. We head up to our 26.5 foot trailer, complete with a queen size bed, two TVs with DVD and VCR player, radio, CD player, stove, refrigerator, microwave and just about everything else, on a smaller scale, that we have right here at home. The trailer, now several years old, was a great investment and we really enjoy using it for our summer get-aways.
We park it on family property near Roscommon. For recreation, the Au Sable River is just down the road. Higgins Lake is also close and there are always loads to see and do in the area and tons of family to visit while we are there.

From our little home away from home we have a five mile view, mowed grass, a hammock strung between two trees, a deck and a built in fire pit for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. About the only thing I don’t have is a dishwasher so, you guessed it, we eat on paper plates a lot!

Last year we even added a screened room to our awning, making for some great bug-free evenings and mornings and added a recliner for Jack’s naps.

If it’s rainy, we go shopping, visiting, take naps, read books and watch movies. If it is nice, we go canoeing, for long walks through the woods, take naps and enjoy family cookouts – and we still take lots of pictures. Alea and Alison and even the grown-up grandkids talk about camping and hope they will be invited along for a weekend – and we usually take them with us when we can.

For several years, my brother Jim and his wife Ginny have had their camper parked there too, so we always have loads of fun together when we go vacationing at the same time. Sometimes the whole family shows up for a campfire cookout and our little site is home for the annual Richardson Reunion each summer, where we are now the “old folks.”

Jack really wanted to get up there early this spring – as usual he has a whole list of projects lined up for our little “campground.” This year it is a complete cleaning for both campers, power washing and sealing both decks, a new sewer line for the neighbors, and building a storage shed for all the things we would like to store up there. I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t remember it all. He even has a riding lawn mower (our old one) up there too, so of course he is never bored. That’s my work-aholic hubby…

I am not so ambitious. Some of this summer’s plans for me include berry picking and looking up some historic old ghost towns and cemeteries around the area, maybe a canoe trip down the river and even a little exploring. And with nearly every trip we enjoy at least one “family cookout.”

We always have our cell phones with us, but hope we don’t get many calls.
After all it is “vacation time.”

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