Summer’s Sweet Goodbye

12 Sep

As Caitlyn wrote about in our previous post, we spent this last weekend at our friends place in Northern Minnesota, taking care of their kids while they spent some time away for their anniversary.  As far as babysitting gigs go, this was about as good as it gets:  Log home tucked deep in the woods, hundreds of feet of lakeshore, a beautiful sunny weekend, and kids that not only wanted to fish with me, but were pretty darn good at it as well.  And lucky for us, Caitlyn kept her camera handy most of the weekend so we were able to capture some pretty priceless memories from our fun “babysitting” retreat in far northern Minnesota.

The day was pretty remarkable from the start.  The lakeshore faces east, so the sun fills the morning with brightness and warmth, and our friend’s property holds this sort of casual, unpretentious elegance that makes it profoundly relaxing and serene, even with a half dozen kids buzzing around.  It’s as if this land knows it’s own beauty and is satisfied with itself, full of wisdom and age.

I fished in the morning and brought four of the six kids out on the boat with me.  The two oldest were pretty self-sufficient in the boat, each landing nice-sized perch and crappie without any help from me.  The only time I had to assist with landing a fish was when the six-year-old boy hooked into a nice northern pike and needed me to grab it out of the water (yah…I left the net on shore).  The two younger ones on the boat, one of whom was Aleah, mostly entertained each other by making up stories about the plastic twister-tails we were using as bait – “This is my pet wormy, don’t worry, it won’t bite” —  and they’d occasionally help drop a fish into the basket as we collected our “keepers” for that evening’s dinner.

We came in with 13 nice perch, 10 nice crappies, and one decent pike; enough fish to feed our small army. 

I spent the afternoon cleaning fish, while the rest of the youngsters alternated between swimming and stealing fish off the cleaning table and making them kiss me in the back.  We had a good time.

The sun burned brightly all day and we splashed and laughed until it was time to heat the oil for our fish fry.  In many ways, this was our farewell to summer.  The weather up here for the next week will struggle to get out of the fifties, and in no time the leaves will burst with color, sweatshirts will replace swimsuits, and kitchens will fill with the smells of apple crisps and butternut squash.  But we had a beautiful summer, and this last weekend the sunny season offered us a sweet kiss goodbye with wonderful friends in a marvelous place.

6 Responses to “Summer’s Sweet Goodbye”

  1. Caitlyn September 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Awesome pictures Caitlyn! The kids had such a fantastic time with you this weekend! Thanks again for coming out and watching them!!!

    • Jared September 13, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

      oops, the above comment was from the kid’s mom, I was checking the blog when I was at their house and I forgot to log out.

      • Jared September 13, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

        And now Caitlyn made the comment logged in as me. Oh well. haha.

  2. Mary (McGuire) Bangs September 12, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    my favorite line is “It’s as if this land knows its own beauty and is satisfied with itself, full of wisdom and age.”….perfect

  3. Caitlyn September 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    Thanks again you guys… we were each blessed by this weekend!

  4. Tammy Charles September 14, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    You don’t know me, but I am Jen’s sister. This blog puts so well into words the beauty of Tom and Jen’s place! It made me miss N. MN. and 5 precious little nieces/nephew. 🙂

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