Sunday, June 22, 2008

Enjoying Our Town

This little city of ours is just the best. We have so often found ourselves so thankful to be here where we are. Our kids have had such a nice life here, and we have enjoyed so many more things being a part of a small town than we had ever experienced in our big city suburban neighborhood. There is such peace being here, and knowing that my kids will be just fine if I let them bike into town with friends or walk down the hill to the park has all made the move worth it. Throw in the beautiful lake, great schools (well, most of them), music and community ed programs, new ice arena, and almost finished Target, and we've got a town that pretty much has it all.
My favorite point in the year is the Lake Waconia Band Festival. My parents and I attended this event for the first time only two weeks after we had moved here five years ago. We decided to give it a try, showed up at the park in town, had no problem finding a place to stand, and watched as several tremendous area marching bands paraded by. We had no idea the significance of this event at the time....we only knew that we had had a great experience and it pretty much clinched our love of this new small town of ours.

Now, having a son of my own in the marching band, this festival is even more exciting. It is the second largest competition in Minnesota (next to the one in Alexandria scheduled for next Sunday), and after having now attended several around the state, we can say it is the nicest one by far. This year, we hosted 15 other bands, and it was fabulous. Many of them are top notch, and this year's show held many creative and unique performances.....from chimney sweeps to a Jewish wedding was theater in the making passing us by. Grandma ? had strategically placed chairs and blankets out the night before to secure our spots at the "magic J" which ended up a great place for viewing every school's music show. Bob and Michael were at Jonny's play tonight, but all the Grandparents came out again for the parade. The little kids have such a hard time staying focused for 3 hours, despite a great picnic dinner and several boxes of popcorn and bottles of water. Thomas does the best job, and actually seems to enjoy the music. Afterall, he did get immersed in these parades last year at just a few months of age. Waconia was last to perform, and the changes they have been working on made for a super crisp and beautiful performance. Within seconds of completion at our location near the beginning of the parade route, a cold wind came up off the lake from nowhere, and we found ourselves running 3 blocks to the truck, in a downpour! We hadn't even noticed the clouds! It was over before we pulled away from the curb, but not before we were soaked through. Pretty funny!


Sunday was a gorgeous, cool, sunny, summer day. Even OK by my temperate standards. The kids were begging to go to open swim again, but I was lobbying for going to open skate. We ended up doing neither, but instead spent the day out on the lake, just as a perfect day like this was meant to be spent. The neighbors were itching to take their huge boat out, and invited us along. Bob was catching up on dictations, but the kids and I (minus Alex who was in Winona at a competition) took them up on their offer.

(Golly gee, something just went awry with blogger and I lost the last 4 paragraphs of this blog...and it was good, let me assure you! It hasn't let me save in a few days, so here I am in the middle of the week, not quite as fresh as when I had first written this, so, my apologies!)

So let's see...where were we? Ah, yes, the boat. What a great way to spend the day. Out in the middle of our beautiful lake, taking in the sun, cool breezes, and scenery. The traffic was pretty quiet on the lake, as the temps were barely above 70 degrees, and it was quite windy and choppy. But the big boat we were on didn't let that affect the quality of our ride.

After cruising around the island, we set anchor in a calm part of the lake, and the kids jumped in to swim. Despite our cool spring, the water was comfortable. The big boys swam through reeds and climbed up the sides of the boat and over the rafts. The little kids were begging to go in, but being that the water was easily over their heads by 15 feet, and none of them knew how to swim (remember swimming lessons?), I was not too keen on the idea. My wonderful neighbor finally jumped into the water and assisted them all in with their life jackets tightened and floating noodles securely placed under their armpits. After their initial fear of being in the middle of the big lake(and this mommy's many mini heart attacks), the kids LOVED it, and had a blast kicking freely around the boat, floating easily thanks to the wonders of foam products. The little ones ended up staying in the water much longer than the big boys.....if they had their way, I think they would have stayed in the water all day long! But the big boys were bored and itching to go "tubing", so with some minor drama, I helped the little ones on the challenging climb back into our luxury speeding tub.

Tubing proved to be quite bumpy on the wavy water. After watching the neighbor boys being hurled head over heels into the lake by their Nascar-boat-driving-father, I was surprised that Jonny and Michael wanted to give it a try. Michael's ride hit many too many a wave that sent his head banging repeatedly onto the inflatable craft.....not fun. Jonny's ride found much calmer waters, and going at baby-tubing speed, he had a really fun ride. I was proud of both of them for trying, while at the same time, I was nervously scanning the area, constantly searching out which boat on the lake would potentially sever my child's leg off when he fell from the boinging tube. Perhaps it is not by accident that we do not own a boat? I think it ended up being a good thing that Bob was unable to accompany us this afternoon....he is much more over-protective than I am, and boy, were my nerves getting a workout!

After some snacks and a bit more leisurely cruising, we had to head back to shore. Bob took a break later and took Jonny out to the driving range for practice. Even though the temps were mild, I was wiped out from all the sun exposure. I think I am allergic to sunshine (if that is possible!). But, it was all worth it, and such a perfect way to spend the day and to enjoy the resources of our perfect little town!

Oh, and Happy 15 month Birthday to Tubby!

1 comment:

Alison said...

Happy 15 months indeed! Did you find a lifejacket to fit the little guy? That's been the only thing keeping me off the lakes with him. Sounds like a great day!