Tuesday, September 29, 2009

KOA Weekend - Sept. 18-21, 2009

Lucky me!! I got invited to go along on the KOA (Keep Old Active) weekend. Now this is an organization that has met I think for the past 6 years on a regular basis. I have been included in some of the activities around here but I am not sure they were the actual KOA stuff.

The people in this organization: Judy Deans, Jane George (these 2 happen to be sisters) and Liz Casper & Marnie McLevish (and these 2 are sisters.) One member could not make the weekend--Joan DeMars. She was missed more than once and the only thing that would have made the whole thing better is if she would have been there.

A beautiful fall afternoon on Friday when Judy picked me up at my house. Over to White Bear and Shoreview to pick up Liz and Marnie. Of course, the car was abuzz with all of us conversing and getting caught up. Very pleasant drive and the time went fast. Met up with Jan at MilleLacs. Decided to have dinner before going to cabin. Ate at a wonderful place on the deck overlooking a lake. In my mind--life could not have been better. I mean really--sippping wine on a beautiful fall afternoon overlooking a lake that looked like diamonds because the sun was shining brightly and being with all of these great women who make me laugh all the time. What is there not to like? Waitress did spill our appetizers as she tried to set them on our table. They went all over her white pants. Another took her place while she went home to change.

Onto the cabin. It is located on Lake Washburn which is in between Outing and Emily, Minnesota. It has been in the Deans family for many years. It is exactly what an old fashioned cabin should be--very quaint and cute and filled with antiques and history. It is located at the tip of a peninsula so every window you looked out you saw the lake. Unpacked car, picked our rooms, and toured "Harry's cabin" located just down a short path. That is where Jan & Liz bunked. We had a "ceremony" as the KOA flag was raised on the flagpole signifying the start of our time together at the cabin. I also made up a chant for us one night when I could not sleep. It goes like this: I would holler "I don't know but I've been told" the others would have to repeat it back--"Judy's cabin is the place to go." "All us ladies are spiffed and shine." "Gonna giggle & laugh and have some wine." "Sound off." "1, 2." "Sound off." "3, 4." --well you get the idea.

Friday night was spent talking and laughing. Popcorn was made but there was an issue with butter. I do not like greasy butter and needless to say it is not a good choice. Marnie melted a pound of it and poured it all over her and Jan's corn. They like butter.

Next morning--Judy made a wonderful breakfast of french toast and bacon. After clean up we piled into the car. Destination was the rangers tower. Judy had clues for geocaching. How fun!! Geocaching is where treasures are hidden by people and clues are given over the Internet for others to find. I had heard of this but never did it. I do know some can be very sophisticated and includes having a GPS and quadrants are published. Ours was simple. Go to ranger tower to the second level. Judy, Liz & I are pumped to find this. Jan & Marnie--not so much. They remained on the ground as we climbed. Judy found it right away. It was a little film canister stuck in the corner of the landing. It contained a dime, a rolled up piece of paper with a very tiny pencil to be able to sign names and dates. It was fun. Now the challenge. We want to climb to top. I am very afraid of heights and do not like how open this tower is. I played a mind game --convincing myself that it is a good thing to come out of your comfort zone and try new things. I want to do this and with the encouragement of Judy & Liz--I CAN DO THIS!! Up we go. Not bad until about the 5th level where we start getting above the trees. The further we go the more scared I am becoming. I can tell because I start to hyperventilate a little. Still doing OK even if heart is pumping faster. The others are feeling it also. The 3 of us are encouraging each other. 2 more flights and I am really not liking this but I am almost there. Judy goes first and reaches the top. I am next. Somewhat of a struggle to get off the stairs onto the platform. It was scary. I am hanging on tightly to the bars. Trying to enjoy the scenery but --Oh My!! we were high and it was kind of open (too open for me anyway.) Forgot to mention that there were huge piles of bird droppings that we were trying to avoid. Spent about 5-10 minutes up there. Caution going down especially when we were up high. As we got lower it was a piece of cake. Jan & Marnie are not where we left them. Walking back to the car there was a clue that they were there. A cute smiley face was made with rocks and sticks pointing the way that they were going. As we neared the end of the path they jumped out at us. They tried covering themselves with leaves to camouflage. Did not work.

Onto an auction. It was fun watching the clientele and seeing all the stuff (junk) that was being auctioned. I inadvertently made a bid on a piece of junk much to my surprise. Judy & I were not in the mix with the crowd but over to the side. I was explaining something to her and raised my arms to stress a point being made. They took that for a bid. Bidding had to stop until they got it straightened out. I then got very far away from the auctioneer and crowd so that would not happen again.

Back in the car. Destination - boat landing where there is another geocache. Clue: look for a tupperware container wrapped in duct tape left of the landing dock. We all start searching. I go into the lake and walk the shore. Others are in the woods. After about 10 minutes Jan hollers "I found it." We gather to see what is in this one--a small tile that says "Emily" a letter "E", paper and pencil to sign our names among the others on the list. I forgot to mention that in this one and the one on the ranger tower we added a pink tie that was part of Liz's headgear that day.

To the Holiday station where we buy lottery tickets. To the corn stand to buy corn for tonight's dinner. Then back to cabin for snacks, drinks, laughter and fun. Jan throws a line in the water to see if she can catch some fish. No luck. Dinner was made later in the evening--hot dogs, corn, and beans.

One thing that needs to be noted--these girls are very much practical jokers ( well 2 of them anyway) It gets to the point where you hate to turn your back on them not knowing what is going to happen.

To be continued...............

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