Did you ever plan the perfect road trip only to have all those plans … well … fall apart?

This perfectly-planned vacation started last February when Jeff and Cindy gave me a “boat trip around the Apostle Islands” for a birthday present. This sounded good to me. My parents have been to the Apostle Islands, my brother has been to the Apostle Islands, both my kids and their spouses AND my two oldest grandchildren have also been there.DSC_0018

The Apostle Islands, by the way, are a group of 22 islands in Lake Superior off the Bayfield Peninsula in nothern Wisconsin.

Being that Awana was shut down this week, a boat trip seemed like a great way to forget-about-work-and-relax.

So, Jeff and Cindy made the boat reservations and I made the hotel reservations.

We had three goals on this trip.

1. Our Apostle Island boat trip.

2. Split Rock Lighthouse.

3. The rather kitschy Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame with the world’s largest muskie.

So, I drove north.

One of the things that Jeff does each summer is give his kids a list of goals for their school vacation. Some of these things are fun, but some are quite challenging. They include reading, memorizing, learning and sleeping under the stars …

This year, one of the goals was role-playing the Prodigal Son. They worked on it quite diligently and were ready to perform the moment I got in the door. The whole play was extremely cute and well done, but my favorite part was the pig as seen here. (That’s the Prodigal Son feeding the pig – notice that the pig has a real mouth that actually eats things.

Then I was treated to the annual Fourth-of-July-visit steak dinner – grilled to perfection by Jeff.


By the way, Cindy’s table is done. For those of you who have known our family for a long time – this was our dining room table through all the kids growing up years.

The refinishing looks great! DSC_0015


Well, this was my day.

I went to two meetings.

I mowed the front lawn.

I drove back and forth between St. Charles and Carol Stream six times. Yes, there’s a reason for that. I wasn’t lost.

Actually, the reason was my mom had to swallow a camera. A tiny, encapsulated camera.  So, I went to get her. I drove her to the doctor’s (and stood amazed at the tiny camera that you could actually see in the capsule),  then I took her back to her home so she could go to a funeral. Then, I went to get her and take her back to the doctor’s where they took off the pager that was videotaping her and then took her home again.

As we were walking back out to the car, we saw another lady walking toward the building that had the same type of pager. The lady very frail and very alone and the instantaneous went through my mind, “I am so glad I am here for my mom and could do this for her.”

At which point my mom said, “There, but for the grace of Linda, go I.”

And I said, “I don’t think anyone’s ever said that about me before.” 🙂

Anyhow, I am doing a series on five verbs NOT to do in parenting.

For verb #1, check out this link.