Carp Lake

In August, the Haines family made the annual foray into the rustic bliss of Carp Lake, Michigan. We stayed in a cabin right on Paradise lake. (I should explain that the lake is called Paradise Lake, but the town is Carp Lake; they didn’t want a name so attractive that it would make people actually want to move there.) The owners of the cabin live next door with Moose, an aptly named chocolate Lab.

I wanted to share my newest artistic endeavor, poi spinning. This is a traditional Maori exercise/art form that has gotten quite trendy here in recent years. I had practice poi that I made out of obnoxious orange yarn and tennis balls, and I explained that once I got good, then I would buy the ones you can light on fire. Everyone looked at me like they were waiting for the rest of the story. It’s really sad when you can talk about dipping kevlar wick in kerosene, setting it on fire, and spinning it around your body, and still not get a rise out of your family.

A trip to Mackinac Island was compulsory, and my sister somehow managed to get soaked on the ferry ride both to and from the island. Of course this is my ideal place as there are no cars; you get around by foot, bicycle, or the pinnacle of all transport, The Horse. I rented a bicycle and rode around the circumference of the island, turning the seat orange from the dye in my Fabulous Orange Pants.

And now for the Patchwork Palace. This is a turn-of-the-last-century vacation home with decor that is best described as eclectic. One could spend an hour looking at a room without being able to take in all of the knick-knacks, dust catchers, and souvenirs. I thought this was an excellent test for me to stretch my comfort zones, as I consider throw pillows on a couch to be clutter.

But one could appreciate the multiple pots, pans, and utensils in the kitchen; if you needed something, just look around and grab it from the ceiling or wall. I still had to improvise; I made hot tea in a saucepan, and had to use a fork to get the bag out as they did not have a “teabag fisher-outer.” (What are these really called? Teabag tongs??)

There were about a dozen plastic wine glasses (cups?), which came in handy in telling each other’s drinks apart. I was chosen as the wine sommelier at the party we gave for various relatives, friends, and anyone else who felt like showing up. Even Moose made an appearance; I think he wanted to hang out with us at the campfire but Mom wouldn’t let me give him a s’more.

There was only one shower in this place, which was so small that even I had trouble turning around. Mom decided to take matters into her own hands, and rigged up a nozzle to the upstairs bathtub. She was then able to wash her hair by getting onto her hands and knees in the bathtub, to which I said, “Mom, just say NO to crack!” I was glad I was able to recover enough to dance at the annual Sugar Hill contra dance weekend.

Who knew staying in a messy house could be such fun?!