Saturday, June 27, 2009

We Are Family!

Father's Day hats and crafts.

Every three years the Gustafsons have a reunion. This year, the most central place for that reunion was Letchworth State Park in New York. While there, we spent a week in cabins, which did have electricity and bathrooms, but no phone service, TV or Internet. You would have thought the kids would have rebelled (or some of the adults) but there was plenty of fun for everyone.

Here we are, at least half of us anyway, ready for a hike from Middle Falls to Upper Falls on the Genesee River.

The master griller outside one of our humble cabins. Luckily, lots of sunshine for half the week.

The other half of the week made for lots of mud, showers and laundry, but also fun.

Strawberry picking was a must at a nearby berry farm. But when they said these berries were "organic" I think they meant that the berries grew wild, with no help from the owners. Obviously, they didn't believe in any form of weed control. Still, we had fun, and the berries were delicious, even if the trip brought on an acute case of allergies for some afterwards.

Family photo on the trail between Middle Falls and Upper Falls.

Erik and Mykell on the Hurricane Deck at Cave of the Winds in Niagara Falls. Love the No Smoking sign. As if anyone could keep a cigarette lit while being drenched by the falls.

The kids being washed away. Oops!

Jason posing at Rainbow Bridge, connecting Canada and the United States.

View of the American Falls from the Maid of the Mist boat tour.
Love those ponchos.

Family photo at the American Falls with Horseshoe Falls in the background. The kids are getting taller. What will I do when I'm the shortest? Beam with pride, that's what.

Nature at the park. Herds of deer were out every evening, and most of the day too.

And little tiny frogs were very popular with the kids, as they could be picked up off the road, the grass, and anywhere near the playground.

Boys will be boys. Skipping rocks and making a splash at the river.
We also crashed a local YMCA and went swimming--all 40 of us--on the same afternoon.

Family talent show. Yeah!
Camp songs were a big hit, violin and recorder performances, Yo-yo tricks, and the Harry Potter puppet show too. But the Aidukaitis Allstars will never be forgotten for their glowstick dance routine. Ha! We put everyone to shame!

Making crafts for Father's Day. Painting handprints on shirts for dads and creating our own crazy hats!

And don't forget the Mad Libs, Family Feud game, and late night movies projected on the cabin ceilings after the little ones went to bed. Man, I love my family.

What a great time. See everyone in three more years!
(If not sooner)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Back From the Dead

Did I make it? Whew, that was a rough month. After all the award ceremonies, Field Day, dance recitals, finishing a writer's class, both sets of parents visiting over Memorial Weekend, Erik's business trip, moving Mykell out of her dorm, and a few home projects (which still aren't done), I'm glad to be alive. Last week I ran into one of the old-timers from my local Genealogical Society chapter and she asked if I had died. Not a surprise. The only way people quit the Genealogical Society is to die. I'm too young for that. And not that lucky.

So after a few weeks of distorted reality, life is slowly coming back to normal. Back to writing, back to the computer, back to the peace and quiet of books. Actually, I never gave up books--I survived on them. Isn't it great when you can lose yourself in another life temporarily? Or become so wrapped up in a story that you imagine what would happen if the story went on? I love those books. You can check out some of my favorites (or those I despise too) on I'd love to compare notes with you.

Lately I've been researching schizophrenia for a project, reading several books and watching movies, and learned that schizophrenics will often drop relationships with friends and family, not participate in hobbies or activities that used to interest them, and will become reclusive in order to hide their behaviors from others. Hmm. It sounded a bit familiar, like the obsessive (or manic) life of a writer. It made me wonder, am I really that far gone?

Anyhow, Glad to be Back!