Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Special Exposure Wednesday: Northwoods Getaway

It was a long ride for a short vacation -- seven hours in the car each way, leaving early Friday morning (3:30am!) and back home by Sunday afternoon. In between, there was a lot of work to do. This was the traditional "close the family cabins for the season" jaunt to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a brief sojourn at the wooded lakefront property that's been in JoyDad's family since 1950. We stayed in one cabin, JoyDad's father and brother stayed in the other.

It would have been hard to improve this visit, other than making it about a week longer and adding a few more JoyDad-family-members who weren't able to come.

First, the colors were spectacular.

Fall Colors in Tree-Lined Lane
Joy loved all the stuff on the ground to play with: the leaves, the pine needles, the plants and little trees. She even loved the big trees:

Joy is a tree-hugger
We were thrilled by how well she stayed in one area. Something of the dynamic that exists in our fenced back yard (whereby we no longer have to hover over Joy every second in fear of her dashing away) was operating up at the lake too. It extended indoors as well, where she stayed well away from the woodstoves and got into almost nothing she wasn't supposed to get into. She did unusually well at walking on the roads too, where earlier this year she kept making breaks into the woods:

Joy runs down the lane to catch up with Mama
It made walks so very pleasant!

Mama, Rose & Joy go walking in the woods
We also got to take the pontoon boat for a spin or two, before hauling it out of the lake to put into storage.

Girls on the boat, on the lake
It was so lovely not to be dealing with seizures. Last time we were at the lake, the day-by-day knock-down seizure count was 3, 2, 2, 4 -- each with its attendant recovery fuss. We've had seizures every time we've traveled in the past two years. Except for this weekend, where the counts were 0, 0, 0. Joy neither fussed nor bit herself, almost the entire time we were up there (the ride home didn't quite fit the bite-free pattern, but then who wants to have to leave the lake?)

Joy didn't spend as much time on the pier this visit, having too much fun stimming on shore, but Rose has always loved the pier and took advantage of every possible minute before we had to break it down for the winter. She's an awesome hula-hooper:

Rose hula-hoops on the pier
And I've saved the best photo for last. This is Rose at the end of the pier at sunrise. Doesn't it just look as if she's about to step into heaven?

Rose on the pier at sunrise
Bonus points for anyone who can guess what late-seventies movie image this sunrise shot brought to mind for me, before you click & get the answer!

5 Minutes for Special Needs


Niksmom said...

These photos (especially the last one!) are gorgeous!! I'm sooo glad for you guys that it was sucha wonderful time away. No seizures, great progress, wonderful times with family...tough to beat! :-))

Anonymous said...


Angels are watching over you.

(No biting 'til it's time to go home - makes me think this behavior is in the communication category.)

AuntLO said...

I can't believe the colors. None of our trees have even begun to change yet. It sounds like you all had fun - sorry we missed it.

Anonymous said...

that last picture says it all . these kids ARE angels .. and we are so blessed that they bring just a little bit of heaven to us .. thank you for sharing it!!

Unknown said...

These are beautiful photos!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic photos!!!! All of them!

Anonymous said...

I am glad for Joy and the whole family that you had such a wonderful trip! It is very interesting to me that Joy didn't seem to have the strong urges to run away and escape there. It is such a different experience from everyday life, that it must somehow click for Joy too that she is in a very different environment. There is perhaps some peacefulness that she is picking up from nature. I know I have so many great memories of going up to the cabins in the summer as I was growing up, and feeling that it was such a special place. The pace of life is slower, and simpler. The photos are cool too! And maybe that had some influence on the big "0" on the seizure scale this time????? No matter, I too wish I could have been there--hauling buckets of water, using the outhouse facilities, fishing, walking on the paths in the woods, playing cards and board games, playing on the rickety and rusty old swing set, watching for deer and bear, listening to birds, watching sunsets and sunrises, putting logs into the potbelly stove,....what a great place for kids!!! I guess you just can't overanalyze this again, but just enjoy the memories of a lovely time!

Frogs' mom said...

These are beautiful pictures - thanks for sharing your trip with us :0) Hooray for staying on paths, no biting, no fleeing! It sounds like she had an awesome trip too.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures! Looks like the long ride was worth it, (and I'm very impressed that the girls can do 7 hrs in the car). My husband's from MI - he calls it the Promised Land - and he has always wanted to take me to the UP but we haven't made it yet. So glad everyone had a great time.

Lori said...

oooooh! so beautiful! I want to be there right now! I love all the pics, especially the first one!

I am very impressed by your vegetables they look so beautiful!
My garden struggled this year:)

Trish said...

What wonderful photos from a great trip! So glad for the seizure-free days too. :)

JoyDad said...

It was a truly wonderful and relaxing trip. Joy was so mellow, it was unreal... I think the only thing I'd change about it would be to make it a couple of days longer.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joymama and family!

I'm trying this posting thing for the first time (ridiculous, I know!) But I can't seem to get an old-fashioned letter or even an e-mail off to you, so let me see if THIS works!?

I'm so impressed,encouraged and inspired by your Elvis Sightings! How you have time/energy for this I'm sure I'll never know!

Thank you so much, by the way, for your thoughtful note after Bert passed a few weeks back - we surely did appreciate that.

Although you don't hear from us often, we DO keep you all in our thoughts and prayers and look forward to the updates from your dad.

Keep on keepin' on and take good care!
Lois and family