No one can deny that the many technological advances we enjoy have made our lives easier. Weather reports, soccer schedules, movie times, and even complete family histories are just a few clicks away. However, there comes a time when families need to reboot and reconnect, to unplug and walk away from it all. Last weekend, Todd and I took the girls to the cottage in NH for a weekend with Grandpa Jack, Auntie Gwen, and Uncle Matt (Todd's dad, sister, and brother). No TV. No computer. No alarm clocks. Our wake up call was the call of the loon on the still water. The view of Mt. Sunapee provided all the viewing pleasure we could ask for. The sky was cloaked in clouds for much of the time, but the girls didn't seem to mind. In fact, they were thrilled that I wasn't interrupting their fun to slather sunscreen on them. They spent hours catching tadpoles and frogs, swimming, and canoeing around the pond. When they weren't rock hopping, they were reading and playing games - card games and board games. We anticipated that Mother Nature wouldn't be very cooperative, so we packed plenty of them. The girls weren't the only ones playing games. When they were in bed Friday night, Todd's dad and I challenged Todd and Matt to a game of Trivial Pursuit, the 90s edition. Saturday night, Todd and I teamed up against Matt and Gwen for a hilarious game of Taboo.
Todd is the parent that always takes the girls to NH, so Bryn had to fill me in on the rules. I learned the most important one on Saturday morning when I asked her to brush her teeth after breakfast. She looked perplexed and said, "we don't brush our teeth in the morning in NH." I didn't force the issue, and surprisingly I was OK. I left the "are you washed and brushed?" soundtrack back in MA.
On Saturday, Todd, Gwen, and Matt took Jacey and Bryn to the fireworks store to purchase the evening's entertainment. Lighting fireworks is probably the highlight of the NH weekends because they are illegal in Massachusetts, but not in Live Free or Die New Hampshire. While they were gone, Tori, Devin, and I ate trail mix on the porch overlooking the water. While we ate, we discussed our favorite flavor combinations. Tori was a fan of the sunflower seed/chocolate chip combo., while Devin was partial to the pairing of sunflower seeds and Craisins. As for me, scooping a huge, random handful and stuffing as much as I can into my mouth seems to work just fine.
As Devin and I were lounging on the bed earlier in the day, she caught a glimpse of a spider in the window - the outside of the window. The spiders in NH are bigger and badder than those in MA, and this one was no exception. As we were watching it, a fly flew into its web. Down came the spider to wrap the fly and drag it to the top of the web where it proceeded to have some lunch. Devin was both appalled and mesmerized and sprinted out of the room to tell her story to anyone who would listen.
In a world where a 15 year old can win $50,000 for being the fastest texter in the country, I'm grateful to have a getaway such as the NH cottage. As barbaric as it may seem to some of today's tech savvy kids, walking away from the constant hum of modernity is good for the soul, and fabulous for the family. But as I lugged bag after bag of dirty clothes, wet towels, and tangled bed sheets upstairs to the laundry room, I was the thinking about the convenience of modern life that I'm most grateful for - the washing machine.
Here's a short video of Todd and my 3 stooges transferring a frog from their net to a bucket. Note the squeals of excitement & panic....
Another short clip of Bryn running down the dock and jumping into the water...