Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ringing in 30

A few days ago I turned 30 and had the good fortune of celebrating it up north at our cabin. If this is what 30 looks like, I have no problem with 30.

My parents, in-laws, two brothers, Micah, Zanna, and Gus celebrated on Saturday night with steak, potatoes, sweet corn, and all the components of a great cabin feast, followed by some very delicious cupcakes. 

Zanna was fascinated by everything in the new environment, including the bass hat. I think every time we come back, as she gets bigger, a new set of things will fascinate her. It's interesting to see what they are. Last summer she was only a few months old and it was such a different story, one mainly involving naps under mosquito netting. Now she's running all over, body tackling Gus, and getting her cute paws into things. 

Grandpa bought Zanna the most endearingly designed little float toy. I just like to imagine the thought process of the person who created this thing. "It'll be a red race car...with a steering wheel and horn...and we'll put a huge non-functional spoiler on it that says SPEEDY across it...."

This contraption was actually a great way to have Zanna in the water, tippy though it may have been. She and Grandpa putted around the dock for nearly two hours between this, the open-top kayak, and a random windsurfer board, which is pretty amazing because the lake isn't the warmest thing ever given its large size and uncommon overall depth. It's fun to see her have the same experiences I had growing up here.

For some reason I was fixated on going snorkeling for my birthday. The guys and I loaded up the boat and drove over to "the rock pile," which is a 9-12 ft. deep area where the lake depth drops off all around it. There are some rocks the size of Mini Coopers, and lots of schools of rock bass like to hang out on the dropoffs.

Well...given a combination of factors including decreased visibility due to recent storms, a comical assortment of gear that included no more than one actual dive mask (i.e. enclosed the nose), it wasn't as long-lived an endeavor as planned. (One can only plug one's nose for so long when snorkeling with swim goggles on.)

But it was more about the togetherness. It also helped me get over my strange reticence about just hopping into water that's over my head, smack dab in the middle of a lake. For some reason it kind of creeps me out, despite my scuba background. But watching my brothers nonchalantly fling themselves out of the boat was enough to buck up and prove my tough 30-ness.

Gus even got it on it, though having earlier in the day proved his ability to only swim one inch under the surface due to his concentration of body weight in the head area. But with life jackets on, we provided good flotation on his behalf.

The cabin was appropriately attired with birthday signage, which will be kept up for all continued family birthdays in August and September. (Why take it down?)

There is a lot going on in this picture. I think all I will say is that this is how a Nelson birthday typically unfolds.

One of the many discoveries of things that Zanna was naturally attracted to and insisted on tackling over and over. The very long run of the stairs did make it less difficult for her to go down these steps compared to the average kind of stairs you find at home, but of course we are still talking about concrete. I like to think that I somehow gained bodily strength from being bent over at a 90-degree angle in my goalie stance while she reveled in the art of "Plunk, shuffle shuffle, plunk, shuffle shuffle, plunk, AGAIN FROM THE TOP!"

This is what it looks like when you slap the outside of a fire pit cover repeatedly for ten minutes with both hands. Just wanted to let you know since you probably haven't done this and wouldn't know. Why have you not? Because it is dirty. "Dirty?" the baby contends. "But look at my arty hands!" Well, actually it does look pretty cool.  Nothing a dip in the lake can't fix. A perfect birthday weekend.