Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ruckus Amok Us

There was some family drama in August but I bet my son won’t include it in his first grade homework assignment - I Had a Ball This Summer. I would write about how we swam across the country. We were filmed in the Bahamas for a Shark Week promo, skimboarded in the Hamptons, swam through a sea of people in NYC, dove into the Delaware shores, and jumped off the “tower of power” into Lake Coeur D’Alene in Idaho. That’s where the hullabaloo happened.

Each year twenty-one family members gather for a week at Dan’s family compound. Three Bragg houses shoulder the lake, located in the northern panhandle of Idaho. The air smells fresh, the hills are hairy with pine trees, and the lake is crystal clear. Those waters get stirred up a bit when we reunite.

Over the years, the family has adjusted to various drama bombs. Cooking for twenty-one people equals chaos. Dan’s mom hires a chef to be on duty the week we invade. (That is what I call a woman workin' her skirt!) Chef Steve does all the shopping and prepares an early dinner for the children, and the adults are served a fabulous meal at 7:30p.

Another issue on the lake-911-list is babysitting. The adults want to have a vacation to water ski, ride the inner tube, hang out on the dock, have drinkies, etc. A hired crew of nannies is on duty in the afternoon through early evening, thanks again to Matriarch Marcia. These gals ensure the little people wear a life vest, prepare lunch, play in the sandbox, organize art projects, assist in multiple trips to the bathroom, and fulfill hundreds of snack requests. It is a camp of sorts. We even had a talent show for Nana/Papa’s anniversary.

This year the brouhaha came out of the blue because it was brought on by something we've never done before - build a shed. It became a typical case of boys vs. girls. The adult “boys” started constructing it in the courtyard of House 1. Several grown up “girls”, including me, expressed that they did not think the storage unit should be located in a place where everyone would see it. The ruckus-amok-us started when the “boys” refused to relocate and continued erecting their unit. An hour later, Auntie weighed in as the voice of reason with Papa's support. The “boys” understood their plight was over and an effort commenced to shed the shed from the courtyard and move it into a more suitable backyard location. Lots of cousins and several aunts and uncles were recruited. As we lifted the little house above our heads on a treacherous hill, I realized I was having a ball on my summer vacation. It’s not where you go or what you do, it is who is standing beside you that counts, especially when it comes to heavy lifting.


  1. I love the idea of hiring a chef and nannies for the week -- now THAT really is working your skirt!

  2. cyndy...yes, of course everyone will agree NEXT year that it is so much nicer to have the shed in the backyard...those boys sometimes just don't know where to erect their units.

    Hope your next travels bring you further west to seattle to visit. miss you!