From the Farm: Ahhh… relaxation

We just closed another chapter in our vacation books for this summer.

It was another great vacation with many new stories to be shared, and also some traditions that carry on.

Because we are parents of two teenage boys we are not cool. This means Joe and Russell wouldn’t be caught dead in the same vehicle as their parents. I may exaggerate that thought a bit, but our boys still think it’s cooler to drive to the lake in their own car.

Even though Joe and Russ went to the lake one day earlier than us, they still managed to stop at the A&W in Paynesville. This is a ritual.

And, as usual, from what I understand, the Bob and Linda Mertz family were also there having lunch. For the past several years this has become somewhat of a tradition. Without any prior contact we run into this New Ulm family for a short visit at the restaurant. We don’t have lunch with them, they both taught our sons in school and eating lunch with former teachers is really uncool.

Once again we stayed in the cabin dubbed Bernice. Three bedrooms, a kitchenette and a screened porch were ready and waiting for the Hoffman invasion.

As soon as we walked into the cabin, I knew something was up. Both Joey and Russell were doing their best, but failing miserably, to hide their sheepish grins.

Sure enough, they were up to no good.

They so thoughtfully took the bedrooms that had the larger beds. Steve and I would be sleeping in our own twin-sized beds. I acted a bit disgusted, but they saw right through me. I mean, Joe and Russell rival the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk in size. If they took those beds, their legs, from the knees down, would be hanging over the edge of the bed.

Thursday Joe’s friend from high school, Marine PFC Jon Meyer, showed up at the lake and spent the night with us. This meant Steve and I had to switch rooms with Joe, so Jon would have his own bed. I didn’t sleep a wink that night, and it’s not because Steve was sharing my bed! Actually, it was because he was hogging the bed! I missed my king-size bed that night.

Throughout the week we did much of the same activities As we do every-other year. We swim, inner tube and water-ski. Well, I water-ski. Nobody else cares to do it. I only crashed a few times and that was when Steve was driving the boat.

“I don’t want to go too fast and hurt you,” he said. “You’re my wife.”

I had to explain that it’s harder to ski when the driver goes slow!

We ate like kings and had fresh deep-fried fish three of the seven days. We did have success out fishing in the boat.

Russell and Joe took over the Corn Hole Tournament Steve and I started approximately five years ago. This year the winners were Joe and PFC Meyer. This was the first year family took top honors. My nephew Anthony received a dollar for being the Most Improved Player.

Breaking tradition, Steve and I stepped outside the box on the way home from the lake. Instead of eating at the A&W we stopped at the Hilltop Cafe in Paynesville.

The food was delish! I highly recommend stopping there to cure you hunger pains. You wont have to eat for the rest of the day!

And we were able to actually have a great conversation with the Ted and June Oman of Winthrop! Small world indeed. They observed Steve in the restaurant and he was wearing one of our farm T-shirts.

It was so difficult to leave the cabin. I love being near water with swimming and waterskiing right out the front door.

But we all need to come back to reality after a week of relaxing on the lake. The very same day we returned home, I was mowing the lawn.

That happens every year as well.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at

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