Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Time For Summer Fun

Summer's here. Time for some fun and frolic. I'm always up for a trip, whether for a day, weekend or longer. We just got back from an overnight camping trip to the Silver Lake sand dunes of western Michigan. This is an annual event with our family and my wife's sister's brood. But I always like to try some new adventure.

Recently I saw some teams of young teenaged girls involved in a beach volleyball doubles tournament. Looked like fun the way those youngsters glided about the court, jumping here, diving there. So I found the court dimensions on-line, cut some rope to length to form the boundaries, and we played doubles volleyball, tournament style.

Now I know what you're thinking. Is it a good idea for somebody who goes by the moniker of Big Dave to be playing doubles beach volleyball on a tournament-sized court at age 54? Probably not. Today I feel like I need a double hip replacement. Probably wouldn't hurt to throw in a new knee as well.

We have played volleyball before. But with a ball that resembled a three-year-old's birthday present and usually with more people on the court. This was the first time we had something approaching an official looking volleyball, and an official looking court rather than lines drawn in the sand.

But instead of gliding and diving like I had envisioned us doing, it was more like flopping and flailing. My eldest son Greg looked afterwards like he had taken a bath in the sand. If any of us had signed up to challenge in that teenaged girls' volleyball tournament I had watched, they would have had their way with us.

Still, it was an adventure. That's what I like. Next up? The same cast of characters is supposed to camp in the Upper Peninsula in July. I'm pushing for an all-day canoe trip with portages in a county where bears outnumber resident humans.

OK, so I remember when my boys and I joined my friend Bob in an overnight canoe trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Minnesota. We ended up dehydrated, savaged by mosquitoes, and lost when I led our canoes into a waterway dead end. Afterwards, I noticed Bob had pulled out his own compass to verify my wayfinding--he of little faith. Well, I did learn a lesson there. This time I'll bring two compasses myself.

My boys trust me, though. For Father's Day, Greg got me a card that read: "A childhood full of adventures . . . one heck of a tour guide. Thanks, dad."

Think that one I'll put that in my scrapbook.


Anonymous schnoodlepooh said...

It sounds like you are still having lots of fun adventures. Why not? It's fun for everyone, even if you are sore for awhile afterwards. What the heck?

7:45 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hi Dave, sadly there are many more lessons to be learned about the frailty of our aging bodies... they come more regularly as we age further.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Just watch the volley ball, Dave...that's enough exercise for one day! ;)

It's pretty chilly down this way, so a round or two of volley ball would sure warm things up...if the wind wasn't blowing the sand in faces!

9:02 PM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

It sounds as if you are on your way to a great summer.


4:51 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

sounds as if the fun outweighed the pain. Although, since I am now in Physical Therapy, my advice is-keep the icepacks coming!

8:30 AM  
Blogger Ginny said...

I think that is great, sounds fun!

10:38 AM  
Anonymous squirrel said...

LMAO! Thanks for the visuals! Great post!

1:56 PM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Aw, gee, Dad. That Greg is a real keeper.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Matty said...

Big Dave,
Keep thinking young! Getting old is not for sissies! It's the attitude that counts. I am sure you're in for a great summer. Take lots of pics! Hope the insurance is paid up! lol.
Have a great time, as I know you will!

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Deb said...

Life is about taking chances though. :) Great story

7:16 PM  
Blogger Spidey said...

Volleyball is a fun game. You are only as old as you want to think you are. Acting young will keep you young forever!! Now it is on white-water rafting down the Grand Canyon! Meet you there.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Kacey said...

At 54, you are supposed to watch the girls' beach volleyball with an eye of appreciation for their nubile bodies. Instead, you got the hots to do it yourself. Congrats on staying alive. You need a bumper sticker for your trips, "The Flopping and Flailing Express".

6:06 PM  
Anonymous jan said...

It's much better to plunge in and try something like volleyball than sit on the beach and wait to die. Go for living, even when pain happens.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Hummmmm....I'm not sure how to respone. I'll come watch you play and then respond... Glad you are having a great summer with the family. I am suppose to go to the beach with my two sisters and brother the week after TF's surgery. I'll just have to see if I can leave him for a day or two when the time comes.

6:31 AM  
Blogger simply me said...

You certainly are a risk taker, LOL. who can blame you for trying, I think it takes great hutzbah(?)to challenge oneself like that. Good for you. I too envy the great energy(and bodies) of the younger ones. Yesterday I walked the boardwalk at Jones Beach with a friend and we were amazed at the youthful energy among us.
Hey Dave I will be in South Bend, IN on Thursday the 5th, for a couple of days and then in Michigan. Any local activities that we should catch?

8:23 AM  
Blogger Babette said...

Nothing beats family vacations at Michigan sand dunes!

Thanks for the yoga link - most magnanimous of you. Yoga is great for the hips and knees, by the way.

Unfortunately, even after years of practicing yoga, I cannot find it in me to recommend a U of M site. Oh wait. How about this one?

You are a great dad, Dave! The only room for improvement would have been for you to have raised two SPARTAN sons.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Matty said...

Big Dave,
The Sovereign's birthday has been celebrated in Canada since the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901).

May 24, Queen Victoria's birthday, was declared a holiday by the Legislature of the Province of Canada in 1845.

After Confederation, the Queen's birthday was celebrated every year on May 24 unless that date was a Sunday, in which case a proclamation was issued providing for the celebration on May 25.

After the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, an Act was passed by the Parliament of Canada establishing a legal holiday on May 24 in each year (or May 25 if May 24 fell on a Sunday) under the name Victoria Day.

I have no idea why we still celebrate her birthday as we don't have Queen's here in Canada...but Canadians don't mind an extra holiday!

7:06 PM  
Blogger Matty said...

Boxing day in Canada, is the day after Christmas on December 26th. You get to beat up on the in-laws or family members that didn't give you a decent gift.

[edit] Canada
In Canada, Boxing Day is observed as a holiday, except (in some cases) for those in the retail business. Boxing Day and the days immediately following are when many retail stores sell their Christmas and retired model products by holding clearance sales. Some shoppers will line up for hours at night (sometimes before midnight and after midnight on December 26) for retailers to open their doors. Retailers often open their stores earlier than usual, such as 6 or 7 am. Some retail companies internally refer to the sales week after Christmas as the "thirteenth month." (See Boxing Week.) It is similar to Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, in the United States. Boxing Day 2005 was the single largest economic transaction day ever in the history of Canadian commerce (according to Visa). Individual big box stores can even gross over CAD$1,000,000 on one single Boxing Day.

Contrary to popular belief in central and western Canada, sales on Boxing Day itself are not nationwide. Most retail stores are not permitted to open on Boxing Day in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador. Sales are deferred to the following day. In 2006, Nova Scotia eliminated a similar ban on Boxing Day openings, although most retailers elected to continue past practice and remain closed that day.

In addition to the retail aspect of the holiday, Boxing Day also serves as a second day for families to gather for dinner and to exchange gifts. Boxing Day dinner is, in many ways, just as much a part of many families traditions as Christmas dinner itself.[citation needed]

Boxing Day has also been referred to as the day that people "box" up their Christmas decorations and put them away until next year.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Terri said...

Adventure is what makes life exciting. Just don't take it overboard in the Upper Peninsula. Or else....either alert the National Guard or bring along a St. Bernard. (most of all...have fun!)

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:02 PM  

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