Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Hunting We Will Go

While we were on Mackinac Island to celebrate my parents' 55th wedding anniversary, we decided to have a group activity for Saturday afternoon. We thought it would be fun to have a scavenger hunt, and since everyone carries a phone with a camera in their pockets, a photo scavenger hunt was the assignment of the day.

I came up with 20 items (just be glad it wasn't 55!) for each group to include in a photograph. I tried to have a variety of things on the list that would get us out and about between the hotel and the 'downtown' area.

Next, I divided the family into three groups. Team captains volunteered were selected, and Jonathan, Adam, and Evan were excited to lead their teams in the competition. The teams were named in advance, with each name having a significance to Nana and Boomie. Jon's team was called the Panthers, after the Hanover College Panthers, where Nana and Boomie met. Adam's team was the Turtles, in honor of the many vacations they have enjoyed in the Cayman Islands. Evan was the captain of the Volunteers, since Nana and Boomie have spent much of their time volunteering in their community.

Teams set, lists in hand, and we were off on the Sturges Scavenger Extravaganza!
While each team had the same 20 items, the lists were in different order so that we weren't all doing the same thing at the same time. Although each team took a picture for each item on the list, I'm only posting one of each for most of the items.

Most folks arrive on the island by ferry, so we had to get a picture of a Shepler's Ferry boat. Here are the Panthers enjoying a little ice cream down on the dock.

The Volunteers posed for their picture with Fort Mackinac, high on the bluff.

Of course, we had to get a photo sampling the famous Mackinac Fudge. That's the Turtles being photographed by team captain Adam, who doesn't like fudge.

Bicycles are a main form of transportation on the island. Do you think the Panthers swiped these?

The golf course on the island has both a front and back nine, and golfers have to load their clubs on the horse-drawn taxi for the 15-minute ride to the back nine to finish their round. This is a shot of the Turtles in the pro shop.

There are lots of shops in town, and the assignment was to take a picture of your group wearing hats. Here are the Volunteers. Wearing hats.

"Take a photo of your group with a dog." The Panthers checked this one off with a great golden retriever.

For what turned out to be a tricky one, the Volunteers took this picture with a resident of the island.

Of course, with all the horses on the island, there's bound to be, well, you know. The Turtles were happy to pose with it. No s**t!

At the Grand Hotel, there is an area and shop called Margaret's Garden. The Panthers were proud to pose with the sign, especially since some of us knew the Margaret for whom it is named.

We needed a photo with the group consulting a map, and the Turtles found this one at the bike rental shop. I love the worker who photo bombed the picture.

There is a school just down the hill from the Grand Hotel, and the Volunteers enjoyed getting a picture on the playground. Is that Nana pole dancing?

We were there during the Lilac Festival, although with the early warm spring, many of the blossoms were gone. The Panthers managed to find this one for their photograph.

The Pink Pony is a well-known watering hole on the island. The Panthers posed in front for their photo. Each group included an under-21 minor, which prevented us from abandoning our list and spending the afternoon at the Pink Pony. Wonder who thought of that?

Each group needed to take a picture with someone in uniform. The Turtles thought they aced this one with the uniformed guard at the upper entrance to the fort.

The Vols took this one before leaving the hotel. Nana is having a chat with him of course.

The Panthers were creative in their approach, and took a picture of this picture of a guy in a uniform.

The list said, take a picture "at the new horse barn with a broom or pitchfork." Despite the fact that this is the wrong barn, the Vols added an extra degree of difficulty when Ted balanced the broom on his chin. Yes he did. He once used this skill to win the Hanover College talent show.

The Turtles posed while petting a horse in front of the Grand Hotel.

Another creative approach was demonstrated by the Panthers when they found this horse to pet.

For the picture of the group in the Tebow position in front of a church, the Panthers found a big church way downtown. The church is big, but the people are little tiny specks on the sidewalk.

The Turtles posed in front of the church near the hotel.

The Vols posed at the same church, with Nana blessing them.

Another tricky one was to take a picture "with someone in a wedding party." The Turtles finally found one, back on the porch at the hotel. That's the groom getting his boutonniere pinned, a bridesmaid, and the groom's father. Bingo!

Finally, we needed a photo with the group forming a '55' with our bodies. The picture also had to include the entire group, so we needed to politely ask someone to take it for us. Here are the Volunteers in the 55 position for 55 years.

Each group successfully completed the hunt, and we all arrived back at the porch within a few minutes of each other. I believe the Vols were the first ones back, and declared themselves the winners. Thankfully, there were cold beverages being served on the big porch, so everyone could relax and recover from the pressure of the competition.

Adam and Shylah shared a hug while Jon watched. Jim was busy on his computer as usual, but this time, it was to put together a slide show of the scavenger hunt photos. We all enjoyed looking at the photos before dinner, and I think everyone had fun on the hunt!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hodgepodge on Parade

It is time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge! I always enjoy answering Joyce's questions, and especially visiting the other bloggers who join in the fun. Click over to Joyce's blog, and then hop on over to visit some of the other blogs as well.

1. What do the words 'freedom' and 'liberty' mean to you? Does your mind go more in the direction of not being persecuted or discriminated against or does it head in the direction of doing what you please?
I have always loved the work of Norman Rockwell. These paintings depict the 'Four Freedoms' identified in President Franklin Roosevelt's State of the Union Address in 1941.
Freedom of Speech
Freedom of Worship
Freedom from Want
Freedom from Fear

These are the things that come to mind when I think of 'freedom.'

2. Nathan's sponsors a hot dog eating contest every 4th of July. Last year over 40,000 people attended the event and almost 2 million watched it on TV. The winner ate over 60 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. How do you like your hot dogs?
 I like my hot dogs grilled, plain, on a bun. My best hot dog memory is of helping with concessions when I was in high school and Miss Richey grilled hot dogs on her little foil-covered charcoal grill. Those hot dogs were the best. A beautiful spring day, a baseball game, track meet, or tennis match, and perfectly grilled hot dogs. Mmmmm.

3. If you were going to enter an eating contest what would be on the menu?
Ice cream. Definitely ice cream. I would really like to try The Comfy Cow Sundae Challenge at the Comfy Cow in Louisville. I'm sure I couldn't finish it (and I would be embarrassed if I did), but boy, does it look good. You can read about a guy from Australia who recently completed the challenge in just 59 minutes. Impressive.

4. Do you run your house more as a dictatorship or a democracy?
It depends who you ask. :)

5. Where was your favorite summer place when you were a kid?
I don't think I had one favorite summer place when I was a kid. Some summers, we drove to Vermont to visit my grandparents in their summer cottage on Lake Willoughby. I liked that, and I think the memories of Weatherlee Cottage are what gave me the desire to purchase a lake house of our own.

I went to camp some years, but I didn't have one camp that I returned to every summer. My friend Ann and I tried several different camps, and always had a good time. In high school, I attended FCA Camp (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) at a couple different locations.

The picture below is at Fort Scott Camp, near Cincinnati, Ohio. When I googled it just now, I learned that it closed following the summer of 1988. That's me, back row, far right, with Ann beside me. Looks like pig tails were the style of the day.

Most summers, I remember fun, lazy days, Bible School, riding bikes, playing in the hose, and good ol' summer fun. The picture below was from a backyard carnival we (my mother) organized to raise money for Crossroads Rehabilitation Center. I'm in the center, behind the cashier and her little helper. You can see my brother driving the tractor for wagon rides. I believe we raised $60.

6. Do you have a guest room? Would you want to stay there?
We have bedrooms that belonged to the children, before they grew up and moved out (most of them anyway), still decorated in teddy bears, lambs, and cowboys. So if you don't mind that, you are welcome to visit. One of these days, I'll get to work on that project.

7. Next Wednesday America celebrates her independence. Do you have any special plans for the 4th of July? If you live outside the USA when and how does your country celebrate its own patriotic holiday?
Our town has a little Fourth of July Parade which was started by a mother for the kids in their neighborhood. It has grown each year, and is a homecoming of sorts for families who gather to take part in the tradition. It is still mainly a children's parade, and kids decorate bikes, trikes, scooters, pets, strollers and wagons to make the trip down Franklin Street to the square. The fire truck leads the parade, and the VFW Color Guard, and there are bands, tractors, floats, and horses (at the end, for obvious reasons).

I participated each year as a child, working for days to decorate my bike with crepe paper and flags. The picture below was 1971, I believe, and the neighborhood kids gathered before the big event. I am in the middle holding the dog (of course).

This was a couple years later, when we got to ride with friends on the garden tractor and wagon. I am on the fender of the tractor rockin' the braids and red knee socks.

Fast forward 20 years or so, and our own kids were parade participants. This is 1991, with the cousins in a wagon pulled by Sally the pony.

Here we go!

Cousin Brian is leading the pony. Good idea. :)

Baby Adam, just 8 months old, was too little for the pony cart, so he got to ride in the antique buggy.

1992, same time, same outfits. If I went to the trouble of stenciling all those shirts, we might as well get two years wear out of them! Haha.

Fast forward to 2007, and our son Andrew is driving his son Matthew on his antique tractor.

I had to include this one. Morgan has been gone a couple years now, but he surely was showing his patriotic pride!

This was 2008, another tractor ride for Matthew and his daddy.

This picture is from 2009. Matthew was taking care of Emma before the parade started.

Then he took his usual position on the tractor with his dad.

Jon was modeling a vintage shirt. I think it's the same one Jim was wearing in the 1992 photo. :)

Jon and my dad, a.k.a. 'Boomie', in the matching shirts.

And Jennifer with her pup, Emma.
Since we bought the lake house, we have elected to miss the parade and enjoy the lake instead. This year, with the 4th falling mid week, we may be able to enjoy the parade and then head to the lake for the weekend. Hopefully the gang will all join us there!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Molly is the sister of my daughter-in-law, Darci. Molly is facing a big surgery next week to remove an acoustic neuroma, and I would welcome you to join me in prayer for her.

Molly is a daughter, a sister, a niece,
wife to Nick,

and Mommy to these three cuties.
They were beginning the process of adopting a little girl from China. That has been put on hold until she recovers from the surgery. She has started a blog, and you can read her story here.
Thank you for your prayers.