1.  It never fails. Somewhere in the middle of getting ready to leave town I hit the wall. Every. single. time. I’m all “That’s IT – get the dog to boarding, buy the food, run the laundry, pack my stuff, deal with last minute crises, pack the coolers, load up the cars – IT’S NOT WORTH IT.”

2.  Then after 30 minutes at the lake I’m all “I take it all back, this is so worth every moment of prep, I can finally breathe. Ahhh…” Lather, rinse, repeat the next time we leave town.

3.  Wouldn’t it be great if I actually stored this revelation in my long term memory banks? Instead it gets clumped with other stuff I repeatedly learn like parallel parking and the critical nature of spraying a muffin tin well.

4.  I love to cook breakfast at the lake. Life lessons from this particular activity include:

  • It doesn’t matter how balanced the breakfast looks – if there are blueberry muffins out then that’s the main course.
  • Desire for fruit is inversely proportional to the amount of prep time involved.
  • Peeled apples taste different at the lake. And not in a good way.
  • Apparently there’s always room for one more muffin. Always.

5.  So you know how you rest a Wusthof  knife on the counter, a towel lands near it, then you grab the towel and the knife plummets toward the floor and ends up with its tip jabbed in the wood a few inches from your foot? No? Just me? Okay.

6.  Sometimes making muffins turns into a blood sport.

7.  Kids under 10 at the lake: awake at 7:30am, too hungry to wait for food, whining to go to the dock from the instant their eyes open. Tweens and teens at the lake: sleep ’til at least 9:30am, chill out over breakfast, cool with killing time ’til noon. I’ll take this stage, hormones and all.

8.  It’s April in North Carolina. Which means it doesn’t matter how warm it is (78 degrees) or how pretty (full sun, no clouds), that lake is gonna be stinking COLD. I’d barely gotten past the shock of seeing four kids in swimsuits before processing the stunner of four kids jumping in the water. But…it’s…wait…oh, never mind, I’ll be sitting on the top deck soaking up some rays.

9.  Cue the heron swooping across the water.

10.  Y’all. I can’t say enough about my kids’ friends. These folks are getting raised right. They’re interesting and funny and unfailingly polite – I can only hope my kids make this good of an impression when they’re at someone’s house.