Mandan News

Dan Ulmer: Easter weekend at the lake

Layout 1 (Page 1)We spent most of Easter weekend at Lake Tschida. One of the most notable experiences was that Brock, our 4-year-old grandson, spent his first night away from his parents. Yep, he informed his mom two days before that he was going to the lake with Grandma and asked if his mom if she wanted to go with. His mom then asked if he would go without her, causing him to head right into the kitchen and announce to Grandma Renee, “My mom not coming, I’m going to the lake with you, Grandma.”

A trepidatious look of “OMG” came over Grandma’s face as she turned to her daughter hoping for relief. Melissa just stood there while Grandma ran through the normal series of interrogatories that a 4-year-old must answer to affirm their desires. It seemed that Renee had come up with dozens of ways to ask the question, “Are you sure you want to sleep over night at the lake with us, without your mom?” Brock’s determination could not be dented.

This move offset his mom’s nose a bit, but when the time came to go Brock was ready… after his mom packed everything Brock owned into a hockey bag a tad bigger than Brock. We all got underway around noon on Friday. Grandpa Dan, Grandma Renee, Kelci, Brock and Uncle Ben (and Charlie the dog) packed up and headed out.

As we pulled away, Brock’s mom let us know that she was not interested in being called at 2 a.m. to drive 60 miles to the lake to rescue her son. Of course, Uncle Ben couldn’t help but tell Brock not to worry because “We can call your mom and she’ll be happy to drive out to get you.” To which his sister exhibited another one of her urges to strangle her brother.

En route, the temp gauge on my truck said it was 40 at the I-94 Glen Ullin Interchange, then the temp jumped to 53 three miles later as we passed the Wet Spot Bar in Glen Ullin. The weather was promising.

When we arrived at the cabin (23 miles from I-94) the temp inside the cabin was 40 and the temp outside was, are you ready for this? Sixty. The sun was out and so was Grandpa Dan with two of his grandkids, so it was a Katy bar the door time… the Ulmers are headed outside!

We, Kelci and Brock, headed up to the garage to see what we could get working and decided the golf cart was a good place to start. Kelci hopped behind the wheel, inserted the key, and the cart began to crank over. She tugged on the choke, shifted it into reverse and scooted out of the garage.

Me ‘n Brock hoped aboard and checked out the neighborhood. Kelci’s probably the best driver we have at the lake, and yes, she’s taken all those safety courses ‘n such, but she became a good driver long before she was eligible to take the courses… itsa lake thing.

So she knows the trails and better yet, unlike her father, knows how to avoid the mud, which means that Grandpa Dan trusts her instincts at the lake more than his other children. So we, her dad and I, encouraged her to learn how to drive an ATV-4wheeler. She did very well, and Brock did very well helping Grandpa Dan drive the golf cart, and the next thing you know it was time for the campfire and bed.

Grandma Renee thought sleeping in the bunkhouse would be a good choice, Grandpa Dan figured it’d be okay and on night one Brock passed the slumber test with flying colors.

Of course, Grandma Renee remarked that Brock really had to pee a lot on the second night. It seems that Brock was quite captivated with lighting up a flashlight and heading out onto the deck to urinate off it. Grandma Renee said she lost track after Brock completed his 25th trek to the edge of the deck. And all Grandpa Dan could do was chuckle because stuff like that happens at the lake… even when it’s cold outside.

Here’s hoping that your travels leave you with more smiles than frowns…