Mandan News

Dan Ulmer: Family and The Fourth at the lake

Layout 1 (Page 1)Dateline, July 3:

The tribe returns tonite, so after almost three days of self-induced solitary confinement I was forced to clean up my hermitage. First thing this morning I push-mowed the lawn around the cabin, then rider-mowed from the cabin to the lake.

I had put the push mower in the shed and closed the door last week so I hadn’t been in there for a while. As I walked up to the shed I noted that a fairly large bull snake was squeezing its way out of the bottom of the door… until he saw me and quickly managed to slither all four feet of his body back into the shed… leaving me to wonder if I should just go back to bed.

I’ve seen this guy around here before and we’ve become quite good at startling each other. I stood off to the side, undid the latch, and slowly opened the door. The bull snake was nowhere to be seen and the mower was within snatching distance.  So thinking the dang thing might be under the mower I quickly snagged and tugged it out of the shed. No snake anywhere to be seen, so I left the door open and told him that I’d sure appreciate if he found another place to hang out.

Dateline, July 4:

Tribe arrived last nite, helped decorate the golf cart for the big parade, distributed the free T-shirts that I bought for everyone.  Loaded up the grandkids and instructed them on how to work the water cannons by telling them not to shoot anyone in the face. Of course, the first shot from the kids knocked Abe’s sunglasses off, so I gave instructions one more time. Thanks to Justin, Lynn, and Pam, the parade was a huge success, a four member brass band, miniature horses, antique cars, floats galore, and we managed to soak most of the spectators on the route. Look out Mandan, the competition is rising.

From there the day turned into a big BOOM! The fireworks out here shredded the nite and most likely caused those poor folks with PTSD to hide under a table somewhere while the rest of us awed and oohed. I eventually just tugged my pillow around my ears and rolled over.

Dateline, July 5:

The weekend continued, everyone slept in until 10ish, wandered around in circles until brunch and napped for a least two hours which set up for a pontoon ride and another evening of fireworks… and I headed to bed so I have no idea what happened from there.

Dateline, July 6:

Great weekend, fished the morning  away, Ryan snagged 3-pound walleye and I caught a small mouth bass just a tisch bigger than my worm. Brunch, a nap, numerous lake outings topped off by finding a beach where the entire tribe immersed itself in the lake… the weather was perfect for laking. Back to cabin for steaks and imbibements…. and I went to bed just as the fireworks began for the third nite in a row. By this time the BOOMS in the background became white noise as I dozed away.

Dateline, July 7:

Depression, or it could have been hangovers, seems to have settled in as everyone but me has to go home today and get ready for work tomorrow. My work for tomorrow will likely consist of cleaning up the debris that four days of celebrating our independence created. Given the ability to strew debris that a 3, 4 and 6-year-old can create, I will likely be quite amazed where they hid or dropped stuff, and every time I find something it will remind me of how nice it is to have a place like this where our family loves to come.

Here’s hoping that all your memories are worth keeping… and that you can get some rest when you need it.