Reverb 16 | Prompt 8 | We Are The Griswolds

Sarah and Kim have been sharing Reverb prompts and  Meredith and I are back in the saddle.  Because writing can be fun.  And we all have a lot to say.  Join us.

The Griswolds:  Family is everything- a gift, a struggle, an unpredictable mess.  Give us your Griswolds story that would end in #wearethegriswolds

Can I confess something for a moment?  I didn’t know who the Griswolds are.  I had to look this up on Wikipedia.  And then I was reminded that they were that National Lampoon series with Chevy Chase and I recalled that here and there I had heard of them before.

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And the first thing that leapt to mind was one summer, when we were Up North At The Cabin and we had decided to go tubing down the Pine River.  Because my family is the most embarrassing family that exists, my cousins, aunts, brother, and mom piled into a pair of minivans to drive to the launch point.  Wearing our lifejackets.  One of our adults remarked that if we got pulled over, the police would think that we were certifiably insane.

Which only serves to bring to mind another ill-fated adventure on the same river.  Another year, when we were all much older (read: actual adults), our merry band decided it would be Exciting to tube down the entire Pine River from the dam at Crosslake to our own lake.  Only one cousin had done it before and since Mom and the aunts could only vaguely recall how that had gone for them like 30 years prior we had to know.

It started off well.  We were tubing down the river, just like we had during so many other cabin trips.  And then after we passed our usual pickup point (where my husband and Cousin David wisely chose to exit), the water…sort of disappeared.  Like, not everywhere.  But at least half of the time we were walking through puddles, dragging our tubes with us, 15 year old aqua socks on our feet.  It was not…quite what we had imagined.

We were overjoyed when we finally found ourselves wading back into water that crept over our chests.  Moving down the river, we then realized that this water was…not moving.  So for the next hour we swam and kick-paddle-kicked with our tubes.  There were no clouds in the sky.  We had exhausted any water (or beer) we had packed at least an hour earlier.  We finally emerged from the river channel into our lake’s back bay, where we were rewarded with muck and a football field worth of razor weed that we were forced to make one final dog-paddle through in order to reach our pontoon.

The indignity did not end there.  My Uncle Douglas had to personally haul each of us out of the water as each of us succumbed to a full-body cramp upon our exit from the water.

At least now we remember what it means to go tubing all the way down the river.

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