Things to do in the bush

Attended the family reunion on the weekend. When your mother’s family is 13 kids, your father’s is 7 and they all grew up together, only thing that’s for sure is that you don’t know what will happen.

This year was at my mother’s house in Muskoka. It’s unusual to get all the kids, and even more unusual to get all the cousins and the grandkids, but there was a respectable showing (I’m gonna guess around 60).

There was a zip line between 2 trees for the kids – basically a disk on a string and you sit on the disk. Once the first kid tried it, then they were all willing to give it a go. But by about 5pm or so, once the beer coolers had started to reach the half-empty stage, the average age of the zip-liners started to go up. We’re like “Oh wait, was that Uncle G??”

Some water balloons also came into play later in the afternoon, and the fortuitous proximity of the chalet deck to the driveway below (where many were congregated) made for a new game called, “How fast can Uncle B jump?” Then there was a counter-attack with some water hoses from the 20-somethings, which ended in some soggy Aunts and an enforced truce.

My father and I tried to get a fire going but the wood was young and wet, so it devolved into a smoker (to keep away the mosquitos) and/or interesting place to try burning various bits of foliage that we found in the bush.

Speaking of which, walking a Great Dane in the bush? Interesting. Gilbert is usually a pretty sedate guy, but once he was out in the wilderness, he definitely “took the lead”, and at well over 100 pounds, I couldn’t really argue that much. I just kept giggling at the juxtaposition of this honking-sized dog trying to prance daintily over the bushes to get to the next smell.

The party later migrated to my brother’s house where there was a proper fire and more beer, and scotch! My brother had a new set of scotch glasses he was wanting to christen, and I was happy to oblige. We also learned a very useful hex for smoke in your eyes from my cousin’s fiance, named (obviously) the “FU, white rabbit!” hex. It’s a native Canadian tradition of long standing, or so I’m told ;)

In and amongst the catching up and the laughing at dogs and people and chats, I did get to spend some time with my new nephew who’s almost 9 months old now. He’s at that great age when he still likes to cuddle but he’s got enough mischief to keep life interesting.

My family: good value for your entertainment dollars.