Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas and Family

Did we ever have a wonderful time with Cherish and Patrick joining us for Christmas! We took advantage of the warm weather to get outside and enjoy the beautiful woods heavy with snow. Patrick rode in Joanna's sled on an 18 mile dog sled training run. John followed with his snowmobile to help if needed and Cherish and I rode the new snowmobile just for fun and to watch Joanna and Patrick on the trail.

We all went on our first cross country ski run of the year on the frozen trail alongside the river and out onto the lake and then up the trail into the tall jackpines. Gorgeous!! The next day entailed another dogsledding adventure with Patrick mushing his own team of seven dogs and Joanna with a larger team. Patrick had lots of exclamations on his return and seemed to be in awe of the whole experience.

Our chilluns were planning on heading back to Ely on Monday so Patrick could be to work on Tuesday, but the weather was quite brutal with lots of snow, some rain and high winds making driving too treacherous, so we hiked along the river trail to the overlook of Indian lake for an outing, taking all three female dog cousins too. They became quite good friends during their time together. After that outing, we were all so pooped, we took some restful naps.
It's a good thing we had so much outdoor activity because we ate and ate and ate some delicious meals and continuous delectable treats the whole time. The only thing we were missing was Jonathan, Reseth, Aaron and Titus. At least we got to visit with them via Skype which was fun.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

BRRRRRR Below Zero

It is FIREEEEEEEZING outside today. Thermometer showed eleven below zero this morning and the river is just about frozen over, except the narrow slit where there is the strongest flowage. John and Joanna took a frigid ride on their four wheelers for 38 miles to Hwy 599 to train the sled dogs. They dressed as warm as they could and used hand and foot warmers, but the cold still seeps down inside. Only the bold, brave and courageous can manage such a trip. That leaves me out. Scarlett and Trinity were nice and toasty inside finding some soft spots near the sliding doors to rest and bask in the warm rays of the sun.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

North Carolina in the Fall

Near the end of October, I had the pleasure of flying down to North Carolina to visit my 92 year old Dad. He is staying in an assisted living facility and doing quite well. We played lots of chess and checkers with him which he loves to do. I even beat him in checkers for the very first time ever in my life. Amazing!

 For Halloween, they invited friends and family members of the people living there to dress up and come celebrate. Dad dressed as a cowboy and his nurse Tammy who he dearly loves, dressed up as a bride. Dad's great grandsons Oliver and Benjamin joined in the fun too.

 I got to spend some very special fun times with my brother Rick, and my sisters Nicki and Wendy. We went hiking in the beautiful NC mountains and drove up to Highlands where our parents used to live, stopping to see Dry Falls on the way. My other brother Ron went to NC a few weeks earlier to see Dad, so I missed him. I'm so thankful for a wonderful , wonderful family and for God's many blessings.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mission Accomplished

Slowly but surely John, Joanna and I have worked hard to makeover eight large cabins and one smaller one, inside and out.  I look back now at what has been done and think it was a lot like mission impossible.  I don't know today if I would accept the mission again, but it has been rewarding to see the changes and feel a sense of pride when we look at them. 

Just two days ago we completed the outside painting of the last two cabins.  Painting a cabin requires a series of preparation including power washing, removing and replacing rotten boards, going over every board and screwing in loose ones, finding two days in a row when no one is in the cabin and sunny days above 36 degrees.  It takes one day to paint the brown part and another day to put two coats of white on the trim around windows and doors.  Sometimes John has to spend days leveling and fixing the footers to keep them from sinking into the soft sand.  Then you have the frustrations of the paint sprayer breaking down and painting it all by hand... or opening a new five gallon pail of paint and finding it to be the wrong color and Menards is four hours away.  What fun!!

But team Oberg put their noses to the grindstone and in four days this last week we finished painting the last two cabins.  Now all the cabins look new or at least consistent.  Fortunately this paint is supposed to last a lifetime so we won't have to do it again.  You can see that I really slopped the paint on fast and furiously as a lot of it ended up all over me.  At one point the spray gun got plugged and a huge glob of paint shot backward at me across my glasses and forehead.  I ran to a pail of water and splashed myself vigorously to get it off.  What a mess! 

There are other maintenance tasks on the list for this fall for sure, but it is nice to cross this one off the list for good.

The Glorious Colors of Fall

Autumn colors of reds, oranges, yellows and greens all mixed together in the trees of the forest tickles and prickles my soul like a mini internal eruption of glory from God.  I wish it lasted longer, but then maybe I'd somehow overdose on all these wonderful colors and be totally useless for months on end.

To think I grew up in Florida and never knew this season existed except in name only as we never saw these color contrasts there.  Then I met John and he brought me to northern Minnesota so I could see it all up close.

A couple of weeks ago, we had some free time and couldn't pass up the warmth and sunshine, so John took his mother and I on a slow and relaxing tour of Indian Lake.  We meandered through some bays we'd never really explored before and I made a mental note to try fishing in some new spots that looked promising for next summer.  On our way back we stopped at the place we put the marker bouy at the end of the gravel spit and picked it up to bring back in for the winter months.

This pontoon boat is John's vacation that he takes in little parcels throughout the summer and fall since he doesn't often get the opportunity leave camp.  Everybody needs to get out and be refreshed by God's creation.  It does wonders.

Anniversary Trip

John and I try to get away together at least once a year around our anniversary, September 15th to spend some focused fun time enjoyed each other's company away from the camp.  Joanna and John's mother held down the fort for us and did a great job. 

This year we headed down to Missouri to pick up a newer vehicle since we were feeling the need for something a bit more reliable.  It just so happens that our son and his family live only two hours north in Omaha, NE, so it was a perfect setup to go visit them as well.  We were able to spend a weekend there and had such a great visit.  They took us to the bridge to nowhere, which is a suspension bridge that crosses the Missouri River into Iowa.  It's simply a beautiful bridge for pedestrians and there used to be nothing on the other side but woods.  Now, however, they have built an unusual  attraction which is a huge green field surrounded by trees and sidewalks.  They are putting together a state-of-the-art computer light show that can also be used for playing games, like trying to run away from being tagged by a light from the computer on the field.  It was all very interesting.  I'd love to actually see it in action when it is finished.  We purchased some delicious pizza and bread rolls along with root beer of course, to eat down by the river.  Then afterwards found a cute ice cream shop to polish off some cones for desert. 

Aaron and Titus are growing so fast. Reseth is homeschooling the boys and Aaron is hooked on phonics and already reading little books at the age of five.  He says he is teaching Titus to read too.  Such a sweet big brother he is.  Jonathan and John and Aaron and Titus spent half a day putting together an intricate lego military helicopter that actually had an internal winch to lift objects off the ground.  That provided hours of entertainment for the boys who love all things mechanical.

After leaving Jonathan's place, we headed up to Duluth, MN for three days of just hanging out together, relaxing, hiking trails, going to movies, shopping and eating out.  Duluth is a very interesting port city, so there's lots to do there.  We both appreciated being alone together and away from camp so we didn't feel obligated to be working on something at camp.  A big thank you to Joanna and Nona for making it possible.

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Kids Came Home

  This last week was a real highlight of the summer for us with all three of our children and their families up for a visit.  Jonathan is a Captain in the Air Force as a navigator on a recon jet.  He and his lovely wife Reseth and their two sons Aaron - 5 and Titus -3 live in Omaha, NE.  Jonathan just recently returned from the island of Okinawa where he was deployed for two months.  So, he barely got home before he packed up the family and headed north.

Cherish and her husband Patrick live in Ely, MN and together pastor Oasis International.  They also travel to other countries to minister.   In fact Cherish will be coming to Canada in November to lead a Women's Conference at the Dryden Full Gospel Church.  I am so excited about that.   This was Patrick's first trip to Canada since they were married April 2015.  He was really looking forward to experiencing Canada and seeing our camp.

The warmest day was the first day of their visit and Cherish specifically wanted a warm day to float down the Lazy River, alias Ripple Creek coming out of Mamieguess Lake.  We loaded up the tubes and took two boats to our destination.  It was great fun and everyone again marveled at the beautiful, clear water and soft, sandy bottom as we lazily floated the curvy river and enjoyed God's creation.

On another sunny day, we decided to take the troops to Kukukus Lake for some really good fishing.  It's quite a trek from our place to the north end where the boat landing is located, with several large cobblestone paths to drive on where beaver dams are located.  We caught northern pike, Walleye and Bass to bring home for a massive fish dinner which was a delight to everyone's palette.

The most fun was watching Aaron and Titus reeling in a fish and experiencing their excitement.  They both thoroughly enjoyed watching their Daddy, Jonathan, hook a huge Smallmouth Bass and fight it as it kept running through the water and leaping in the air.  Jonathan named him Chompers.

Jonathan and Patrick are always looking for a new thrill and decided to bring a couple of tubes down to the rapids and jump into that fast moving flow.   Jonathan carefully felt around with his feet to check out rocks beneath the surface to avoid any danger.  Then once they both shot the rapids and reached the pool at the bottom, Patrick pointed out to Jonathan that the bottom of one of his feet was all black.  Jonathan looked at it and hollered, "It's blood suckers"!  and furiously clawed them all off.  It was pretty gross.  He must have stepped in a nest of them on one of the rocks.   They laughed and laughed about that.

One afternoon, we all loaded onto the pontoon boat and traveled around the islands on the north end of Indian Lake.  Then we headed over to the gravel/sandy spit of land that reaches out into the middle of the lake and parked there so the little boys could run off the pontoon boat and swim to shore.  They had a blast doing that.

On Sunday, Patrick led us in some worship songs with his guitar and we watched a terrific message via DVD of Dan Mohler who was recently speaking at the church Cherish and Patrick pastor in Ely, MN... Oasis Intl.

Such fun... eating, visiting and playing together.  Nothing like having the chilluns home.