Up at the crack of dawn, today is July 4th, 2013. Every year for the past twenty, my husband Mark and I have been traveling from Chicago to Chetek Wisconsin, to enjoy peaceful relaxation among family, and through the years, a collection of lifetime friends.
It’s six hours away, and most people we know wonder why in the world we would travel that far for one or two weeks every summer. We had family that did the same thing for 20 years back then, and we just joined in on the fun. We never thought twice about it.
Besides, I like road trips, and traveling with my husband is enjoyable. Our first sign that tells us all is right with the world, or at least with Chetek is this one: About ten years ago, we decided to buy a little log cabin on the lake. I felt like it was time for us to set some roots here. When we took our first walk through with the realtor and our friends, Betty and Jim, they called it a “Diamond in the Rough.” It was pretty beat up! But luckily, we were all in agreement that Mark and I should take the plunge and invest in our second home.
The view right here is what sold us. We knew we could fix up the outside and inside, and we did. But the view would never need any renovation. Just sit back and watch the boaters, skiers and the sunset every night like clockwork right before your eyes.
Thus began our annual July 4th barbecue, on one of the six lakes known as “Prairie Lake”.
Guests come by cars, motorcylces bicycles and my favorite mode of transport that the Skozeks use………….
Chetek is a small town surrounded by six lakes. We are on Prairie lake. A great fishing town and everything……I mean EVERYTHING revolves around Fourth of July! I rode my bike to town this morning and brought along my camera. My bike is an old Higgins and rides like a dream. My sister Pam gave it to me as a housewarming gift, basket and all. Said it belonged here in Chetek. I agree! On July 3rd, the whole town begins setting up their chairs for the annual parade that kicks off at noon sharp on the 4th. It is really hard to believe, but this is what you see 24 hours before the Parade even begins!
When I returned, my neighbors Denise and her daughter Zoe stopped by to show me Zoe’s new swimsuit. Here is another example of what Americana looks like to me.
How much more Patriotic can you get??????? Adorable!
My husband Mark loves to cook. Everyone knows that. He spent 3 days preparing and made the menu simple, but fantastic. Beef tenderloin, two kinds of Chicken Wings, one spicy and one not, Macaroni and Cheese, Corn on the cob and his mother Charlotte made her awesome Cole Slaw. It was delicious!
-The Chicken wings were a hit but let’s face it……..
Take a look at this beef tenderloin………
It was gone in about 3 minutes.
Everyone ate and, wow, what a great day! The weather was awesome!
Luckily the youngest three children, William, Ethan, and Andrew ate things like, mother’s milk and Cheetos, which was okey dokey with the two dads in the family. More for them!
It is all about the celebration of Americana with people we love and cherish.
If I had Grandkids, they would look just like these kids here. Cute as could be, and happy to play with rocks, climb through a hole in the fence, and let me nibble on their ears. (Whether they want it or not, I usually get in a little nibble!)
Little J was my helper pretty much most of the day. It got a bit warm and we decided that perhaps some water would be a good idea. I think I opted for another beer.
I soon discovered that she was motivated to get everything moving so we could set up the annual ice cream station at the window!
So………time for dessert!
As you can see, Alex got the first ice cream cone.
The guests got in line, and we served up Chocolate and Vanilla ice cream, with cake or sugar cones.
But the best treat was the home made Brownies and Apple Pie, that guests Julie and Tracey brought. Some clever people had their cake……and their ice cream too!
Little J and I worked hard at the window filling many orders. It was great to be back at the ice cream stand with my best pal!
From 6 months old to 86 years old……..a good time was had by all!
And at the end of the day……….the proof is right here!
I hope you enjoyed the trip to Chetek this Fourth of July. I know that Mark and I did!
See you Monday!