This was a very full weekend. It started off with my family getting to meet a new-to-us family member, my grandmother’s great-niece (not sure what the proper term is — 2nd, 3rd, 4th-cousin?), and fine young woman named DeShae who is spending the summer in Minneapolis with the Youth Works ministry. This has been a season for meeting extended family, as my wife’s cousin from New Mexico has two grown daughters currently in the Twin Cities as well who we’ve enjoyed having over to the house. We’re hoping we can have all these lovely young ladies over at the same time.
That will be a good-sized group but still small compared to the crowd that turned out for the first annual Father’s Day party hosted by Chief. Besides the opportunity to see many of our MOB friends it gave us the opportunity to give Kevin Ecker his birthday present. Somehow or another, Kevin had gotten the crazy idea that my wife had bought him a howitzer.
Admittedly, that would have been pretty cool, if a bit difficult to gift wrap. Instead my wife had picked up something that made her think of Kevin the moment she set eyes on it.
Unfortunately we couldn’t stay late at the party because we had to head up to to Brainerd Saturday evening in order to be on hand to conduct the chapel service during the opening weekend at the Parker Boy Scout Camp. Instead of staying at the camp we stayed at my brother-in-law’s nearby lake cabin. It’s quite cozy, but surrounded by hordes of hungry mosquitos. We grabbed our bags from the car and made a mad dash to get inside but a couple of dozen of the little blood-suckers made it in the door with us. It could have been a long night, but my daughters decided it was a suitable time to give me my Father’s Day gift: the bug bat I had said I wanted a little while back. It looks like a badminton racket, but in place of strings it has wires that you can electrify by pressing a button on the handle. What a fly or a mosquito (or perhaps a parakeet) and ZZZZZTT! — instant crispy critter. I, of course, got to try it out first and if you think my maniacal glee was a bit effusive you should have heard the Mall Diva and Tiger Lilly! “Hahlo, I am the Mall Diva, you bit my sister. Prepare to die!” I christened (actually, you shouldn’t get it wet) the newest addition to our arsenal as “Old Sparky”. This morning we again had to run the gauntlet to the car, during which many more skeeters tried to come along for the ride. The Diva was on the job, however!
The chapel service went great, though we were almost late due to having to take some unexpected detours. The Reverend Mother had planned to do a specific message for this morning, but with the news of the scout camp in Iowa getting hit by a tornado last week (killing four scouts), she decided on a different approach, including a special song by the Mall Diva. She once again was able to work the flash paper into her short message and it went over famously, as always. Afterwards two of the scouts even came up to us and, in unison, shouted “Best church ever!”
After that it was time to come home and complete the Father’s Day assignment given by the Mayor of the MOB, King Banaian, in his decree, that being to grill meat. Since we know King is a vegetarian, however, we (Ben, the Diva and I) felt we needed to prepare a special course in his honor:
Finally, it was good that we had so much to do throughout the weekend since it kept me from dwelling too long on the meaning of the holiday. It was the first Father’s Day for me without my father, and there were a a few tough moments throughout the weekend when things that happened would remind me of him. I expect this will be an ongoing experience in years to come. There was another first this year as well; I got my first Father’s Day card from prospective son-in-law Ben, something I also anticipate more of in the coming years!